Two of the large number of domestic cat breeds are the Sphynx who is hairless and Persians who are long-haired. More than five-thousand years ago, cats were tamed or domesticated so as to be human friendly. Later on, these domesticated cats were taken to North America, Asia and Europe. Different breeds developed due to there being varying climates and environments, as well as these cats breeding with other locally found cats. We can now see many different varieties of cats from tortoiseshell to grey tabbies, white socked black cats as well as orange striped ones.
Although there were rigid laws preventing cats from being exported, as they were highly prizes in other countries for their ability to catch rats, they were transported by Romans and Greeks to many other parts of Europe. These domesticated cats were also to be found in Japan, China as well as India where they were highly valued not only to kill rats but as pets too.
In ancient times especially in Egypt, domestic cats were kept to catch, hunt and eat rats, mice as well as insects. Cats today, are mostly kept as pets. There are however domesticated cats who live without care from humans, called “feral cats”.
Domesticated cats occur in hairless, shorthair and longhair varieties. If a cat does not belong to a specific breed, it can be called a DSH (domestic shorthair) or a DLH (domestic longhair).
Cats that roam outdoors threaten global biodiversity as they have added to the extinction of sixty-three bird species, reptiles as well as mammals in the wild. This causes an adverse impact of a large number of different species, including ones in danger of extinction, for example, the Piping Plover.
Twenty-six cycles per second is the rate at which domesticated cats purr, which is identical to the idling of a diesel engine. This purring begins when they inhale and exhale from when they are a week old. Kittens purr in monotone whereas cats that are older purr in 2 to 3 resonant notes. This purring indicates contentment.
Cats that are domesticated as well as different Felis species purr whilst other big cats and lions roar. A description of purring is a low, rattling hum that is continuous and is understood to be a show of happiness or contentment. However, a cat can also purr if they are in pain or injured. Therefore, this vocalization by cats can be viewed as their “mantra”, in other words a sound that is a relaxing comfort to them as well as a mood-displaying gesture.
Cats do not enjoy sweet treats due to a defective gene which codes for a part of the sweet taste receptor in mammals. This particular receptor has 2 sub-unit proteins, T1R2 and T1R3 and separate gene codes for each one of them. In domestic cats and also in tigers and cheetahs, this defective gene happens on the T1R2 protein.