The Ancient Egyptians were the first to keep and use cats to help get rid of rodents and other pests and to protect stores of food.
In Ancient Egypt, the cat was worshipped as a god or goddess, if anyone killed a cat they were given the death penalty, such was the high regard given to the cat. Mummified cats have been found in some of the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians.
Kittens are cute and playful, with soft tummies and big eyes, beware their little needle like teeth and claws, they do learn not to use them but before they do they can hurt. Always ensure you clean any bites and scratches with an antiseptic, as their mouths and claws are full of bugs not designed for our bodies.
They are fun to watch, they enjoy running around chasing a little toy or sometimes a beam of light. Kittens are curious and will climb up curtains, and a Christmas tree is an invitation to cause havoc.
When it comes to affection, with cats it is strictly on their terms, but they can be very loving. It has been proven that stroking a cat has a calming effect and reduces stress, there is nothing nicer than sitting down with a cat on your lap that is purring with contentment. If you are unwell your cat will know and usually they will stay with you and try and provide comfort in their own way.
You don’t need a lot of space for your cat, and they are quite happy to live in a flat provided they have a window to look out of as they love watching the world go by, and a source of heat -cats love to sit on or have a basket next to a radiator.
Your pet will bring you ‘presents’ of dead mice, shrews, and unfortunately the occasional bird (try having a collar with a bell on to warn birds of your cats’ stealthy approach).
Cat fur is soft, but you will find it gets everywhere, your clothes, furniture and any material, cat hair has a way of weaving itself into it. Some breeds of cat need to be brushed -most of them love it.
Unlike dogs, you don’t have to take them out for walks, they exercise themselves. Make sure you have a few toys for them and a scratching pole, they love to sharpen their claws and it is much better if they have a designated post, otherwise you might find some of your furniture gets used and spoiled.
Cats are relatively low maintenance, if you have a litter tray/box this must be cleaned regularly. Cats do need regular feeding and having fresh water available. They clean themselves, so you don’t have to give them a bath. If you want to go away for a weekend perhaps a neighbour could ‘pop -in’ and feed and water your pet. If going away for longer perhaps a local cattery would be better.
They still need to be wormed, and treatment for fleas and ticks is needed on a regular basis, there will be the occasional visit to a vet if your pet becomes unwell or is in an accident. It is a good idea to take out an insurance for such things.
Before you go ahead and get a cat or kitten make sure that nobody in your household is allergic to cat hair, it would be a shame to bring a new pet into your house if after a few weeks you had to get rid of it because it caused a member of the household health problems. If, however, all is well make sure you get your new pet through a reputable source, your cat or kitten should have a clear nose and bright shiny eyes.
You might have to keep your new pet in your home for a couple of weeks before you let them out, so they know where home is. Once you have your new pet enjoy the pleasure they bring, and laughter they will cause with their cute antics.