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Cats as Pets

Interesting facts about our popular feline friends

1.12.2021

Our house cat (Felis silvestris catus) belongs to the Felidae family, order Carnivora. They are descended from the African wild cat. For thousands of years, they served with the main function as rat and mouse hunters, but over time they become pets. Cats are now one of the most popular pets and their popularity is increasing: while in 2010 there were ~ 84.7 million cats in European households, in 2019 there were already ~ 106.4 million. Compared to dogs (87.5 million dogs in Europe) cats have taken the first place.

Cats’ external looks

The look of cats varies depending on where they live and what influences (environment, temperature) they are exposed to.

Size

The “classic” house cat


is approx. 50cm long (head-torso length) and has an about 25-30 cm long tail.

Weight

The average weight


is 3.5 kg (cat) to 4.5 kg (tomcat). Depending on the climatic conditions, their weight can be lower (in warmer latitudes) or higher (in colder countries).

Fur

Most house cats


are short-haired, with the exception of the animals in the colder countries, where there are many long-haired animals. Coat colours are very divers with many different variations - solid, tabby, bicolour, tortoiseshell, tricolour, and colourpoint. 

Most common diseases

Cats living in the house can reach an age between 12 and 15 years if they are well cared for. Despite the best care, they are not protected from illnesses. The most common feline diseases observed are infectious diseases such as cat flu and toxoplasmosis. Other common diseases include kidney failure, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and viral diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis, feline leukemia, feline panleukopenia among others. The infestation with endo- and ectoparasites should not go unmentioned here.

Domestic cats in animal shelters

Many cats find short-term accommodation in animal shelters. There are a number of reasons why cats are in shelters. Owners can longer cope with the financial implications of owning a cat, moving or because a baby is coming. Other reasons include that the owner is hospitalized or passed away, or due to behaviour issues the cat shows.

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