We all love our cats and want them to be happy. They bring warmth and joy into our lives and in exchange, we shower them with gifts and treats. We buy our furry friends toys that they can play with, we set up scratching posts for them and we feed them yummy cat food.
It’s not uncommon for pet owners to spoil their beloved cats but the Ancient Egyptians took their affection to a whole new level. Known as “Mau” in Ancient Egypt, cats in Egyptian society were more than just pets, they were considered family members and received utmost care and reverence.
Here are 5 fascinating facts you should know about what life was like for cats in Ancient Egypt:
Cats were worshipped as gods
Cats were considered sacred in Ancient Egypt and were even worshipped as gods. Mafdet, the goddess of justice and execution, was depicted as a strong woman with the head of a lion. She was eventually replaced by Bast or Bastet the cat-headed goddess of protection, motherhood and fertility. A cat cult also began at the start of the New Kingdom and became a prominent religious movement when Shoshenq I built Bubastis, the capital place of worship for Bast. Cats were revered so much in Ancient Egyptian society that killing a cat (even through accidental means) was a considered a crime that was punishable by death.
Cats provided natural pest control
Although cats were domesticated much later than dogs they quickly earned their place in Egyptian society for their pest control capabilities. Egypt was an Agrarian society and so they considered pests a critical problem. Wildcats would roam and naturally kill mice, snakes and other vermin that terrorised the royal granaries. Townspeople revered the cats for keeping the town in order.
Cats were important figures in Egyptian iconography
Cats were immortalised in stone for generations through Egyptian iconography. Women’s chairs were often carved with icons of small cats which symbolised fertility and sexuality. Similarly, lions, although rare, were also considered extremely important in Egyptian iconography. Because of their nature and dominance, these big cats were used to symbolise royalty, power and authority.
Cats were mummified just like noble people
Mummification was an exhaustive and expensive process reserved only for pharaohs and other wealthy members of society. Because of they were revered and loved so much, some cats received the same remarkable burial rites as important members of society. Cat mummification was also performed as a votive offering to the goddess Bast. In 1888, an Egyptian farmer discovered a vast tomb that contained mummified cats and kittens.
Deceased cats had their own mourning ritual
Aside from mummification, cats were also given their own mourning rituals. In fact, when a cat died, the entire family would go into a deep mourning that involved shaving their eyebrows. The deceased cat would then be wrapped up in linen and preserved for a time using spices and cedar oil. When the cat was buried, a provision like milk and rats were included.
Meow for now… Kristian
Cats are fluffy balls of cuteness. Cat owners usually observe how much personality their pets have, they can act like aristocrats gracefully grooming themselves all day long or they can behave like the natural born hunters that they are and play with all kinds of moving things. This last one can get out of hand, though, and it’s not uncommon for kitty owners to feel exasperated when they see a shoe or the sofa in tatters all because their pet cat went full metal scratcher.
Why Does Your Cat Scratch?
Scratching is a natural behaviour of cats. They scratch when they are feeling playful. They scratch when they are stretching out. They scratch when they feel threatened. They scratch in order to mark their territory. Simply put, cats love to scratch. Unfortunately, we don’t love what this scratching does to us and our homes.
Scratching can ruin furniture and clothes. A scratchy kitty could traumatise other household pets and even children. Scratching can leave unsightly marks on our skin and, worst case scenario, the wound could get infected.
But don’t panic! There is a way to properly deal with this common kitty habit. But declawing your pet is not one of the options.
Why You Should Not Declaw Your Cat
Declawing is a permanent surgical procedure that involves amputating the toes of a cat up to the first joint. This method is a harsh and unacceptable way of treating or scratcher. These are the sad things that happen when you declaw your pet cat:
Declawing is irreversible and painful. It is not as simple as trimming a fingernail, it permanently changes the anatomy of your cat. Aside from the physical complications that might result from this procedure, declawing could cause behavioural and emotional problems in your pet. Imagine yourself being permanently injured and unable to function the way you used to. This is how distressing and traumatising this surgical procedure can be to your pet cat.
Balancing and Waking Becomes Difficult
Your cat’s claws are an important part of her anatomy. It helps with balance, movement and her day to day survival. Declawing your cat could lead to secondary contracture of the tendons. In simple terms, being declawed could interfere with her ability to walk and balance herself. Because the last joint of her paws has been removed, your cat might transfer more of her weight on her hindquarters causing her to be out of balance.
Cats rely on her claws to protect herself from threats like bigger animals and declawing leaves her defenceless to these dangers in the environment. Without her claws, your pet will feel insecure and distressed and these emotional disturbances could result in stressful behaviours like peeing in different places around the house and even hostility towards humans.
What You Can Do Instead
There are more effective ways to deal with your cat’s scratchy habits without resorting to declawing. Here are some of them:
- Put up a variety of scratching posts around the house
- Regularly trim your cat’s nails
- Discourage scratching by clapping your hands or squirting your cat with water when he attempts to scratch
- Protect objects and furniture with runners and other covers to discourage scratching
Meow for now… Kristian
What would our lives be without cats? If you have a feline friend at home you’ll know just how much personality they have. With their fluffy cuteness and quirks, it’s not hard to see why these animals have found a place not just in the hearts of pet lovers but in pop culture as well. There are dozens of movies out there that celebrate and capture the quirks of our beloved feline friends.
If you love cats, you’ll love this list of 4 movies that feature iconic cats. These are all appropriate for all ages you can enjoy these with the whole family:
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
We are all familiar with the story of the young girl who fell into a rabbit hole and found herself in a weird and wonderful world. Alice in Wonderland would not have been complete without the enigmatic presence of the Cheshire Cat. Perhaps one of the most iconic cat characters in an animated film, the Cheshire Cat is notable for its purple and violet striped coat and legendary grin. The famous “We’re all mad here…” quote is also uttered by this fluffy and mysterious creature.
Watch this is if: You’re a fan of Disney, psychedelia and out-of-this-world stories
Puss in Boots (2011)
Puss in Boots follows the eponymous cat on a quest to stop two outlaws who have in their possession magic beans that are a key to a great fortune. Puss is loosely based on a character from a 17th-century European fairy tale but the movie itself is a spin-off of the equally hilarious Shrek movie franchise. The film features a star-studded cast of voice actors including Antonio Banderas in the titular role, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris.
Watch this if: You love funny movies, Byronic heroes and famous Hollywood actors doing quirky voice acting roles.
Lion King (1994)
Let’s not forget that our beloved household pets belong to the same family tree as the big cats of the wild and this beloved Disney favourite will remind us of that. The Lion King follows Simba, a young lion, on a transformative quest to reclaim his rightful place in the Pride Lands. This epic animated musical is one of the unforgettable films produced in what is known as the Disney Renaissance, a time in which the film study experienced a notable creative resurgence.
Watch this if: You love legendary Disney movies and big cats with equally big personalities.
Homeward Bound (1993)
A heartwarming movie that your whole family will enjoy, Homeward Bound follows the journey of three pets: Shadow, a Golden Retriever, Chance, an American bulldog and Sassy, a Himalayan Cat. These three become separated from their owners and must make their way through mountains and plains in order to find their way back home. Filled with humour and comedic antics, this film wouldn’t be complete with the witty and smart-mouthed antics of Sassy.
Watch this if: You love family-friendly movies with real-life animals embarking on great adventures.
What other movies would you add to this list?
Meow for now… Kristian
The heat’s beating down. Cat hair is strewn all over your furniture and every part of your home. You know it’s natural for their species to shed but it’s driving you nuts. Plus, worrying about your feline’s body temperature doesn’t help you from controlling that want to just pick up a razor and get it over with.
So what’s stopping you? We know, the thought that shaving them yourself might end up with more problems. So, should you?
To Shave My Cat or Not To Shave
Technically, it’s not recommended. Why? Their fur is designed to regulate their body heat. It helps to keep themselves cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Shaving them leaves them more vulnerable to temperature.
Helping them stay hydrated with access to cool water and shaded areas is still a must, though but shaving increases the chances of overheating instead of reducing them. If you do think they’re overheating, take them to a veterinarian immediately. You’ll know if they’re panting heavily, vomiting, sluggish, stumbling, drooling, and the heart is beating much faster.
Proper Cat Grooming
The cats would also be moving around a lot while you’re trying to shave their fur which adds an extra challenge. Their skin isn’t smooth so trying to get the fur off in the middle of their wriggling will certainly be difficult for untrained hands.
You’ll risk hurting them and yourself, even with the help of other people trying to keep the cat still. If others are present, you could injure them, too.
There are also sensitive areas where you shouldn’t cut fur or risk doing on your own. The ankles and the paws are more sensitive so a trim in these areas would hurt them more. Then there’s the butt, the tail, and around the neck. Did we mention cats have nipples, too? That’s another thing you have to watch out for when shaving near that area.
If shedding is your concern, know that all healthy cats shed. What you can do to keep them from getting matted is brushing them regularly. Taking them to a professional groomer for the sanitary trim. No one is put in danger and you’re assured they come out adorable.
Style Your Kitty in Other Ways
That lion cut isn’t worth it. If you want to pump up their style, get them a better collar, ID tag, even get them new furniture and toys but avoid handling the scissors and the clippers at all costs. You can seek advice from your vet about how to handle their fur.
There are special occasions when the vet would require a shave-down but these are purely for medical reasons. Other than that, shaving isn’t necessary and should be avoided at all costs. This also means the cat would have to be thoroughly looked over before shaving would be recommended.
For better fur quality, watch the food they eat and make sure it gives them proper nutrition. Some foods might not make them sick but excessive consumption would lessen the production of natural oils and dry their skin.
If you insist on shaving your cat, you can. However, you need to always keep them cool and monitor their sun exposure. So you know they always stay cool, other than leaving out water, you can make ice blocks and other frozen treats.
Meow for now… Kristian
The coming of spring puts an end to the longing for the sun and an end to the suffering from the cold winter snow. Chances are your kitty has this longing too.
By the dawning of winter, you’re likely to notice a slight or significant change in your kitty’s behaviour or physical appearance. Don’t worry, your kitty is not going to transform into an abominable beast. There is only the huge chance that kitty is experiencing Spring Fever.
By definition, spring fever is a feeling of restlessness and excitement at the start of spring. And, these are the indicators that your kitty has caught it.
- The Early Riser
Think of an alarm clock with a life of its own because your kitty will get up earlier than normal. And when you wake up, you’ll find your kitty playing with your toes. It will seem as if your pet will stop at nothing to until you’re fully awoken and ready to play.
- The Window-Gazer
Staring for long hours in the window indicates that your cat is begging for spring to come. As some animals start to come out from migration, your kitty too can’t way to show them who’s the king of the streets. Until then, the window will be their go-to-place as they count the squirrels that pass in the hope that they may once again roam the outside.
- The SunGrazer
Kitties love sunbathing. Take that away from them and you do for a paw in the face. As an answer to the problem of experiencing lesser days under the sun, they can become an Olaf in the winter seeking warm hugs and blankets. If the sun is up, open your curtains and let their rays of joy inside the house.
- The Can’t-Stay-Put-Kitty
Like a kid waking up on Christmas morning, kitties that have the spring fever cannot stay put. They’ll be running, jumping and wrestling in the house for hours up until night. And some vases and utensils may need replacing as they drive you crazy at the end of the day. They’re just full of energy.
The best way to minimize their wild behaviour during this phase is to play indoor games like a laser pointer or fetch.
- The Mating Singer
It may not be as good and well-versed as the musical Cats, but it’s singing alright. When your kitty is in the heat of the fever, the drive for mating will be as loud as a human baby. If you have a female kitty, she’ll definitely be selling herself by the window for male cats stalking in your yard. If he’s a male, this is the best time to get him spayed.
- It Gets Bigger!
Growing is the most common symptom of this fever. It’ll be hard not to notice because they grow in spurts.
With all the symptoms present, it’s a sign that spring is coming. And when it does, do take time to make up for the longing your kitty went through from winter. It’s time to play!
Meow for now… Kristian