A cat who feels comfortable in your apartment: Colloquially, all cats that are not outdoors are referred to as house cats. In fact, domestic cats are a kind of cat breed in their own right. Domestic cats even prefer to be outdoors than indoors.
Domestic cats are the pet version of the wild cats. This cat breed includes all kitties that do not belong to any cat breed created through targeted breeding. More precisely, the “house cats” are not pedigree cats, but all cats that do not belong to any breed.
Pedigree cats are characterized by the fact that they meet certain external requirements. They even have to meet these requirements in order to be able to be assigned to an exact race. In breeding, careful attention is paid to size, weight, coat color and length and much more so that the cats can be assigned to the desired cat breed. Special breed associations have precisely defined what distinguishes the Ragdoll, Siamese or Main Coon. It looks different with the house cat.
The wildcat is allowed to look and behave as it wants. In terms of coat color and length as well as body size and weight, domestic cats therefore have a great variety. Although a few average values can be determined, overall a house cat cannot be nailed to a velvety black fur or its length of 40 cm, as is the case with pedigree cats. The character of a house cat also remains a surprise. Calm, playful, energetic, cuddly or even wild and impetuous: the nature of the house cat depends on its ancestry, its origin and its upbringing.
Origin and Breed History
Wildcats became pets: This is how the history of all pedigree cats and breeds began. The fact that cats became human pets did not happen – as is mistakenly assumed – in Egypt, but on the northern edge of the Syrian Desert. This area, the so-called “Fertile Crescent”, stretches across what is now Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine and Jordan.
On tombs, which were created from the 3rd millennium BC, there are drawings that show the peaceful coexistence of cats and humans. The cats wear a collar in the representations. This fact shows that the wild animals were tamed by humans. At that time, however, the cats were mainly used to hunt mice. In ancient Egypt, however, they were worshiped as sacred animals.
Clear representations of wild cats as house cats can then be found in ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire. In Greece, however, people were still afraid of animals. The ancient Greeks feared black cats in particular. The superstition that black cats brought bad luck had been widespread among the Babylonians as early as 500 BC. In ancient Rome, the animals were kept as real pets for the first time. In Asia, on the other hand, they were at the same time a status symbol for the lucky rich and an important part of religious ceremonies.
Cats lost their reputation as lovable contemporaries again in the Middle Ages. Here they were considered friends of witches, ghosts and demons. From the 10th to the 16th century, cats were hunted worldwide for their fur. The spotted wild cat skins were considered a valuable commodity at the time.
It was only at the time of industrialization that cats turned from farm animals to real pets. This role change was the beginning of cat breeding. There are now more than 30 recognized cat breeds. Nevertheless, the animals have retained their autonomy and independence. Especially in Australia and New Zealand there are still many wild cats that have no relation to humans. You can tell that many house cats are actually wild animals with a hunting instinct.
Appearance of the domestic cat
Since domestic cats do not have to meet strict breed standards, they do not have a uniform appearance. On average, however, the indoor cats are medium-sized and one shorthair cat. Their weight varies from 3 to 8 kg.
The color of fur and eyes cannot be generalized in domestic cats either. All color variations and different patterns are possible for indoor cats. However, house cats with brown-gray tabby fur are particularly common. Their appearance is reminiscent of the appearance of the wild cats. In addition, many indoor cats have a black and white or white and black patterned coat or a reddish tabby coat.
The appearance of the house cat can best be compared with that of the European Shorthair (EKH). The difference between the two types of cats is that the appearance of the European Shorthair is precisely defined as it is a recognized breed of cat. The EKH is big and muscular. Like most house cats, it has a short but very thick coat.
Character and Essence
Tame and cuddly or wild and idiosyncratic: you have to be surprised by the characteristics of a house cat. Your essence stands and falls with your personal development and origin. In cats, the first 2 to 8 weeks in particular are formative for their life and character.
For example, did your house cat grow up with its shy mother in a deserted stray? Then it will be very difficult for her to get rid of her fear and shyness. If your indoor cat grows up as the kitten of two wild strays, you will surely have great difficulties getting it used to the rules in your house. On the other hand, your house cat can develop a very close bond with you if it is shaped and used to people.
However, all domestic cats have one thing in common. In their hearts they are hunters. They love to romp around, to play and especially to hold out in front of a mouse hole.
Husbandry and Nutrition
At first you should definitely decide whether you want to keep the house cat in the apartment or as an outdoor cat. If you give the cat its freedom, it can better pursue its needs and, above all, satisfy its hunting instinct. On the other hand, it is exposed to the dangers of the road. Even if you keep the cat in the apartment, you should definitely give it the opportunity to move around sufficiently. A large garden or balcony can be a play paradise for the cat.
Find out about cat keeping and upbringing in general in advance. Since the cats are often either very shy or very wild, you should know how to get them used to the new surroundings and the new rules.
In addition, every house cat is happy to have enough toys and common play units. Depending on the cat’s energy, you can buy either activity toys for the garden or intelligence-demanding games. You can also get really close to your new cat during a play time together.
As with every pedigree cat, you should ensure that the food is of high quality and rich in ingredients. Which food you choose, however, depends entirely on your cat. On the market you will find special wet and dry food for outdoor cats and some for indoor cats. There is also the option of preparing the food yourself.
Education and Care
Some house cats can be quite naughty and headstrong. But you don’t let yourself be put in a special training school like a dog. You have to get your cat used to the rules of the house yourself. Important points are to convey to the house cat where it can do its business, which areas are taboo and why it should not dig and scratch through your things.
With small rewards, nice words and a lot of patience, raising your house cat is not that difficult. Just be prepared for the fact that – especially with a very shy cat – it will take some time for the animal to get used to your home and to feel comfortable.
Domestic cats should not be pushed to do anything. Show understanding if the kitty doesn’t make herself comfortable on your lap from day one. The indoor cat must first build trust in you, then nothing stands in the way of an intimate bond.
A house cat does not normally need any special care. It is important that you brush the cat’s fur regularly. Depending on the length, the fur of the house cats can be combed more often. Most cats enjoy the brushing procedure anyway.
Health and Typical Diseases
Since the house cat is not a pedigree cat, there is no such thing as breed typical diseases. Of course, domestic cats can also suffer from hereditary diseases. So how good the health of your indoor cat is depends on its ancestry.
Life expectancy of the domestic cat
On average, domestic cats live between 16 and 18 years of age. Of course, the age in each individual case depends on the state of health, living conditions, dispositions and diet. Factors such as obesity or too little exercise have a negative impact on health. Sufficient intellectual support extends the lifespan of domestic cats.
Buy a domestic cat breed
Buying a house cat is different from buying a pedigree cat, as you usually buy the latter from the breeder. Since indoor cats are not bred, the Cat Association does not have a registered breeder from whom you can buy house cats.
Because of this, you should definitely pay attention to a serious brokerage when buying. A house cat can be bought either at the shelter or from a private person. In the animal shelter you can buy cats from a price of 120 euros.
Before buying a house cat, you should be sure that it has been proven to be healthy. Does the cat have a vaccination certificate? Has it been dewormed? In what condition is the mother cat and what kind of living conditions does the house cat come from? These are all questions to be asked of the mediators.
House cats are like a surprise box. But you will certainly not be disappointed. Because no matter whether tame or wild, whether shy or lively: the house cats are curious animals that look forward to getting to know their new home. One of them needs a little more time to get used to it than the other.
Before you decide to buy a house cat, however, you should be aware of this. Your new cat cannot be assigned specific traits and so you have to get to know it yourself. Also, be aware that raising a house cat, depending on its origin, could be a little more difficult than raising a pedigree cat.
But the house cats are very diverse and that is what makes them so special. They cannot be reduced to certain external characteristics and traits. If you are looking for a unique and at the same time natural cat, which still has many similarities to a real wild cat, you are making the right choice with the purchase of a house cat.
Domestic Cat FAQ
House cats live to be around 16 to 18 years old.
That depends on a few factors. As a rule of thumb, even indoor cats 1 – 2 per year should be dewormed or checked for roundworms. For outdoor cats that also hunt or cats that live with dogs, this number can increase up to 12 times a year.
House cats are a collective term for cats that are kept as pets and at the same time do not belong to any special breed.
For the care of a house cat you have to reckon with 30 to 50 euros per month.
A house cat reaches an average weight of 3.5 to 4.5 kg and a length of 45 cm.
On average, a house cat is fully grown from 12 months.
A house cat can live to be 16 to 18 years old if kept well.
Domestic cats do not have a specific breed. Rather, the expression is a collective term for breeds kept as pets that cannot be assigned to a specific breed.
It is best to ask neighbors, post a missing person report with a photo and contact details in the neighborhood and also use social media to spread the search report. It is also important to search basements and garages, as cats often hide there and are accidentally locked up.
For cats, vaccinations against feline flu, feline disease, rabies, leukosis, FIP and chlamydial flu are recommended. Comprehensive immunization is particularly important for outdoor cats. A veterinarian is the best place to go to make recommendations for vaccinating a cat.
The average life expectancy of a house cat is 16 to 18 years.
The ancestors of the house cats come from the Middle East, where they were domesticated. The lineage of domestic cats is over 100,000 years old.
A domestic cat has a life expectancy of 16 to 18 years.
A domestic cat can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
In general, a house cat kept as an indoor cat needs food, vaccinations, a litter box with litter, a scratching post, toys, a transport box, a sleeping pillow and possibly a brush.