Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

How Cats Became Domesticated

How Cats Became Domesticated

Scientists, archaeologists, and researchers believe that house cats were first domesticated around 12,000 years ago. How cats were domesticated still isn’t known for sure, however, many highly educated theories have been proposed. What is certain and known, is that historically humans and cats have mutually benefited from one another. Cats are particularly good at killing vermin that spread diseases amongst humans, while humans provide a constant food supply in return. Today we will explore a few of the origin stories of how cats became our cute and fluffy friends.

Cats May Have Domesticated Themselves

Some leading scientists believe that cats likely domesticated themselves. The theory explains that cats slowly integrated themselves into human settlements, gradually working their way towards being approachable by people. From that point forward they became intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship with humans due to their vermin killing abilities. Domesticated natural selection took off and ensured that they stayed domesticated.

Cats May Have Been Forcibly Domesticated

Some researchers believe that early wild cats were captured by primitive humans and kept in cages. These wild cats may have been used as a food source. Researchers believe that the captured cats could have eventually become friendly with their captors and eventually freed to roam amongst them. From that point forward a mutually beneficial relationship randomly started.

Cats Were Accidentally Domesticated

Another theory is that cats were accidentally domesticated. This theory suggests that cats inhabited an area where nomadic human beings stopped at. Once the nomads set up a mobile village, cats began to hunt the small vermin that the nomads attracted with their food supplies. The cats then followed the nomads to a new location and eventually became domesticated.

Cats Were Gifted Into Domestication

An unusual theory about how cats were domesticated suggests that early civilizations, such as the ancient Egyptians, used to trade captured wild cats as gifts. Upon receiving the gift the recipient would generally set the wild cat free. After this occurrence repeated itself over hundreds of years, it is speculated that the wild cats eventually became domesticated.

Catastrophe May Have Domesticated Cats

Early human civilizations were often rocked by massive catastrophes. Some scientists and archaeologist speculate that a giant flood, volcano, or super hurricane could have knocked wild cats out of their natural habitat and pushed them into contact with humans, after which point they were eventually domesticated.

Which of the theories do you believe?
Keeping Your Cat Safe in a Heat Wave
Keeping Your Cat Safe in a Heat Wave
Cats are particularly vulnerable to extremely hot temperatures. If exposed to prolonged temperatures in excess of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 33 degrees Celsius cats can suffer from heatstroke or heart failure. It is very important to take responsible measures in order to safeguard household pets from extreme weather. This includes providing them with ample water and a cool area where they can lounge in order to keep their core body temperatures at a healthy level. If a person does not feel that they can provide a cool enough household area for a pet then there are numerous local shelters and pet boarding facilities willing to safeguard the animal during hot weather for a lodging fee.

The Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Cat Safe During a Heat Wave

1. Crank Up The AC – The easiest way to keep a cat safe during an extreme heatwave is to crank up the household air conditioning until it holds a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 degrees Celsius or less. Cats thrive in temperatures at or less than the aforementioned range.

2. Provide a Lot of Water – Cats are just like human beings in the sense that they need to consume larger amounts of water than normal during hot summer weather. Always be sure to provide cats with plenty of water during an extreme summer heatwave.

3. Brush Your Cat Often – Brushing excess fur off of a cat during the summer months will help to keep their core body temperatures much cooler. Cats shed a lot of their fur during the summer season. Unless they are brushed this loose fur will stay attached to their bodies.

4. Play in The Mornings and Evenings – Cats need plenty of playtime, however, it is important to play with them during the cooler morning or evening hours during a heatwave. This is particularly true if the cat is staying inside a home without air conditioning.

5. Keep an Eye on Them – It is very important to keep a close eye on cats during extremely hot temperatures. Every 1-3 hours pet owners should track down their cat and make sure that their breathing rate is normal and that appear calm, relaxed, and alert. As a cat owner, you should know the signs of heat stroke. If you find that your cat is panting, lethargic, vomiting, or having trouble standing, your cat may be having a heat stroke. If this is the case, you need to cool your cat down as fast as possible and seek medical treatment.

Cat Treats: Tips, Tricks, & a DIY Recipe
Cat Treats: Tips, Tricks, & a DIY Recipe

We love to shower our cats with affection and sometimes even pamper them with cat treats and snacks. But are these snacks healthy for our cats? Today we will answer that question and more!

Stick with Moderation

Cat owners are often concerned that their cats will get too overweight if they give their pet cat streets. Like with any food, moderation is key. If you give your cat treats too often then they may decide they prefer treats over their normal food. To prevent this from happening, try not offering treats more than three times a week.

Take it easy with “People Food”

Food specifically made for cats contains many vitamins and minerals that help keep a cat healthy. While people food isn’t necessarily bad for your cat, it should be kept to a minimum. Every now and then, feel free to offer your cat a small amount of cheese, fish, chicken, or liver. Raisins, grapes, onions, alcohol, salt, tea should NEVER be given to a cat. Even though we may love them, they are toxic to our furry friends.

Say ‘I’m Sorry” With a Treat

Sometimes we have to do things that our cat doesn’t like, such as claw-trimming or administrating a daily dose of medicine. To make up for any stress you put them under, praise your kitty with a treat and a pet. This will help to soothe them and be a little less mad at you.

Make Your Own Treats!

Cat treats that come from the store may contain preservatives and chemicals that you are unfamiliar with or just be something you don’t want to introduce to your cat’s diet. To know exactly what’s going into your treats, make your own! My favorite recipe is from “Modern Cat” and is easy for anyone to make.

To start off you will want to grease a cookie sheet and preheat your oven to 350° F. Next you will want to gather your ingredients; ½ c organic whole wheat flour, ½ c non-fat, powdered milk, ½ c cooked and chopped organic chicken, 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1 organic egg, beaten, ¼ c water, and 1 Tbsp chopped, fresh organic catnip (optional).

In a large bowl, mix and combine the flour, milk, and chicken. Once they are mixed add in the water, oil, beaten egg, and catnip. You don’t have to use catnip, it’s just a fun add-in! Once all of your ingredients are combined, continue to stir until you have dough that is sticky.

Place the dough in your hands and form small dime-sized balls and place them on the cookie sheet. With your hand or a spoon, flatten each ball. If need to adjust the size of your treats to accommodate your cat please feel free to do so at this time.

When your treats are flattened and the perfect size, bake them for 20 minutes total. At this point, don’t walk away from the kitchen. After the first 10 minutes, flip the treats over so they become golden brown on both sides. When the treats are fully cooked, remove them to the side to cool. To keep them fresh, keep them in an airtight container to save for later!

Meet Lionel 

A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat

Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My Nina Nandy Photohuman mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos  and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !