A Few More Istanbul Cat Photos
As for my trip, I met, petted and cuddled with many a cat during my weeks in Istanbul. As a celiac, I cant eat wheat flour and breads in Turkey were off limits. But the platters of meat were giant-sized and I couldnt finish them off. Trying to communicate my allergy was laughably impossible, so I would instead order the sandwich, grab a fork to the confusion of the restaurants staff and eat only the meat and vegetables. But what to do with the meat-soaked bread? Why, give it to the cats, of course!
They were confused.
From cats that look like dictators..
to adorable kittens in boxes around town, the history of Istanbul is not complete without considering a feline presence and;they are firmly wrapped up in my memories of the city.
As my guesthouse noted when I departed last month we look forward to welcoming you back to Istanbul and the cats will too.
Cats Travel The World
Cats formed a mutually beneficial relationship with people, and some scientists argue that cats domesticated themselves.2 Especially prized as mousers on ships, cats traveled with people around the globe:
- A burial site in Cyprus provides the first archaeological evidence of humans and cats living side-by-side, as far back as 9,500 years ago. Cats must have been brought to the island intentionally by humans.3
- In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped, mummified, and sometimes even dressed in golden jewelry to indicate the status of their owners.
- In 31 BC, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire. Cats were introduced into Roman life, becoming truly widespread in Europe around the 4th century AD.4 A cat skeleton from this period shows the shortened skull of domestic cats today.5
- Geoffrey Chaucer mentioned a cat door in The Canterbury Tales in the 1380s.
- From Europe, cats boarded ships to the Americas, reportedly tagging along with Christopher Columbus, with the settlers at Jamestown, and aboard the Mayflower.
- Cats continued their service as mousers throughout history, even serving as official employees of the United States Postal Service as late as 19th and early 20th century America.6
- Towards the end of the 19th century, more Americans began to keep cats for their company as well as their utility. The first cat show was held at Madison Square Garden in 1895. By the end of World War I, cats were commonly accepted as house pets in the U.S.
Many Big Cat Species Are Endangered
Big cat populations are declining all over the planet due to illegal wildlife trade, hunting, poaching, habitat loss and the loss of prey. Many big cats are listed as Critically Endangered or Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. When a species is endangered, it means it is at risk of extinction . This list of big cats includes a brief description of each of the largest wild cats and its conservation status.
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Population Distribution Of Wild Cats
Wild cats can be found all over the world, though most people associate wild cats with Africa. This is because some of the most notorious wild cats are from Africa, such as Lions. Even though Africa is associated most commonly with wild cats, you can find them all across the globe.
You can find wild cats on nearly every continent, including Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Australia, and Africa. You can even find them in Antarctica and the Arctic. With that being said, many islands, Australia, and the Poles only have wild cats because they were brought by humans. In fact, many people wonder if the Americas only have cats due to settlers long ago.
Because of settlers, though, you can find cats everywhere around the globe today. Africa, for example, has some of the oldest cats in the world and they are home to both large and small cat varieties. Similarly, Asia has a very long cat history, and they are home to the largest cats, the Siberian Tiger.
Wild cats are native to Europe too, but Europe is only home to modern small cat varieties, such as the Scottish Wild cat or Eurasian Lynx. Shockingly, larger cat breeds used to roam Europe as well.
North America and South America, however, have both small and large cat varieties, though their large cats are not as big as those found in Asia or Africa. Still, the largest living cat in the world can be found in Florida. It is a Liger named Hercules.
Feral And Domestic Cats
There are many factors to consider before determining the exact number of cats living around the world. One would be, whether were adding feral cats to the equation. While collecting data on domestic cats from most places might prove easy and trustworthy, there are millions of cats living their lives out in the streets, fields, and as far as possible from human interactions.;
Many researchers suggest that excluding feral cats all together can become tricky since many cats hold an uncertain status, between wild and domestic cats.;
Feral cats were once domesticated, but at some point, they were either abandoned, lost or they simply chose freedom. First-generation feral cats are referred to as strays and are usually found in urban habitats.;
Because of their wild nature, its really hard to know the true number of feral cats and most humans are oblivious to the real number of feral cats living in their area, because of their reclusive nature. Feral cat births arent always regulated, and their life expectancy is usually 2 to 3 years. But other than that, there doesnt seem to be a huge difference between feral cats and wild cats.
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Cats Are Part Of Our Environment
In the thousands of years that cats have lived alongside people, indoor-only cats have only become common in the last 60 or 70 yearsa negligible amount of time on an evolutionary scale.
Throughout human history, cats have always lived and thrived outside. It is only recently that we have begun to introduce reproduction control like spaying and neutering to bring them indoors. And also, bring the outdoors to them: using canned food and litter boxes to satisfy biological needs developed over thousands of years of living outdoors.
Although human civilization and domestic cats co-evolved side by side, the feral cat population was not created by humans. Cats have lived outdoors for a long timethey are not new to the environment and they didnt simply originate from lost pets or negligent pet owners. Instead, they have a place in the natural landscape.
Feral cats deserve a chance to live their lives outside just as they have for thousands of years.; Indoor homes are not an option because they have not been socialized to live with humans. They would be scared and unhappy indoors. Their home is the outdoors andjust like squirrels, raccoons, and birdstheyre well suited to their outdoor home.
Accepting and acknowledging this simple reality is key to understanding and helping these animals. TNR is an act of compassion society can extend to them.
Through TNR, we further help cats by spaying and neutering them and having them vaccinated.
% Of Cat Owners Who Sleep With Their Pets Are Satisfied With Their Sleep
Cuddling with pets isnt only cute, but it also improves our sleep. Moreover, 76% of people who sleep with their pets feel loved, 68% feel comfortable, and 61% feel connected.
When it comes to dogs vs. cats statistics, cat owners are the ones to share a blanket or a pillow with their pet more often.
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Facts About Pet Ownership In The Us:
- It’s estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 44% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 35% have a cat. )
- Approximately 40% of dog owners and 46% of cat owners learned about their pet through word of mouth.;
- According to the APPA, these are the most common sources from which primary methods cats and dogs are obtained as pets :
;APPA reports that 34% of dogs are purchased from breeders, while 23% of dogs and 31% of cats are obtained from an animal shelter or humane society.
Around 27% of cats are acquired as strays, down from 35% in 2012.
According to the ASPCAs National Rehoming Survey, pet problems are the most common reason that owners rehome their pet, accounting for 47% of rehomed dogs and 42% of rehomed cats. ;Pet problems were defined as problematic behaviors, aggressive behaviors, grew larger than expected, or health problems owner couldnt handle.
The preceding data are ASPCA estimates unless otherwise indicated.
Catering To Cats: Inventing The Indoor Cat
Keeping cats indoors all the time was not possiblenor was it even a goaluntil several important 20th century innovations: refrigeration, kitty litter, and the prevalence of spaying and neutering.
Even though these changes to our modern lifestyle make keeping cats inside possible, biologically, cats are the same as they were thousands of years ago. Their role in our society has evolved and broadened over the last hundred years, but their basic behaviors and needs havent changed.
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Dog Population In The World
The first thing that comes to our mind when we think about canines is the picture of a pet dog. It is not surprising, as pups are by far the most popular type of pets. But did you know that pets make up only the small part of the worlds total canine population?
It is rather hard to estimate how many dogs there are in the world today. That is because a vast number of them live as free-range pups, and the figures cant be determined accurately. According to the most recent estimations, there are approximately 900 million pooches around the globe.
Some of these roam the streets of towns and villages freely or live as wild dogs, others are domesticated and used as working pups or simply enjoy the happy and pampered life of companion dogs. We will provide an overview of important numbers when it comes to all the pooches living in the world today.
Global Population Of Free
Canines that do not have a home and are not owned by people are referred to as free-range pooches. They are the most numerous group, estimated to make up between 75% and 85% of all dogs. It is possible to distinguish between several subcategories of free-range pups, including wild, feral, stray, city, and village ones.
According to data provided by the WHO, there are 200 million stray dogs in total. Unlike feral pooches that have not been socialized and are not used to any contact with people, stray dogs have, at some point, been through the socialization process.
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Kitty Litter Saved The Cats
As much as we love our kitty companions and we tend to keep them inside our homes, its important to understand that cats were primarily kept outdoors and on farms where they worked to keep the house and land free from rodents. The biggest shift in this dynamic came during the 1940s, when cat litter was invented.;
In 1985, the number of housecats exceeded the number of cats, thanks to the constant development of cat litter, which eliminated the unpleasant odor of cat urine. In addition to litter cats are small animals and they can live in smaller spaces which made it easier for city people to keep cats inside their apartment.
Basically, weve got to thank cat litter for making it possible to keep cats inside our homes and closer to our hearts.
How Many Pets Die From Food Poisoning In America
According to the FDA more than 70 pets that have died and more than 80 pets that are sick after eating Sportmix pet food. This comes at the beginning of 2021, hopefully this number won’t increase but we will keep it updated.
- In;2021 alone, more than;70 pets have died from being poisoned by eating pet food.;;
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Not All Idyllic For Felines In Turkey
Of course, its not a purely idyllic life for the animals of Istanbul.
As I already mentioned, walking the poorer parts of town will open your eyes to the less fortunate of ;Istanbuls strays. Catfights in the dead of night are quite common and there are problems with the sheer volume of the strays in town .;Furthermore, until 2004 there was no formal animal welfare law in place, and even with;the current law offenders are only subject to fines.
And as;this article about dogs in Istanbul notes, canines are treated with much less affection and care, although that is starting to change. An October 2019 article from the New York Times quotes an Istanbul dentist who notes that municipalities around Turkey poisoned dogs in the late 90s and early 2000s. According to the article, things changed because the killings of dogs finally provoked demonstrations and public pressure, assisted by the rise of access to the internet, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
In positive news, however, Turkey introduced a new law that would make it a crime punishable by jail time to mistreat, torture or leave animals without food or water. The law is in its infancy right now, but those interested in supporting it can go and sign this online petition. It will be interesting to see how, if passed, the rule will be enforced.
Per the New York Times piece, animal welfare has become a political issue:
African And Asiatic Wildcat
After some recent taxonomic changes, the wildcat species have been separated into the African and Asiatic wildcat, and the European wildcat. I saw the African wild cat at Kapama Reserve, near Kruger National Park in South Africa.;Kafue National Park in Zambia has been suggested as a good spot for the wildcat.
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How Many Breeds Are There
Finding out how many cat breeds exist in the world depends on where you look for your information. International cat registries and other organizations all list different qualifications for the breeds they accept, and the total number varies among themthough there are far fewer recognized cat breeds than there are dog breeds. While Encyclopedia Britannica only lists fifteen cat breeds, The International Cat Association, the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats, recognizes seventy-one different kinds. Many other well-recognized registries and associations tend to fall between those two numbers.
For example, The Cat Fanciers’ Association , the largest American cat registration body, recognizes forty-four different breeds as of 2018. Fédération Internationale Féline, with member organizations in forty countries, recognizes forty-eight breeds broken down into four categories.
There are a few reasons why various associations qualify cat breeds differently. The simplest reason is the overall classification. Some registries won’t consider non-pedigreed cats that don’t have their parents’ names and breeds traced back a certain number of generations. Additionally, some associations include multiple types of cats in one classification, while others separate them into their own categories. For example, the
So, how many cat breeds are there? There’s no single determined number just one more piece of evidence that cats like to follow their own rules.
Infections Transmitted From Cats To Humans
Cats can be infected or infested with viruses, bacteria, fungus, protozoans, arthropods or worms that can transmit diseases to humans. In some cases, the cat exhibits no symptoms of the disease, However, the same disease can then become evident in a human. The likelihood that a person will become diseased depends on the age and immune status of the person. Humans who have cats living in their home or in close association are more likely to become infected, however, those who do not keep cats as pets might also acquire infections from cat feces and parasites exiting the cat’s body. Some of the infections of most concern include salmonella, cat-scratch disease and toxoplasmosis.
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Effects On Human Health
Because of their small size, domesticated house cats pose little physical danger to adult humans. However, in the USA cats inflict about 400,000 bites per year. This number represents about one in ten of all animal bites. Many cat bites will become infected, sometimes with serious consequences such as cat-scratch disease, or, more rarely, rabies. Cats may possibly also pose a danger to pregnant women and immunosuppressed individuals, since their feces, in rare cases, can transmit toxoplasmosis. A large percentage of cats are infected with this parasite, with infection rates ranging from around 40 to 60% in both domestic and stray cats worldwide. Research indicates a correlation between the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which sexually reproduces exclusively in cats, and numerous human psychiatric conditions, including OCD. The compulsive hoarding of cats, a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder , has long been associated with “crazy cat ladies“.
As well as posing health risks, interactions with cats may improve health and reduce physical responses to stress: for example the presence of cats may moderate increased blood pressure. Cat ownership may also improve psychological health by providing emotional support and dispelling feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness.:2356 Their ability to provide companionship and friendship are common reasons given for owning a cat.