Reigning Cats: Why Felines have Ruled the Pet World for so Long

Despite the dominance of man’s best friend as the UK’s domestic pet of choice at 24% of households, cats come a close second with our feline friends occupying 18% of the country’s homes. In fact, according to the PFMA, cats and dogs leave the competition standing, with the next most popular pet being fish kept in tanks with just 9% of household.

The popularity of dogs can easily be explained by their historical role as working animals used to hunt. But our continuing love affair with cats throughout the centuries is more nuanced and has less obvious utilitarian roots. So what is it that makes cats so special to us, given all the other potentially domesticated animals out there?

Long Traditions

The relationship between humans and cats spans recorded history, with DNA evidence suggesting that cats were domesticated in the Middle East between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. At this point in history, the rise of grain production would have meant that people began to be experience problems with mice, for which cats were – and still remain – the perfect predators. It’s likely that these early communities encouraged wild cats to stay around their grain stores by offering food or other attention, beginning the process of domestication which has created the cats we know and love today.

Behavioural Profile

Cats are fiercely independent and it was long believed that they cannot be easily trained. Though this has since be proven wrong through studies and books such as The Trainable Cat Book. They are certainly not suited to wearing a lead or accompanying their owner on long walks. Whilst dog’s loyalty seems to be their main appeal, it is this very independence that attracts so many people to cats. A pet cat requires very little training, beyond the basics of toilet habits, and are perfectly able to groom themselves. They are happy to be left alone for extended periods of time throughout the day, but will also offer affection and attention when in the company of the family. This makes them a suitably low maintenance pet for our busy modern lives.

Combine this with their innate cuteness and it’s not hard to understand why cats are so popular. In contrast to most other domestic animals, cats are able to retain a huge amount of their independence and to exhibit clear personalities of their own.

Thinking of Getting a Cat?

Before bringing a cat home, make sure the whole family are on board with the idea and are prepared to make the appropriate changes. It is essential that the cat feels safe and content. Although cats are independent, owners are responsible for providing food and water and for taking care of the litter tray.

Cats may not appreciate toys and playthings as much as dogs unless of course you get the right toys but they lap up attention. It’s important to make sure that all of the requisite supplies are acquired before bringing the cat home. Essentials include a litter box and the same brand of litter as the cat is already accustomed to using, a bed, food and water bowls, as well as plenty of cat food and a scratching post (to save your upholstery).

Once these items are in place, check the home for any escape points or hazardous materials that the cat might ingest. Some common plants are poisonous to animals to be sure to check if any decorative plants need to be moved to higher shelves or different rooms. You definitely look into taking out cat insurance in advance of the cat’s arrival, given the high potential cost of any veterinary attention during the lifespan of your new feline friend. Kittens need to have vaccinations at an early age, plus annual boosters, whilst accidents and emergencies can occur at any point in a cat’s life.

Cats are a rewarding companion to have at home, suitable for people of varying lifestyles who want the combination of comfort, beauty and independence that only cats can offer.

Oh and please don’t forget to subscribe to our Newsletter by clicking here.

Thanks,

Marc

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Book Mews: Shop Cats of New York

Hi everyone,

Today we are looking at the book Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian.

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SHOP CATS OF NEW YORK  blends the introspective eye of Humans of New York with the visual intelligence of The French Cat to depict the Big Apple from the perspective of their diverse and enchanting rulers: felines. Combined with lively photography, this book gives voices to the creatures beloved for their mystique, independence, and vitality.

Depicting the character of New York and its shops through their cat counterparts, the author and photographer capture distinctive cats such as:

  • a camping store cat whose official title is “customer therapist, assistant buyer and HR”
  • a wine store cat with his own chiropractor—he has a bad back
  • a cat in an occult shop who casts spells at night carrying a magic wand in her mouth
  • a cat who is a the mascot at a dog boutique
  • a bookstore cat who almost killed a live chicken during toddler story time

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Beyond the clever stories these cats offer, they are legends inside New York institutions like the Algonquin Hotel, Bleecker Street Records, Kings County Distillery, and many more. From the amusing to the benevolent, this book uncovers these 40 cats’ different personalities and the shops they deem home. Celebrated cat blogger Tamar Arslanian and popular Instagram pet photographer Andrew Marttila illustrate the love and warmth these felines elicit in their urban kingdom.

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SHOP CATS OF NEW YORK is the perfect holiday gift book for those who venerate the species, city life, and the creatures who keep their celebrated shops lively. It can be nearly impossible to deduce what is stirring inside these majestic animals’ brains, but Arslanian and Marttila get as close as humanly possible.

Our over-all verdict: This book is simply purrfect! Having been to the big apple earlier this year we recognised many of the cats in the book as we met them on our adventures in New York! But it also gave us insights on how many we missed and whom we will have to meet on a future trip!

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If you enjoy great cat photos but also learn more about their history and the history of the area / place they live in when this is your PERFECT book!

If you would like to get the book yourself it is available from:

Paperback directly from the Publisher here for the USA
Amazon UK by clicking here.
Amazon US by clicking here or through Barnes & Nobles here.
Amazon DE by clicking here.

More about the author:

Tamar Arslanian
is the author of the blog IHaveCat.com, and has served as Vice President of Account Management at numerous high profile New York City advertising agencies. She currently consults pet brands on marketing and social media, writes for numerous pet outlets and shares her home with three rescue cats Kip, Petie and Haddie.

shop cats Andrew Marttila
shop cats
Andrew Marttila

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for our new Newsletter here.

Thanks,

Marc

Book Mews: The Cats Who Crossed Over From Paris

Hi everyone,

Today we are looking at the book The Cats Who Crossed Over From Paris by R.F. Kristi.

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The Cats Who Crossed Over from Paris: Enchanting New Book for Kids & Animal Lovers; Hailed “Fantastic!” by Critics.

Out of all pets, cats have a distinct personality and aura of seriousness that makes them some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet. According to many cat owners, their pets always appear to be plotting something, including the leading felines in R.F. Kristi’s enthralling new book.

‘The Cats Who Crossed Over from Paris’ is part one of Kristi’s new ‘Inca Cat Series’. Forget simple meowing – these cats have a crime to solve!

Synopsis:

Inca, a Siberian puss, tells the story about her furry family – her brother Fromage, who is addicted to cheese and considers himself a cheese monger, and her sister, Cara, a gorgeous but timid Siamese. Inca, an avid fan of Dr. House, considers herself the leader of the troupe and responsible for the well-being of the family. They own, according to Inca, Missy, a young humanoid who has a well-established cheese shop in Paris. The story revolves around how Missy decides to move to London with her co-partners, Jacques and Genevieve, to run their new cheese shop and café. Can Fromage leave his pal, Charlotte, behind? Soon after arriving in London, the three cats accompany Missy to their neighbor’s house where they meet Monk, a blue Russian cat and Terrance, a golden retriever owned by their famous neighbor, a detective named Solo, living in the same compound in Kensington.

Things start to get interesting when Monk tries to help their neighbor, Polo, a sad little Pekinese whose mistress, a formerly well-known opera singer who is pining for her lost husband, has her valuable diamond necklace stolen. Can Inca and her family assist Monk and Terrance to recover the diamond necklace and resolve Polo’s problems

Our over-all verdict: Animal lovers young or old will love this book and the adventures of the furry main characters! The fun stories that will keep you in their grip until the end are accompanied by brilliant illustrations such as the one shown below:

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We highly recommend this book for animal lovers of all ages. 🙂

If you would like to get the book yourself it is available from:

Paperback directly from the Publisher here for the UK (eBook) and here for Australia (paperback).
Amazon UK by clicking here.
Amazon US by clicking here.
Amazon DE by clicking here.

More about the author:
David St John Thomas was a well-known writer and publisher. He established and ran David & Charles, the UK publishing house, for 30 years. David wrote over 25 books on a variety of subjects and well over a million copies of his books are in print. He also ran a charitable trust with the aim of assisting writers in their careers. And, naturally, a passionate cat lover!

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for our new Newsletter here.

Thanks,

Marc