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The History of The Cat

Cats are such and integral part of our lives that it seems strange that for most of our history there were no domestic cats. While dogs have been our constant companions for at least 15, 000 years (and by some estimates more than 50 000 years), the cat didn’t deign to come and live with us until 10, 000 years ago.

The reason for this is simple. Cats are supreme hunters and did not need charity nor hand-outs to survive.

When cats eventually decided to live with us it was a decision based purely on opportunity. The invention of agriculture meant large quantities of grain had to be stored. Silos were erected for this purposed and naturally attracted rats and mice. Cats viewed this abundant food source and decided to move in to take advantage of it.

The first domestic cats probably descended from the African wild cat (Felis Libyca). Archeological records suggest that they were first domesticated in the Middle East, where organized agriculture started.

But there are at least two other varieties of wildcat that may have contributed to the genetic make up of domestic cats. One is Felis Silvestris, the European wildcat, while the other is Felis Manul, the Pallas or Steppe cat, from Asia.

One of the earliest bits of evidence regarding domestic cats is a Turkish statue, dating back some 8, 000 years. This shows women playing with cats and indicates that cats were already domesticated by this time.

The first written records regarding cats were found in Egypt, and date back to 4,000 BC. The Egyptians regarded cats as the embodiment of the goddess Bast, and killing a cat, even accidentally, carried the death penalty.

The Romans first introduced the cat to Europe, and similarly held felines in high regard. From Italy cats spread west to Britain and north to Scandinavia. The Vikings loved cats, and their goddess Freyja, is depicted riding a chariot pulled by winged cats.

The Middle Ages were a bad time for cats. They were said to be witches familiars, and were routinely killed and tortured. But Europeans paid a heavy price for their cruelty to cats. The deaths of so many cats allowed the rodent population to get out of control, resulting in the Black Death, which decimated the population of the continent.

Eventually the cat’s reputation was redeemed in Europe. By the 1600s, they were again gaining in popularity as pets. It even became common practice for people to make small holes near the bottom of their doors so cats could come and go as they pleased.

In Asia though, the popularity of the cat had never waned. They were revered and cherished, and were the subject of art works in both China and Japan.

The cat retains its popularity today as a human companion, even surpassing the dog in terms of popularity in some countries. This is a worthy tribute to this endearing, elegant animal.

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Feline Diabetes: Warning Signs And Veterinary Treatment

Cats are among the most popular of human companion animals and in fact are even more popular than dogs in some countries. It’s easy to see why, cats are affectionate animals, who are quite easy to care for, and make excellent pets.

As a cat guardian, you are responsible for all aspects of the cat’s wellbeing. Cats are, in general, vibrant, healthy animals, but they are prone to certain diseases, such as feline diabetes.

Diabetes is more common in humans than it is in animals. However, the cause of the disease is the same. Sugar, or glucose, is found in the blood, and the level of blood sugar in the body is controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. When the pancreas doesn’t function properly, it fails to produce enough insulin, allowing blood sugar levels to get out of control, causing diabetes.

The symptoms of feline diabetes vary. The most noticeable symptoms are an increase in urination and a notable increase in the amount of water the animal drinks. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, weight loss, and poor coat condition. If you notice these symptoms it is important that you have your cat examined by a vet as soon as possible.

If the disease goes untreated then the consequences are dire. The cat will begin to display more serious symptoms like vomiting and become lethargic, eventually lapsing into a coma.

The good news is that feline diabetes can be treated. As with the disease in humans, certain lifestyle and dietary changes will be needed, but provided they are, your cat can live a long and normal life.

As with human diabetes sufferers, diet is very important in controlling the disease. Your cat will have to be fed at the same time every day. You will also have to give your cat insulin shots once or twice a day. Your vet will be able to advise you as to the dosage and frequency, and will also show you how to prepare the syringe and give the injection.

Regardless of whether the cat was allowed out in the past, you will have to keep her indoors in the future. This is very important because of the set frequency of meals and insulin shots. If the cat is outdoors and does not have these on time, she may go into shock and even into a coma.

Always feed your cat first before giving him insulin. Failure to do this may result in the cat going into hypoglycemic shock. This is very serious and often fatal. Provided you follow your vet’s directions you should be fine.

Over time your vet may reduce the amount and / or frequency of insulin injections, but if your cat has diabetes, she will have to stay on insulin the rest of her life.

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