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The More You Know!: Why are Cats the way they are?

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7

Cats. They are adorable cuddly fuzzballs with tiny knives on their feet.

"You wanna fight?!"

“You wanna fight?!”

Cats are as cute as they are strange. Where did they come from? What’s with them sitting in boxes? Whats purring even for? Through the power of science lets figure this out!

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1. Where Did The Domestic Cat Come From?

We used to think modern cats were first domesticated in ancient Egypt but we keep finding more and more evidence that this isn’t the case!

Sarcophagus_of_Prince_Thutmose's_cat_by_Madam_Rafale

The oldest domestic cat fossil ever found was on the Island of Cyprus on the Mediterranean sea and lived 9500 years ago. We know this fossil is a domestic cat by looking at their bones where we can see the cats diet mainly consisted of rodents and those rodents had been eating human grown crops; we also know because Cyprus doesn’t have cat’s as a native species meaning this cat was likely brought over in a boat which is not an easy task if a cat is feral. Finally the cat was buried with a human that we can only assume was it’s owner.

It's hard enough to get a tame cat in a car. Imagine getting a feral cat onto a boat 9500 years ago!

It’s hard enough to get a tame cat in a car. Imagine getting a feral cat onto a boat 9500 years ago!

This still doesn’t answer the question of where did they come from? Why are they SO different from Tigers and Lions? It’s all about evolution. When you look down the line of cat species the house cat split off from jungle cats 25 million years ago with the last common ancestor being Proailurus a small cat not much bigger than the modern house cat.

I want one!

I want one!

2. Why Do These Cute Little Weirdos Sit In Boxes?

It’s cute but… WHY? What purpose does it serve? The answer may surprise you.

LOOK AT HIM!

LOOK AT HIM!

It turns out the answer isn’t too complicated! Cats are incredibly anxious animals and they have this anxiety because of how they hunt in the wild. Cats stalk their prey by hiding in trees or bushes and pouncing when the time is right; you may have watched your cat do this to a toy.

"No one can see me"

“No one can see me”

Despite millions of years of conditioning they still don’t feel safe in the open and so to calm down they hide in boxes. That’s not the only reason. Humans like to live at a comfortable 22 degrees where cats prefer 36 degrees so cats sit in boxes to trap their body heat and warm themselves to a nice temperature (It’s also why they sit in sun rays through your window).

"This is Purrrrfect"

“This is Purrrrfect”

3. What Even Is Purring?

Cat’s purr to show affection but they also do it for many other reasons. You’ve likely heard stories of cats falling insane heights and surviving with only a few broken bones then healing absurdly fast. This is thanks to purring, the frequency of the cats purr is at a perfect frequency to build bone density which can heal bones faster. (NASA is thinking about using technology to replicate cat purring to build bone density in low gravity).

"Captain Space Cat reporting for duty!"

“Captain Space Cat reporting for duty!”

Now you know and the more you know, the more you grow. If you have any questions for me comment them below and I’ll try my best to answer them!

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These are my cats. The white one is Gizmo who accidentally got stuck in the plastic from a water bottle case. The orange one is Tigger who is a moron but he’s MY adorable little moron!

 

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