Are you celebrating one of the National Cat Holidays? This page has lots of fun facts that you can share at your next holiday party! (see party planning)
"For cats, life in close proximity with humans (and other animals kept by humans) amounts to a "symbiotic social adaptation" which has developed over thousands of years. It has been suggested that, ethologically, the human keeper of a cat functions as a sort of surrogate for the cat's mother, and that adult domestic cats live their lives in a kind of extended kittenhood, a form of behavioral neoteny."
"Cats may express affection towards their human companions, especially if they imprint on them at a very young age and are treated with consistent affection."
Health benefits of Pets
"Pets have the ability to stimulate their caregivers, in particular the elderly, giving people someone to take care of, someone to exercise with, and someone to help them heal from a physically or psychologically troubled past. Having a pet may help people achieve health goals, such as lowered blood pressure, or mental goals, such as decreased stress. There appears to be strong evidence that having a pet can help a person lead a longer, healthier life. In a study of 92 people hospitalized for coronary ailments, within a year 11 of the 29 without pets had died, compared to only 3 of the 52 who had pets. A recent study concluded that owning a pet can reduce the risk of a heart attack by 2% and that pets are better than medication in reducing blood pressure."
"One may see natural house cat behavior by observing feral domestic cats, which are social enough to form colonies. Each cat in a colony holds a distinct territory, with sexually active males having the largest territories, and neutered cats having the smallest. Between these territories are neutral areas where cats watch and greet one another without territorial conflicts. Outside these neutral areas, territory holders usually aggressively chase away stranger cats, at first by staring, hissing, and growling, and if that does not work, by short but noisy and violent attacks."
"Despite cohabitation in colonies, cats do not have a social survival strategy, or a pack mentality. This mainly means that an individual cat takes care of all basic needs on its own (e.g., finding food, and defending itself), and thus cats are always lone hunters; they do not hunt in groups as dogs or lions do."
"Cats frequently tonguebathe themselves (see hygiene). The chemistry of their saliva, expended during their frequent grooming, appears to be a natural deodorant. Thus, a cat's cleanliness would aid in decreasing the chance a prey animal could notice the cat's presence. By contrast, dog odor is an advantage in hunting, for a dog is a pack hunter; part of the pack stations itself upwind, and its odor drives prey towards the rest of the pack stationed downwind. This requires a cooperative effort, which in turn requires communication skills. No such communication skills are required of a lone hunter."