There are many breeds of domestic cats, from long-haired Persians to hairless Sphinx. Why so many? Cats were domesticated, or tamed to be friendly with humans, in Egypt more than 5,000 years ago.
Tamed cats were later brought to Europe, Asia and then North America, where new breeds developed because of the different climate, environment and breeding with different local cats. We now see all sorts of cats like grey tabbies, black cats with white socks, tortoiseshell, orange striped and a lot of different combinations.
Cats who live indoors are much safer than cats who are allowed to go outside. If an indoor cat is cared for responsibly he or she can live to be 20 years or older. By making sure cats have good food, regular veterinary care, a loving family and kept indoors, they will live longer, healthier lives.
Cats communicate in many ways. Besides the different sounds they make like purring, hissing or meowing, they also use different parts of their bodies to tell you if they are happy, scared or angry. Learn more about communicating with your cat on the Humane Society of the United States’ website.