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Let's Talk Cats!

October 29 is National Cat Day

Kind News magazine, Oct/Nov 2014

Jimmy Anderson/iStockphoto

Images of spooky black cats may be popping up all around your town this month. But thinking that black cats are scary or bring bad luck is silly. That superstition dates back hundreds of years. But some people still avoid black cats. Animal shelters report that people often ignore them, choosing to adopt a cat of another color instead.

The truth is that all cats—including black ones—can be wonderful pets and bring pleasure to millions of families each year.

Ancient history

Thousands of years ago, Egyptians were among the first to invite cats into their homes. Cats were allowed indoors to catch mice, snakes and rats. But a funny thing happened—people began to love the cats! And the cats began to feel comfortable with people. They also enjoyed the food and shelter that was provided for them. Before long, Egyptians couldn’t live without their furry friends. They even began to worship them!

The popularity of cats gradually spread throughout the Middle East to China and Europe. But during the Middle Ages, cats became a symbol of witchcraft and bad luck in parts of Europe. It took hundreds of years for most people to stop believing the silly superstition.

Popular pets

Fast forward to today and cats have won the hearts of people throughout the world. They are now the most popular pet in the United States.

If your family is ready to adopt a pet, visit an animal shelter. They have cats of all ages, colors and personalities waiting for a home.

If you already have a pet, be a role model for responsible pet ownership

  • iStockphoto

  • Have your cat spayed or neutered.
  • Keep him indoors where he is safe.
  • Have him wear a safety collar with visible identification.
  • Spend time each day playing with your cat to keep him happy and fit.
  • Take him for a checkup with a veterinarian at least once a year.

Did you know?

  • Cats can be trained to walk on a leash.
  • Cats have scent glands on the forehead, cheeks, around the mouth and along the tail. When a cat rubs these areas against an object—or you—a scent is left behind. To other cats the message is clear—this is my property.
  • When a cat is scared, angry or excited, the hairs all over his body—especially along the spine—puff out. This makes him look larger to predators.

Tell us about a special cat in your life! Email us at kindnews@humanesociety.org.

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