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Cats and kittens, an invasive adaptable species - and the most popular house pet on the planet.
Anybody who loves cats has probably been hypnotized by these independent, mischievous, charming and mysterious pets. Unlike dogs, cats seem to choose whom they love, which makes us as owners all the more honored to "parent" them. These little bundles of fur are every bit as enchanting as their adult counterparts – arguably, even more so. The word "kitten" comes from the French word "chitoun," which means "kitten." Ultimately, this evolved to the Middle English "kitoun" before it became the modern word "kitten."
AT WHAT AGE CAN A KITTEN BE OFFERED FOR SALE?
A female cat usually has a litter of 2 to 5 kittens, with a gestational period of 64 to 67 days. When kittens are first born, they are in something called the amnion, a sack that the mother cat bites off and then consumes. They can't defecate or urinate by themselves, nor regulate their body temperatures, so the mother must stimulate them and keep them warm with her own body.
When they're born, their eyes are closed, and they remain "blind" until they are about 10 days old. Even when their eyes are first open, they can't see very well because the retina isn't fully developed. At about 10 weeks old, they can see as well as adult cats, making this the youngest age they can be separated from their mother and put up for sale. Continue reading more...
Cats and kittens, an invasive adaptable species - and the most popular house pet on the planet.
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KITTENS AND CATS FOR SALE, ALL CAT BREEDS
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Cat Classifieds, find 74 Cat Breeds and 188 ads of kittens for sale.
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During the first weeks of life, until about their seventh or eighth week, it's very important that they stay with the mother. During this time, they develop coordination and strength by "play fighting" with littermates, learning to wash themselves and to "stalk" imaginary game, functions they will need to survive in the wild. As they grow, the mother cat will demonstrate hunting techniques to her young so that they learn how to persevere on their own. If the mother cat is completely domesticated, she will also teach them other behaviors necessary to domestic living, such as using the litter box.
Kittens consume mother's milk until they are about 3 to 4 weeks old, at which time they begin to eat solid food. By the time they are 6 to 8 weeks old, their diets are entirely comprised of solid food, although they may continue to nurse until they're separated from their mothers.
Although it's often recommended that kittens should stay with their mothers until they are at least 12 weeks old, which is important to a kitten's behavioral and social development, kittens sometimes can be separated from their mothers at an earlier age. As an average, breeders and/or catteries will offer kittens for sale at about 3 months old. By the time they are six to seven months old, they are generally sexually mature, and should be spayed or neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancy, unless careful breeding is planned.
YOUR KITTEN’S HEALTH
A kitten’s health is delicate, despite its spry, robust behavior. A kitten should be vaccinated against contagious illnesses like feline calicivirus, feline viral rhinotracheitis and feline panleukopenia. The vaccinations for these disorders are given at 8, 12, and 16 weeks, with an initial vaccination against rabies given at 16 weeks. By the time a kitten is 6 to 7 months old, it should be spayed or neutered if not kept for breeding purposes, although some kittens can be spayed or neutered at seven weeks if necessary. Kittens are generally also wormed for roundworms at about four weeks.
A HISTORY OF THE HOUSE CAT
Cats are among the oldest domesticated animals, having first been kept as pets and even worshipped as godlike figures about 9,500 to 12,000 years ago in the Near East. Today's domestic kitty was probably the product of European and African wildcats, most notably the Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris.
Because even today's domesticated house cat is so independent, experts have said that cats were not domesticated by humans. Rather, cats domesticated themselves. They've been kept as pets, to control vermin, and even worshipped as gods since the times of ancient Egypt. In 2004, a Cyprus archaeological dig revealed that a cat and human had been deliberately buried together, an obvious nod to the cat's domestication and importance to the human relationship originating about 9,500 years ago.
OUR ANCESTORS WORSHIPPED CATS
We as cat owners may admit to worshipping our pets today, but it turns out that in ancient times, cats really were worshipped – as gods. They also had a practical purpose, of course, which was to control vermin within grain storage. Egyptians prized cats so much that if a person deliberately killed a cat, that person was put to death for the offense. As the site at Cyprus shows, cats were routinely placed in graves alongside owners when those owners died. Although the Romans didn't worship cats as gods incarnate, they did see them as symbols of freedom. In the Far East, cats were highly valued because they could protect prized manuscripts from being eaten by rodents.
ERADICATION OF CATS IN THE MIDDLE AGES LED TO EMERGENCE OF THE BLACK PLAGUE
Briefly, cats were demonized in Europe during the Middle Ages, when they were associated with witches and the devil. Unfortunately, they were killed because of this, in a misguided attempt to prevent evil. And indeed, this may have led to the Black Plague, the bubonic plague epidemic, that decimated all of Europe during this time. Cats' natural propensity to kill mice may have in fact been protecting Europe all along. When they were killed off briefly during the Middle Ages, the bubonic plague took hold because cats were no longer around to kill the rodents that spread it.
THE DOMESTICATION OF THE HOUSE CAT
Cat expert Carlos Driscoll states that, despite their independent natures, cats simply and slowly made themselves part of society, thereby encouraging people to take them on as pets. A more placid and friendly disposition overcame a tendency to be wild or aloof, which naturally resulted in the dominance of the modern, amicable, peripherally human-dependent house cat. Today, about 34% of households in the United States keep about 90 million cats as pets.
THE TYPICAL HAUGHTY CAT
While some breeds of cat may display certain personality characteristics, the modern domesticated shorthair or longhair "generic" cat will display a variety of personality characteristics simply because of its varied genetic background. Some cats are very friendly, while others are more standoffish. Most, however, can be very well socialized with humans especially if the mother cats are themselves domesticated and not wild. That said, they are very independent for the most part and will definitely let their owners know who is boss! While they are very intelligent, and may be friendly and incredibly affectionate, most absolutely know their own minds and will not readily obey.
A cat’s independence, however, is precisely the reason a cat is so easy to keep as a pet. If a kitty has been properly trained to use the litter box, you can leave him or her alone with enough food and water, and a clean litter box with no problems. As long as you check on him or her on a daily basis and replenish food and water as needed, cats usually do just fine on their own. Still, most cats are very affectionate and do need regular interaction with humans and other pets.
MAINTAINING YOUR CAT’S HEALTH
Cats are prone to infectious diseases like rabies, feline infectious peritonitis, distemper, and feline leukemia. This is why it's so important to vaccinate early, as described above. Cats should also be spayed or neutered as soon as possible (at least by 6 to 7 months of age) both to prevent unwanted pregnancy and to prevent some reproductive cancers. Indoor cats can live long lives as long as they are cared for properly and get regular veterinary treatment. 15-year lifespans are not unusual.
WHEN BUYING A KITTEN: Buyer Beware of Kitty Mills and Pet Stores . Pets4You.com recommends that you buy kittens from Reputable Breeders who take pride in the health, genetic background and purity of lineage of the kitten you purchase. They will educate you, sell you a wonderful kitten and be available for future questions and assistance for the life of your pet. Many register their breeds with some of the most recognized cat registries and exclusive clubs such as Cat Fanciers Association (CFA); Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe); The International Cat Association (TICA); American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and others. Be sure to contact the breeders on this website for complete, reliable information.
THE MOST POPULAR HOUSE PET ON THE PLANET
Though the scientific study of the human/cat bond is still in its infancy, there are increasing reports of discoveries related to the intriguing connections between human health and interactions with cats. Cats are one of the most popular animals with which we form these interactions. This research paper focuses on whether Cats do play a role in strengthening the human immune system and general well-being.
Researchers observed a mutual social interaction in which both cats and humans signaled to each other when they wanted to pet or be petted. Like our human friends, cats keep track. They were more likely to respond to owners' needs, if their owners had previously responded to theirs. Cats also seem to remember kindnesses and return the favors later. If owners comply with their feline's wishes to interact, then the cat will often comply with the owner's wishes at other times. The cat may also "have an edge in this negotiation," since owners are usually already motivated to establish social contact.
Read more research on cats and kittens.
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