For millennia, humans have kept domestic cats as pets and companions. Traditionally it was thought that cats were domesticated in Egypt over 3,000 years ago, owing to their clear depiction in Egyptian art, their sacred status and their close relationship with Egyptian Gods. However, recently uncovered archaeological evidence suggests that the first domestication in fact occurred long before this, nearly 10,000 years ago in the Near East. Today, cats are the most popular pet worldwide with an ever growing presence in the UK. A 2010 survey put the total number of pet cats in the UK at 10.3 million, just 200,000 behind dogs, and over 3 million more than had previously been estimated.
One major reason for the growth of the UK domestic cat population is how well suited cats are to the urban environment. Below are my top three reasons why cats make the perfect city pets:
1/Independence. Although cats do require regular human interaction if they are to remain stimulated, socialized and happy, it is possible to leave them on their own for long periods.
2/No need to walk a cat. The majority of cats will do most, if not all, of their outdoor exercising independently of their owner and are usually confident enough to roam about neighbouring streets and gardens. For owners who fear for their cats safety it is also possible to keep cats inside most, if not all, of the time. Many cats spend their whole lives inside – the Humane Society has actually argued that indoor cats can be both healthier and happier than their outdoor brethren – this makes them well suited to urban life.
3/The perfect compromise. Cats are more independent than dogs, but more “sociable” than caged pets such as reptiles, fish, amphibians and birds. Cat owners often say that one of their favourite parts of owning a cat is having a companion who will pay you attention when you want it but who will ignore you when you want to be left alone.
Training an Indoor City Cat:
If you decide that you want to train a cat to be a house cat rather than an outdoor cat, these tips should help to smooth the transition:
1/Make the change as slowly as possible so that your cat has got time to adjust to their new life inside. Key ways to encourage your cat to move indoors are to start feeding them inside and introducing things like scratching posts into your house or flat.
2/Play time – domestic cats still have strong predatory instincts. Playing with your cat in ways that encourage it to stalk and pounce can help to keep your cat happy and stimulated indoors.
3/Climbing areas – cats like to view their surroundings from above – give your cat a climbing frame or a platform near a window where he can watch what is going on outside.
4/If you have a garden, but you don’t want your cat venturing outside it, consider creating an enclosure which they cannot escape from. This gives them the experience of being outside without the risk.
With their independent nature, cats have always made great pets; and their perfect suitability for the urban environment means this is certain to continue well into the future.
By Katzenspielzeug from Pixabay