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The domestic cat (Felis catus) is known today to be in majority of households. A long time ago, cats were also owned by humans; however, there were other reasons that people kept cats back then and valued them much higher in other countries. Taking a look at how times have changed will give you a better understanding where felines evolved from and why we have them as pets today.

Evolution

The evolution of the domestic cat goes really far back, about 200 million years ago beginning with the Creodont order. These were reptile-like fish eating mammals, where all carnivores evolved from, including dogs. The descending order of the feline and the canine is carnivora (meat eating mammals), and the ancestor that they share is the Miacid. Miacids lived approximately 60 million to 55 million years ago and were incredibly similar to our modern day weasel in size and shape. These animals were arboreal forest dwellers and insectivores. When the Miacid (Miacoidea) divided into two separate carnivore families; Miacidae and Viverravidae, this distinguished obvious dog and cat characteristics bringing us closer to the Canidae (dog) and Felidae (cat) families. The size and shape of the skull as well as other factors began to change.

The Viverravidae family; founded approximately 48 million years ago, eventually lead to the domestication of cats and other cat-like creatures such as hyenas and mongooses, where as the Miacidae family branched off to evolving dog-like creatures. After this Viverravidae development, the Proailurus lemanensis feline was founded in French deposits and lived in Europe and Asia about 30 to 25 million years ago. Fossils of this carnivore were discovered in Mongolia, Germany, and Spain. This is the first factual cat to evolve from this family. This lead to the evolution of the Pseudaelurus genus about 20 to 8 million years ago which is a further ancestor of the domestic cat, breaking apart into two groupings; Machairodontinae, which is the family of factual and extinct sabre-tooths and the Schizailurus, which is the ancestor that was indistinguishable from the modern cat; thus, creating the Feliade family approximately 18 million years ago. After the Felidae family was established, the Felis Genus was developed approximately 12 million years ago leading us to smaller cats such as the Pallas cat (Felis manul). This is the only living species out of the two first modern day felines; where Felis lunesis is extinct.

Domestication

It was believed that the earliest known record for feline domestication was discovered about 4000 years ago in Ancient Egypt. Egyptians once believed that felines gave good luck to their owners and if one was killed, even by mistake there would be a death penalty. If a feline died for any reason, their owners shaved off their eyebrows to mourn the death of their cats until they grew back, together with mummification. It was then believed that Ancient Chinese people owned felines about 5,300 years ago in a Yangshao village as five feline leg bones and two pelvic bones where found around this area. It was proven in their bones that their diets were high in grain millet derived from eating rodents that also ate grain millet along with the Chinese villagers. It has been reported that the earliest evidence of feline domestication has been proven through the discovery of a 9,500 year old joint burial where a domestic feline and human remains were found on the Cyprus Island. No further information about their relationship has been discovered.

Given that there have been three findings of feline domestication in Egypt, China and Cyprus we know that between 9,500 to 4000 years ago feline domestication existed; which led to our present relationship with our own modern day felines including the Domestic Short Hair, Himalayan, Persian, Siamese cat and many more!

Past vs. Future

In ancient times, domestic felines were mostly wanted by people that were transporting or holding grains on farms, shops, on sea or in homes for killing rodents like mice and rats which are attracted by grains, as rodents carried diseases such as the Black Death disease. This was incredibly problematic in Europe around the years of 1346-53. The domestic feline has come a long way. People may still use felines for this reason, but we mostly keep them as pets to be added as a member of the family to fulfill companionship, for improving our mental health, reducing heart disease and many more proven benefits.
Jun 30, 2016 11:34:01 AM By Christopher Parsons 0 Comments Cats,

As the weather warms up most people start to think about swimming pools, ice cream, long evenings on the porch, and finally getting back to that comfortable summer wardrobe. In addition to these fun things, pet owners need to start thinking about helping their animals stay cool, too. Keeping animals safe in the heat is very important. Since your furry or feathered friends cannot tell you when the heat is making them uncomfortable, pet owners have to think proactively about how to manage the summer temperature before the season sets in. Here are a few tips the team at Pet Overstock have prepared.
Temperature Regulation is Different for Animals

When we humans get warm, our bodies begin to sweat. This light sheen of moisture evaporates, keeping us cool and preventing us from getting too hot. Because humans have relatively little hair covering compared to cats, dogs, and other furry animals most of our body is involved in this form of temperature regulation to one degree or another.

Although many mammals possess sweat glands just like we do, these glands are not exposed to the air in the same way and may not be found in exactly the same configuration as they are on human bodies. Some excess moisture might escape through paw pads but for the most part dogs and cats do not sweat in a comparable manner. This means that they must regulate their body temperature in other ways to stay comfortable when the summer heat arrives. You can provide optimal opportunities for staying cool with just a few simple changes at home.

Designing a Cool Home for Your Friends

Here are a few simple strategies that you can implement as the weather gets warm. Use several of these tips to create a more comfortable living arrangement for you and your pet:

• Identify the coolest rooms in the house. In the northern hemisphere, rooms facing north are usually coolest; in the southern hemisphere, south-facing rooms tend to be cooler. Your pets will naturally be seeking out the coolest places in the house, so make sure that these areas are accessible and safe.

• Use blackout curtains or other heat-deflecting window coverings to keep sunny rooms relatively cooler. These curtains are inexpensive to make or buy. Simply hang them in place of your normal curtains and keep them shut while the sun is up.

• Make sure that fresh, clean water is available at all times. Water can evaporate surprisingly quickly in the heat, so switching to a larger water bowl might be necessary. Keeping water dishes in cool, shady places can reduce the rate of evaporation and maintain water at a pleasant temperature. A gravity pet waterer like those we stock can be a good way of ensuring that plenty of water is available at all times.

• Cooling gel pads can be purchased from well-stocked pet supply stores. These are often inexpensive and can be safely placed in pet beds or on other surfaces that your pet likes to rest on. These pads stay cool to the touch even in warm rooms and will help make animals more comfortable.

• Consider adding small air conditioners or fans to certain rooms. Even if you have central air or ceiling fans, these may not adapt the temperature inside your home enough to keep animals comfortable and safe. Adding a rotating fan or portable air conditioner can help.

Be Sure to Talk With Your Vet

Remember that different animals have very different needs when it comes to staying cool. Elderly animals, very young animals, rabbits, hamsters, rats, mice, gerbils, guinea pigs, and ferrets may require additional climate control measures. Birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish can be especially sensitive to heat, so speak with your vet about keeping your favorite friends safe during the summer.

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Growling and barking at other dogs are behaviors that make daily walks unpleasant. Here are some tips that will help make your dog walks more enjoyable.

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