Cats (Felines)

Cats are a type of pet first domesticated in Egypt around 2500 BC. Today, they are very popular as companion animals worldwide. Cats are independent, and are less attention demanding than other animals. They also need very little exercise and does not need to be walk daily, like the way dogs do. These qualities make them ideal pets for people who can only spend little time with their companion animals each day, and people who wants an indoor pet. In this category, there are questions containing information about cats.

44,961 Questions
Cats (Felines)
Cat Health
Cat Behavior

Why is my cat playing in her litter box?

maybe she likes the cat litter, it could be the noise it makes or she might just like the movement.

Cats (Felines)
Ancient History

Where does the black cat superstition originate?

The bottom of all this to my opinion, is the colour black.

It was the colour of the old European (Roman, Celtic German goddess of fertility Mother Earth, giving the later "black madonna's". Which was not exclusively European ( Compare ISIS!!) Black was regarded as the colour of the earth, the goddesses' first element. Her second element was water, giving the colour blue.

The elements of the male god ( in the sky) were air and fire ( sun)

While druids were dressed in white, with red ribbons ( white= air, red = fire, sun ) it is too little known that there were female druids that were dressed in black with blue ribbons.

E.g.: In a certain period ( GERmanic) the goddes was called GER, giving GERTRUDE as being the female druid (=trude.Male druid = trudO) of GER.

Before, in Celtic period , she was called Cella ( CELtic)in Western Europe en HELLA in Eastern Europe ( cfrHELLas, HELLena, Hellenic )

Being mother earth, "the life-giving one ", her "home" was the black earth below, That became the HELL for Christianity A HOLE in the ground was an entrance to her home, and HOLY were the days of her feasts, or a tree dedicated to her.

A Hell- or Holestreet on the European mainland goes from the centre to the North, as North was the direction to find the mother goddess the dark/black night where the sun never shines( North).

As Ger/Cella /Hella was the wise (mother nature) and gave life those female priests were the "wisewoman" - les Femmes Sages ( = midwifes) that assisted on birth. They knew also a lot of herbal medicine: they had a huge knowledge of nature, their goddesses products.

And the honour they payed to to Ger was by masses were black was THE colour.

Christianity convicted those black masses and this "black magic" and it got a bad name, as well as the colour black itself.

The female druids where mostly accompanied by a cat with the holy black color. And as black was "from the devil" since Christianity black cats where too.

Much later, when Inquisition wanted to chase the new religions in the cities, they still encountered the rest of the old one in the countryside: the wiccas.

They where burned as witches together with their black cats, or the cats where thrown from the belfry towers.

I have no info why in England or elsewhere black cats are harmless. But as England is very traditional, and still very Celtic... knowing that black was a GOOD colour in Celtic times, one should look in that direction...The old idea that black colour being "a good colour" was not totally erased by chrsitianity, it seems. Till very recent, black was regarded as a "female" colour and my mother used to where it in mass before. The black for funerals (life/death, mother earth) is the same.

So traditions are stubborn

Another Answer

It is an interesting note that beliefs in the UK tend to run opposite those in America. In England the white cat is considered unlucky, the black being a bringer of good fortune, except in East Yorkshire where, while it is lucky to own a black cat, it is unlucky to come across one. In Belgium, Spain, Germany, and some other European countries the common aversion to black cats is shared with the American view.

In western history, black cats have long been looked upon as a symbol of bad omens. Cats among other animals Britannic/Celtic regions, currently known as the UK, also regarded hares with the same animosity as the cat) were sacred to certain pagan goddesses. When Christianity spread to regions that practiced traditional tribal religions the church sought to convert these natives. It would take far too long to get into the entire process of stamping out native traditions and replacing christian ones, as more of the local populations converted the church began to "demonize" symbols of the old religion, it was a form of propaganda designed to suppress the customs that did not fit in with their religious practices. Along with labels of witches and sorcerers was spread the notion that these magicians could shape-shift into cats (hares, etc) and skulk around in the night cursing their neighbors and communing with the devil or doing other perverse and evil things. Cats were slaughtered en Mass in some areas, believed to be wicked witches that must be destroyed. This practice and superstitious belief started in areas of what is now the UK before and most especially during the witch trials in these areas and persisted long after. When the "pilgrims" and British colonists came over to the New World, they brought it with them and it has remained with us in the idea that a black cat is an ill omen.

One of the prevalent black cat superstition alive in our the western culture today is if a black cat crosses your path, it is considered bad luck. Interestingly, in most other cultures, the black cat is a prized possession & owning one is said to bring the owner good luck.

The origin of the black cat & good luck is said to have begun in Ancient Egypt with the sacred black cat of BAST. BAST is an official deity of Egypt in the 22nd dynasty. During her reign, Egyptians courted her favors, by keeping black cats in their houses, believing that she would become part of the cat in spirit & grace their home with riches & prosperity.

Charles I of England (1600-1649) owned a black cat. He loved the cat so much so that he had guards protecting the cat 24 hours a day, until one day the cat fell in & died. Charles I was heard to proclaim, "Alas my luck is gone." True enough, he was arrested the next day & charged with high treason. He was later put to his death.

In Sumatra, during a long drought, a black cat is found and thrown into the river. The village folk would line the bank, forcing the cat to swim until almost exhausted. Once the cat is exhausted they allow the cat to get out of the water. The women of the village then chase the black cat while throwing water on the cat and themselves. This is supposed to bring rain. Although this tradition might bring good luck to the village, pity the poor cat that has the bad luck of being chosen for this!

In the Yorkshires, a black cat was said to bring the fishermen home safely from the seas. During the most prominent part of the fishing industry in this village, black kittens were often catnapped and sold to the highest bidder (usually the wives of the fishermen) by racketeers trying to cash in on the popular superstition.

In parts of Europe, if a black cat crosses your path, you are considered to have good fortune. If a black cat walks into your house or home, you are truly blessed. But in the United States, the term Black Cat was used by the fishermen and sailors of Michigan's Lake Superior for a boat that was believed to have a spell cast upon it and therefore, never will carry a full crew.

The attitude towards black cats is said to change sometime around the pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock. The pilgrims were devout Christians & they were deeply suspicious of anything deemed of the devil. Comprised of England's & Europeans, these pilgrims viewed black cat as a companion or a familiar to witches. Anyone caught with a black cat would be severely punished or even killed. They viewed the black cat as part demon and part sorcery.

When the Christians gained a foothold in America they also propelled this myth forward, during a time when witches were coming into fruition in America. Sharing a sisterhood with witches in England, and rumored to use black cats as an integral part of their craft. Black cats were suddenly cast into a bad light many black cats were sought after and killed. If a farmer believed his land had a spell cast upon it, the only way to break that spell was to shoot a black cat with a silver bullet.

Ask anyone what comes to mind when black cat is mentioned and cat lovers will inevitably say: mysterious, alluring, beautiful, playful, elegant and gorgeous. But non-cat owners would come up with: bad luck, witches familiar, evil, demonic, mean, spooky and Halloween... So you can see the superstition lives on even today.

Here are more superstitions from all around the world. Some are good & some, not necessarily so:

  • A black cat seen from behind foretells a bad omen -- Unknown
  • A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity -- Scottish
  • A black cat crossing ones path by moonlight means death in an epidemic -- Irish
  • A black cats carry demons -- Unknown
  • If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it take the good fortune with it.
  • It is believed that if a black lived in the house, the young lass would have plenty of suitors -- English
  • It is believed that if you find one white hair on a black cat, Lady Luck will smile upon you -- French
  • While it is lucky to own a black cat, it is extremely unlucky to come across one accidentally -- English
  • It is considered bad luck to pass a black cat at 9pm
  • It is thought that a reincarnated soul may be liberated by throwing a black cat into a fire -- Indian
  • Women could change their soul into a black cat & that any harm brought to the cat would be suffered by the women -- Bengali
  • It is thought that black cats were reincarnated being able to divine the future -- Celtic
  • It is believed that if a black cat jumped on the bed of a sick person it meant death is near -- German
  • It is thought that black cats were thought to carry the souls of the dead to the other world -- Finnish
  • It is thought that the presence of a black cat foretold of poverty -- Chinese
Cats (Felines)

What is the habitat of cats?

Cats are descended from desert-dwelling sand cats, and so they were originally found in Egypt and the Middle East. These days cats live in the wild anywhere that it's warm or temperate (they can't survive very cold weather without shelter) and all over the world as indoor pets.

Cats (Felines)
Cat Health

Are cats colorblind?

No, they are not color blind. They see some colors, but not all colors. And they see colors differently than humans do.

Cats seem to be able to distinguish between higher frequency colors, meaning cats respond to the colors purple, blue, green and possibly yellow range. Red, orange and brown colors appear to fall outside cats color range and are most likely seen as shades of grey or purple.

Purple, blue and green appear to be the strongest colors perceived by cats. Tests suggest cats can distinguish between more shades or levels of gray than can humans.

Cats (Felines)
Cat Health
Domestic Cat Breeds

What color do cats see?

We believe cats do see in color, although not exactly the way we do. In past tests, cats appeared to distinguish between the low to mid light wave spectrum (higher frequency), meaning cats responded to the colors purple, blue, green and yellow range. Red, orange and brown colors appear to fall outside cats color range and are most likely seen as shades of gray or purple. Cats appear to see less saturation in colors than do humans, meaning cats do not see colors as intensely or vibrantly. Blue and green appear to be the strongest colors perceived by cats. Tests suggest cats can distinguish between more shades or levels of gray than can humans.
Cats, like dogs, can see some colours: They can tell the difference between red, blue and yellow, and between red and green, although these are less distinguishable. Cats are able to distinguish between blues and violets better than between colours near the red end of the spectrum.

Colour is of little importance to cats. They hunt by the motion of their prey, not by its colour.

Cats (Felines)

Where do cats like getting pet the most?

Where a cat likes to be pet depends on its personality. Some like to be scratched behind their ears while others prefer under their chin.

Cats also have very sensitive muscles in their backs closer to the tail, which become tight easily. Massaging this area softly on either side of the spine will usually drive the cat insane with happiness. They will most likely thrust their back into the air with happiness. (usually not an amazing idea with older cats because they often have arthritis in this part of the spine).

Cats (Felines)
Cat Behavior

Older cat licking butt of kitten?

Normal maternal cleaning instincts.

( New answerer)

Also, they might be showing signs of affection.

Cats (Felines)
Synonyms and Antonyms

What is the antonym of stray?

1) contained, owned

I have no idea but...

is it found?

2) Stay


Cats (Felines)

What does the penis of a male cat look like?

As you may have noticed, the male feline's penis is not as obvious as those in other species when you first look at the cat. Male cats have a reproductive system that is unique among domesticated animals, and one of those unique characteristics is that the penis is further back, smaller, and kept protected underneath the cat's tail and in a "sheath." Male felines have a small, pink, "barbed" penis that somewhat resembles a pine cone. Another contributor described it as appearing like a tiny dragon's tooth from the game Dark Souls, except it is pink and phallus-shaped.

The male's testes and epididymis are small, but they are visible when the tail is gently lifted, so that you can make gender determinations. The scrotum is covered with hair; again, this is unusual among most domesticated species.

The penis is also kept sheathed for protection, and is visible outside the sheath only during sexual arousal. It has small keratinous projections, which are often called "barbs," that appear when the male kitten is between nine and thirteen weeks old. There are approximately 120 of these barbs in fully developed males, and they are positioned in a backwards-facing row on the phallus. These barbs are fully developed when the kitten is around 8 months, and they are thought to be testosterone-sensitive, disappearing after castration.

Why are they barbed?

It is believed that these barbs play a role in induction of the female's ovulation at the time of mating. Because, unlike human females who ovulate monthly, female cats only ovulate "on demand."

When a female cat "goes into heat" (is ready to mate) her body produces scents that attract males. Mating can occur after an attracted and accepted male becomes fully aroused. During mating after the male ejaculates the semen and sperm, when he begins to withdraw his penis, the backward-facing barbs catch the inside walls of the female's vagina causing her pain. If you have ever heard cats mating, these barbs explain why you hear the female howling as if in pain. There is pain when the sharp barbs make contact with the female's sensitive vagina. This pain during mating is currently believed to be what triggers ovulation in the female cat to cause an egg to be released.

Cats (Felines)

How do you make cats do what they are told to?

After 8 years of having a very defiant cat and not having it do what I wanted it to do... my cat Sophie, whom which I had when I was 8 (and as 8 year olds go, Sophie didn't like me very much.)

When I turned 16 of course I was a lot calmer (relatively speaking) but the years of poking and prodding didn't make her want to do anything she didn't want to do still...

I read a very interesting book - a reversible book with a guide to Dogs at the back and a Guide to cats at the front and in fact they weren't much disimilar.

I learned you can train a cat the same as you can train a dog, but the difference is you can't make a cat do anything.

The tip? You can make it WANT to do something.

And the idea with the cat is that you have to make it believe it's his/her idea.

How? Well, Sophie is now long gone but in her later years I could get her to imitate me if I wanted her to even miaow!

I've since had many other cats.

I made everything a game, whether it was for discipline reasons or for games - he learned that everything was okay and fun and he had a great respect when I said 'No' to something and silently walk away, then he noticed how the fun stopped and I NEVER had to tell him anything twice.

Show him what it is you want him to do....come out from under, go into, have a look at....anything really. Show or point or rub fingers together and LOOSE PERSISTENCE - do it once or twice and then let him make his mind up.

If he doesn't do it what you want him to do, leave him with the respect you have for his feelings and next time he'll be more intrigued - honestly!

A simple tip? Cat treats - always after the do something right or listen. The trick with this IS persistence - don't get bored you have to be intent!!

Cats are only independent because people believe that's how they are.

More so than a dog of course but they simply don't have as long legs as a dog so dont need a field to burn off excess energy. It doesn't mean they need any less attention, love or affection.

An hour a day, after dinner, before bed or in the morning - spend all the time you can. You'll find it so rewarding.


Cats (Felines)
Cat Health
Cat Behavior

How can you treat your cat if it has a cold?

You should not do anything yourself to treat your cat's cold. Most upper respiratory infections in cats are caused by viruses that are very common in the cat population, so there aren't any medications available even through your veterinarian that will do anything about the infection. In general, antibiotics are a waste of time and money (plus aggravating if your cat doesn't want to cooperate with taking them) because antibiotics are only effective against bacteria.

If the symptoms don't clear up in a few days, if your cat has trouble breathing, if your cat stops eating or drinking for more than 12 hours or if your cat stops using the litter box, you should take your cat to the veterinarian for an examination.

Never, under any circumstances, try to give your sick cat a medication that is intended for humans - you can turn your temporarily sick cat into a very sick or dying cat.

Cats (Felines)
Dog Behavior

Do poodles chase cats?

It depends. No certian breed of a dog chases cats more than other breeds. It depends on the dog's history and experience with cats.

Domestic Dogs
Cats (Felines)
Chipmunks and Squirrels

How many chipmunk years is in one human year?

Chipmunks usually live about 2 to 3 years. So 1 human year is about 30(give or take) Chipmunk years.

Cats (Felines)
Cat Maintenance
Cat Behavior

How do you humanely get rid of a stray cat?

Humane Ways to Deal with a Stray Cat

Ideas from Wiki s contributors:

  • There are many humane ways to keep cats out of an area. One is a "Yard Guard" (or similar electronic device), which emits a high-pitched sound inaudible to humans, but extremely annoying to cats. It will protect a radius of about 200 square feet. For a bigger area, use 2 or more. Since cats develop a "path" they use regularly, they will soon learn to avoid the area.
  • Motion-activated water sprinklers will keep cats out of an area. For either the electronic devices or water sprinklers, simply Internet-search "Yard Guard," "electronic (or sonic) repellents," or "motion-activated water sprinkler," and you will find a variety of options.
  • Natural outdoor repellents can be applied to a garden or a porch area, e.g, orange-scented sprays may help on porch areas, since cats typically do not like the smell of orange. For gardens, natural fertilizers like dried blood (sounds ghastly, I know) work well. They may have a strong smell at first, so be prepared. But I've seen cats encounter the scent and exit quickly. It has to be reapplied after a rain, but once cats learn to avoid the area, you may not have to reapply as often.
  • Do make use of animal control services in your area if you can. They will come up with the most humane solution, bearing in mind the needs of the cat and the needs of the community. Don't let the prospect of the cat being destroyed put you off: Often cat control proves to be better for both cat populations and human residents.
  • The cat could be a lost pet. Put up simple fliers and speak with neighbors. Be sure to ask neighbors if they would be interested in adopting the cat, or fostering it a short while, while you go door to door. Maybe you can solve your problem this way, even if you don't find the owner. Also, list the animal as "found" with all animal agencies in the area. You may find the owner has already reported it as "lost" and is only a phone call away.
  • Check with animal-control authorities. Do they shelter stray cats? Will they pick up stray cats? Do you agree with what they may have to do with the stray cat if they don't find the owner and cannot adopt it? (Some will euthanize the cat; some will find it a barn home; different people might object to either solution, depending on their beliefs.)
  • Get it off the street yourself. Make a quick, free website on Yahoo! or Angelfire, etc., with a photo of the cat and its story. Put an ad in the paper directing readers to the site. Include your email on the website. Attempt to find the cat a home where it will receive veterinary care.
  • Look in the phone book to find a "No kill" shelter (here it is called "Paws"). They rely on contributions to take care of the overwhelming number of strays or lost beloved family pets.
  • Look in the newspaper to see if anyone has reported a cat of that description missing; if so, put out food for it and call the owners right away. Does it have a collar?
  • Call the SPCA; they will either come out, or make recommendations about what to do.
  • Remove any tempting plants or items a cat is attracted to if cats seem especially attracted to your land. If you have a problem with one repetitive cat, just simply take it to a shelter or Animal Control if you don't want to adopt it yourself. Do not just take it in without any adoption papers and a vet checkup!

Handling Feral Cats:

If they're adult ferals, then contact your local feral cat agency, such as "Alley Cat Allies" in the US. They can give you a humane trap, then have the animals fixed and returned. They will usually find an agency that can handle the feeding and responsibility of your local colony, and can also give you brochures with ideas about how to get them out of your gardens and other areas.

Handling Stray Cats:

First, make sure it's not a lost pet. An agency can help you check for microchips and other signs that it was once owned. If an animal "waltzes in" and is not hand-shy, then it's likely it was formerly owned. This is good, as the cat has a great shot at getting adopted again.

If a stray cat is friendly, and you like animals, you should consider finding a safe room in your house where the animal can be socialized and later adopted to a new home. Perhaps one of your friends or coworkers could also handle this, or you can ask a local "No kill" agency if they have "foster" homes.

Handling Your Own Cats:

  • Spay and neuter them, and keep 'em indoors!
  • The only way to end this needless killing of pets, and the nuisance of feral cats, is to encourage any pet owner you know to do the following: Get their animals fixed; keep them indoors; and do not adopt an animal unless they intend to take care of it permanently.
  • I would encourage readers to keep reading online and checking with a variety of reputable books (check your library), veterinarians, animal charities and other people who actually know what they're talking about.
Cats (Felines)

How much do calico cats cost?

Unless you are buying a purebred cat that happens to be calico, calico cats shouldn't cost any more than any other cat. In many cases, you can get kittens, calico and otherwise, for free.

Cats (Felines)

What is a female striped Cat called?

The striped coat is termed "Tabby". The tabby patterning is common on many cats: Dark markings (stripes, swirls, spots) on a paler background. The stripe colour is solid (goes right to the hair root), but the background colour is banded with colour on each individual hair.

A female striped cat would simply be called a Female with Tabby patterning.

Cats (Felines)

How many birds die by cats each year?

The National Audubuon Society says 100 million birds a year fall prey to cats.

Cats (Felines)

What is the analogy answer for spider is to fly as cat is to?

Probably a mouse. You're talking about a predator/prey relationship.

Cats (Felines)
Cat Health
Cat Behavior

Why do cats lick when you scratch their back?

Not all felines will exhibit a licking behavior when their back is being scratched.

The licking behavior, while common, is more of an individualistic behavior, and most likely a grooming response. When the cats back is being scratched, the cat feels something similar to self grooming or grooming from another cat, and some will lick the air in time with the stroking.

Licking in response to stroking or scratching is not necessarily a species wide behavior however, and not all cats will react similarly.

A response that is very close to being species wide is the movement when the base of their tail is scratched. Most cats will stiffen the legs and tail, raising their posterior high on straightened legs and many will additionally appear to point their lower jaw, stiffen the neck and turn their head toward their back. Most experts suggest that cats enjoy having the base of their tail scratched... 1.) Because it is sexually stimulating, and 2.) because this is an area inhabited by fleas and scratching there relieves an itch. I suspect that both may be factual.

It is not advisable to attempt this scratching on a cat you are not very familiar with, as some will be inclined to bite when the base of their tail is scratched; especially if the scratching is done a bit too aggressively.

Cats (Felines)
Cat Health
Cat Behavior

Is friskies or whiskas better for kittens?

Neither. Both brands are incredibly low quality. Both the dry food is packed with grains and cereals that offer no nutritional value whatsoever to a cat or kitten, and both dry and wet of both Friskies and Whiskas have a very low meat quality and content. The ingredients of Whiskas in particular, are very unclear on what exactly is in the food.

Kittens and cats are strict carnivores. They get all their nutritional needs from meat. Kittens in particular, need a lot of Protein and Fat in order to grow and develop in a healthy manner. Kittens need twice as much Protein as an adult cat does. Feeding a low quality food means the kitten has to eat more food in order to get all the nutrients it needs.

The best cat foods are the ones with a very high meat content (labelled as Chicken, Turkey, Tuna, etc.) as the first ingredient. Be sure to keep away from Ingredients such as grain, corn, wheat gluten, various sugars as they serve no nutritional value to the cat whatsoever. Corns and grains pack the food with carbohydrates, which is essentially cheap filler. Cats are not designed to digest such a high number of carbohydrate (they only need 3-4% of their daily intake).

For high-quality Cat food there is: Blue Buffalo, Felidae, Weruva, California Natural, Instinct, Prairie, Natural Balance, Eagle Pack, Wellness, EVO, Grau, Animonda Carny, Bozita, HiLife, Feline Fayre, to name a few.


If you switch to a high quality food, your cats will eat less and poop less! Since switching to Blue Buffalo, our cats' fur is shinier, they are more playful, they don't poop as much and they aren't obese. Buy the highest quality food you can afford. Blue Buffalo is $3 a pound for the dry food, but worth it.

Cats (Felines)
Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species
Wild Cats

Are sand cats endangered species?

They are near the threat level. This means that it is in the middle.

Cats (Felines)
Cat Behavior
Mice and Rats

Why do cats play with mice before they kill them?

Sometimes it may appear as if cats are playing with their prey, or in this case mice. And sometimes they are. However, most often they are actually making sure their prey can't hurt them, so they are stunning their prey before giving it the killing bite. The killing bite requires a swift bite to the throat, but this exposes the cat's neck and belly to the prey. To avoid possible injury, they "play" with their prey.

Cats (Felines)

What species are cats from?

The species name for the Domestic Cat is Felis catus.

Cats (Felines)

My cat has swollen right side of face?

go to the vet and check your cat out and hopefully they can do something about your cat. I just adore cats! They are sso cute and I have 2 of them!

Cats (Felines)
Cat Health

How many litters can a cat have in a cats lifetime?

Cats often come into heat every couple of weeks, with a gestation period of around 63 days. A Queen will often come back into heat when the kittens are weaned (around six to eight weeks). So, a female cat can have many, many litters during her lifetime.


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