Domestic cat's breed portrait

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Origin and breed history

The domestic cat is the most popular pet of the Germans. But we know, strictly speaking, still quite little about her. She was a stepchild of research for a long time. Again and again it is claimed that a domestic cat - in contrast to a dog - could not establish a personal relationship with humans. Cat lovers know quite well that their darlings build a close personal bond and can distinguish very well between individuals.

In March 2017, the first study was published, which also seems to scientifically confirm such experiences of cat lovers. The origin of our domestic cat is clear today. It is not descended from the European wild cat living in our latitudes. Their ancestors live in the north of Africa, the Near East up to the Caspian Sea as well as on Sardinia and Corsica. It is the African wild cat or falcon cat, scientifically called "Felis silvestris lybica". The dun cat probably sought the proximity of the newly settled humans almost 10,000 years ago.

With the introduction of agriculture, storage facilities became necessary. And where there are supplies, mice are not far away. The ideal food for a dun cat. Thus, a process of rapprochement developed on the basis of mutual benefit. The dun cat reduced some of its shyness towards humans and people appreciated the services of the cat.

In ancient times, and especially in ancient Egypt, the cat was worshipped like a goddess and is preserved for posterity in thousands of mummies. Without the help of the cat, there would have been many a famine more. The ancient Egyptians knew this better than we do today and so the cat was treated with the greatest respect. With the agriculture the already to the house cat became Falbkatze came to Europe. As a domestic cat on the farms, however, it always retained a piece of wildness. It lived with people but not with them. Only in recent times the domestic cat conquered the apartments of the big cities and became from the domestic animal also the home animal and social partner of humans.

11.5 million house cats, inclusive of the race cats, populate Germany today. From the economic factor house cat as an indispensable guardian of the grain stores before mice became an economic factor as a consumer. Every year in Germany alone 3.3 billion euros are spent on cat food, scratching posts and other utensils. For many people, their cat has become one of the most important social contacts.

The social life of domestic cats among themselves has hardly been researched. However, it has at least one, even if only in phases. This is in contrast to its relative the European wild cat. This one is a tight, aloof loner and has a completely different way of hunting. It is extremely shy towards humans and is considered untamable. All this has probably led to the fact that domestic and wild cats have hardly ever mixed in our latitudes over all these years. The descendants of the wild dun cat became the domesticated and highly valued house cat of today's man. From the domestic cat and its regional peculiarities, one has formed the so-called pedigree cats for almost a hundred years. Constantly new ones are created. Depending on the counting method, there are supposed to be about 60 different breeds, 48 of which are recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline.


We see the domestic cat in many shapes and colors. On average, its body is fifty centimeters long and weighs four kilograms. But this is only the average. Their weight can vary from three to eight kilograms, without the 8 kg cat being overweight. This is a result of adaptation to different conditions of nutrition, climate, competition, depending on where it lives. Male cats are usually larger and stronger and have a more massive head. The tail of the cat is about 25 to 30 centimeters long. Coat length varies from short to - rather rarely - medium length. The long hair of some pedigree cats is due to a genetic mutation that is naturally lost in freely mating cats.

With the coat colors we see almost all variants: pure black with or without markings, mackerel wild-colored and so for the layman hardly distinguishable from a wild cat up to the three-color multicolored house cats. Only pure white one sees hardly once. Also here nature seems to take care that characteristics, which are often connected with defect genes and cause physical damage - in pure white often deafness and eye diseases - can not persist. You can tell a cat is a nimble, extremely agile hunter with extremely keen senses. Their eyes have a vertical slit-shaped pupil, which becomes large and round at the highest excitement. A cat's ability to see at night is almost proverbial.

Character and nature

The nature of a domestic cat depends largely on its individual development. There are more or less wild house cats and equally cuddly tame house cats with close ties to his humans. The tameness of your domestic cat depends on many factors. It starts with their lineage. If the parents were wild strays and the cat gave birth to and raised its puppies in a hideout, the starting point is bad. In the first 2 to 8 weeks is an imprinting phase for the cat puppies. Here the course is set. If the puppies, ideally guided by their mother, find contact with loving people, they will be trusting throughout their lives. If they grow up wild, for example in a barn or a condemned house, and if their mother teaches them to be afraid of people, cats can be imprinted on this basic mood for the rest of their lives.

Imprinted and socialized to humans, domestic cats can be very affectionate. They understand their humans quite well. They know best how to articulate their wishes. The saying of the writer Kurt Tucholsky "Dogs have masters, cats have staff" is quite true. There are divas that have the whole family under control. Domestic cats still remain hunters at their core. They love games where they can chase after a "prey" coming out of hiding. And in real life, domestic cats still prove their worth as mouse exterminators. Domestic cats, like their ancestors, the hawk cat, are hunters of sitting mice. They can wait for hours in front of the mouse hole, perceive every movement with their sharp senses and can then strike with lightning speed.


The keeping of a domestic cat is unproblematic. It can cope even in the smallest apartment. First you have to decide whether the cat should be an apartment cat or a free roamer. There are good arguments for both. As an outdoor cat, the cat can better meet its needs. At the same time, it is thus exposed to the danger of perishing in our dense traffic or from poison bait. Also the issue of neutering males to prevent uncontrolled reproduction, which then only further fills up the animal shelters, should be considered. Otherwise, all she needs is her litter box, which must be cleaned daily. A cat needs attention, but respectful and never pushy. So she is also a play partner for children. Against their will runs as well as so nothing. Domestic cats can be kept individually or together or with other pets such as dogs. It is crucial that all are accustomed to each other nice and early. Interestingly, the cats are then usually the bosses of the dogs.


A domestic cat cannot be trained like a dog. But it adapts to certain rules and must also get used to the fact that the two-legged friend is the boss in the house. The power games are sometimes very subtle on the part of the cat and he always manages to take the reins. When a cat comes into the house, the first thing it has to do is get used to doing its business in the designated place. This is usually not a problem, they bury their droppings by nature. Only particularly dominant specimens do not do this.

Care and health

The domestic cat does not need any special care, so it is enough to check and brush the fur from time to time. In old age, you should also keep an eye on the teeth and in case of doubt, consult a veterinarian.

Diseases typical for the breed

The normal domestic cat usually enjoys a very robust health. Usually only the vaccination or possibly necessary castrations require a visit to the vet.

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