Domestic Cat

The house cat is the Germans’ favorite pet. But strictly speaking, we still know very little about her. For a long time, she was a stepchild in research. It is said again and again that a house cat – in contrast to a dog – cannot develop a personal relationship with humans. Cat lovers know very well that their darlings build a close personal bond and are very good at differentiating between individual people.

Origin and Breed History

The first study was published in March 2017, which seems to scientifically confirm such experiences of cat lovers. The origin of our house cat is clear today. It does not come from the European wildcat living in our latitudes. Their ancestors lived in northern Africa, the Middle East, and the Caspian Sea as well as on Sardinia and Corsica. It is the African wildcat or black cat, scientifically called “Felis silvestris lybica”. The black cat was probably looking for the proximity of people who had just settled down almost 10,000 years ago.

With the introduction of arable farming, storage facilities became necessary. And where there are supplies, mice are not far away either. The ideal food for a black cat. A process of rapprochement based on mutual benefit developed. The black cat lost some of its shyness of humans and humans appreciated the cat’s services.

In ancient times, and especially in ancient Egypt, the cat was worshiped like a goddess and is preserved for posterity in thousands of mummies. Without the help of the cat, there would have been many more famines. Ancient Egypt knew this better than we do today, and so cats were treated with the greatest respect. The falcon cat, which had already become a house cat, came to Europe with agriculture. Like a house cat on the farms, however, it always retained a bit of wildness. She lived with the people but not with them. It is only recently that the domestic cat has conquered the homes of large cities and has turned from domestic animals to pets and human beings as well.

11.5 million domestic cats, including pedigree cats, populate Germany today. The domestic cat as an indispensable guardian of the grain store from mice became an economic factor as a consumer. Every year in Germany alone 3.3 billion euros are spent on cat food, scratching posts, and other utensils. For many people, their cat has become one of the most important social contacts.

The social life of domestic cats among each other has hardly been researched. However, it has at least one, if only in phases. This is in contrast to their relative, the European wildcat. This is a tough, aloof loner and has a completely different way of hunting. She is extremely shy of people and is not considered to be tamable. All of this has probably led to the fact that domestic and wild cats have hardly ever mixed in our latitudes over the years. The offspring of the wild black cat became the domesticated and highly valued house tiger of today’s humans. The so-called pedigree cats have been formed from the house cat and its regional peculiarities for almost a hundred years. New ones are constantly being created. Depending on how they are counted, there are now around 60 different breeds, 48 ​​of which are recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline.


We see the house cat in many shapes and colors. On average, their bodies are fifty centimeters long and four kilograms in weight. But that’s just the average. Their weight can vary between three and eight kilograms without the 8-kg cat having to be overweight. This is a consequence of adapting to the different conditions of nutrition, climate, and competition, depending on where she lives. Males are usually bigger, stronger, and have bigger heads. The cat’s tail is about 10 to 12 inches long. The length of the fur varies from short to – rather seldom – medium-long. The long hair of some pedigree cats is due to a genetic mutation that is naturally lost in freely mating cats.

When it comes to coating colors, we see almost all variants: pure black with or without a mark, wild-colored mackerel and so for the layman hardly distinguishable from a wild cat, right up to the three-colored house cats. Only pure white is hardly ever seen. Here, too, nature seems to ensure that features that are often associated with defective genes and cause physical damage – often numbness and eye diseases in pure white – cannot be retained. You can tell by looking at a cat that it is a nimble, extremely agile hunter with extremely sharp senses. Your eyes have a vertical, slit-shaped pupil that becomes large and round when excited. A cat’s ability to see at night is literally proverbial.

Temperament and Essence

The nature of a house cat depends heavily on its individual development. There are more or less wild domestic cats and just as cuddly tame house cats with close ties to their people. How tame your house cat depends on many factors. It starts with their parentage. If the parents were wild strays and the cat gave birth and raised their puppies in a hiding place, the starting position is bad. In the first 2 to 8 weeks there is an imprinting phase for the kittens. This is where the course is set. If the puppies find contact with loving people, ideally guided by their mother, they will be trusting for their entire life. If they grow up wild, for example in a barn or a demolished house, and if their mother gives them the fear of people, cats can be shaped to this basic mood for their lives.

Domestic cats can be very affectionate to humans and socialized. They understand their people pretty well. They know very well how to articulate their wishes. There is something to the saying by the writer Kurt Tucholsky “Dogs have masters, cats have staff”. There are divas who can handle the whole family. Domestic cats are essentially still hunters. They love games where they can chase after a “prey” that is coming out of cover. And in real life, house cats continue to prove themselves as mice killers. House cats, like their ancestors, the black cat, are hide hunters. You can wait for hours in front of the mouse hole, perceive every movement with your keen senses, and then strike at lightning speed.


Keeping a house cat is not a problem. She gets along even in the smallest apartment. First, you have to decide whether the cat should be an indoor cat or an outdoor cat. There are good arguments for both. As an outdoor cat, the cat can better meet its needs. At the same time, she is exposed to the risk of perishing in our heavy traffic or on poisonous bait. The topic of castration of the tomcat to prevent uncontrolled reproduction, which then only continues to fill up the animal shelters, should also be considered. Otherwise, all she needs is her litter box, which has to be cleaned every day. A cat needs attention but is respectful and never intrusive. So she is also a play partner for children. Nothing goes against their will as well as anything like that. Domestic cats can be kept individually or together or with other pets such as dogs. It is crucial that everyone gets used to each other early on. Interestingly, the cats are then mostly the dogs’ bosses.


A house cat cannot be raised like a dog. But she adapts to certain rules and has to get used to the fact that the two-legged boss is in the house. The power games are sometimes very subtle on the part of the cat and she always manages to take over the reins. When a cat comes into the house, the first thing to do is to get it used to do business in the designated spot. This is usually not a problem, they naturally bury their legacy. Only particularly dominant specimens do not.

Care and Health

The house cat does not need any special care, so it is sufficient to check and brush the fur from time to time. In old age, you should also keep an eye on your teeth and, if in doubt, consult a veterinarian.

Diseases Typical of the Breed

The normal house cat usually enjoys extremely robust health. In most cases, only vaccination or possibly necessary castration requires a visit to the vet.

Nutrition / Feed

House cats are pure carnivores by nature, but every now and then they eat grass to cleanse their stomachs. House cats can be decidedly picky eaters. Each individual develops their own preferences, which usually remain quite stable. The trade offers countless varieties of cat food that ultimately meet every cat’s taste.

Life Expectancy

Cats living in the house can easily reach an age of 14 to 17 years under protection and expert care by humans. Occasionally, individual specimens can get much older. In contrast, wild specimens die much earlier.

Buy a Domestic Cat

If you want to buy a house cat, you should take a look around the local animal shelters. There is – unfortunately – always a large selection of cats of all ages.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *