Legendary charm, silky fur, a mysterious gaze... Over the thousands of years following their domestication, the cat has become a staple companion, illuminating the lives of millions of humans around the world. Their intelligence, robustness and adaptability are certainly to thank for their biological success. Today, more than forty breeds are recognised by feline associations and they all have the common domestic cat as an ancestor.
That said, it is thanks to their diversity that the domestic cat has won the hearts of humans ... even the most hardened!
Key facts about the Domestic shorthair
Life expectancy :
Type of coat :Naked Short Long
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Origins and history
The Felis silvestris lybica cat was reportedly domesticated some 12,000 years to 4,000 years ago. The most early evidence of domestication dates from 9,500 years ago. Cats were reportedly attracted by the mice and other opportunistic animals that benefited from grain storage following early human agriculture. Gradually, the least fearful cats were selected to reproduce. There was not one, but many domestications of the cat, spread over a very long period. This process of domestication took place in the Middle East and North Africa.
Over time, a whole range of shapes, colours and personalities have been formed... to the delight of cat lovers!
Physical characteristics of the Domestic shorthair
Female : Between 9 and 10 in
Male : Between 9 and 10 in
They reach their adult size around the age of 1, but occasionally some females will keep growing until they are 2 and some males until they’re 3 years old.
Female : Between 4 and 9 lb
Male : Between 9 and 11 lb
Males are usually heavier than females. In addition, some hypothesise that in cold environments, feral cats would be heavier than in warm environments, a larger body helps thermoregulation and offers them an evolutionary advantage.
Black / seal, blue / grey-slate, chocolate, lilac / lilac, cinnamon / cinnamon, fawn, white
There is a huge variety of coat colours and patterns, each more endearing than the last.
Type of coat
Long, mid-length, short.
Blue, aquamarine, green, golden yellow, dichroic eyes
Whether you like it in black or white, striped or plain, bushy or flat, practically any type of coat is possible for Moggies! Their cosmopolitan geographical distribution means that this common cat is found in almost all the regions of the world, with the exception of the northern and southern poles. Thus, particular biological traits may vary depending on the habitat of the cat, their living conditions and genetic background.
There are more than forty breeds of domestic cats. Today, the alley cat or moggy is more and more accepted in competitions organised by large feline associations. Note that many household cats may be of mixed breeds or have an ancestor with pedigree.
Popular amongst so many, the common domestic cat is usually very affectionate once they trust the humans around them.
It is suggested to play with your cat daily, as they are very energetic. An interactive game between cat and human serves to build strong bonds with the family.
Moments of rest are crucial for their mental and physical balance. It is important to offer your cat places to hide and observe from a height and even a bed in the sun for their daily dose of sunbathing…
Overall alley cats are curious animals. Contrary to popular belief it is possible to train your cat to behave in a certain manner. Training sessions are a great way of bonding with your cat as well as offering them both mental and physical stimulation.
Fearful / wary of strangers
This characteristic is developed throughout the life of the animal, in particular during the period of socialisation as a kitten. Thus, some individuals are more fearful than others. That said, it is still possible to help fearful cats by letting them discover strangers at their own pace and not imposing unwanted contact.
Many cats are independent and can cope with loneliness. However, it is important to always listen to the needs of your cat. Age, life history and medical conditions are all factors that can influence the independence of an animal.
Behaviour of the Domestic shorthair
Some cats are more talkative than others, but one thing is certain: being attentive to your cat’s communication contributes to the development of this behaviour. However, there are moments when you can completely ignore a your cat’s call, for example in the middle of the night. Thus, the cat learns to modulate their meows according to the context and time of the day.
Need for exercise / Sporty
Cats all need physical activity to stay in good physical and mental health. From one individual to another, this need can vary according to the age, the medical condition and the personality of the cat. To support an active lifestyle, daily play sessions can be combined with walks on a lead.
Tendency to run away
It is difficult to predict the likelihood of a cat running away, but unfortunate disappearances can certainly be avoided by training the animal to walk with a leash and harness. Thus, outdoor expeditions are both stimulating and safe.
Greedy / Gluttony
An active cat may tend to eat more than a sedentary cat, it is also possible for a bored cat to use food to combat the monotony of daily life. The use of interactive bowls is a simple solution to provide a fun activity for your cat, while slowing down the pace at which they eat their food.
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Domestic shorthair and cats
The relationship between alley cats or between an alley cat and a purebred cat can be positive and healthy. The key is to gradually introduce the cats to one another. It is also imperative that the many resources (food, bedding, etc.) are available to all the cats in the household so their needs are met and they can avoid conflict.
Domestic shorthair and dogs
The cohabitation of a domestic cat with a dog is quite possible, but it is important to introduce them to each other gradually, respecting the limits of each and watching their body language. A home with high points or cat trees facilitates cohabitation by offering the cat the opportunity to flee unwanted encounters. The way the kitten has been socialised has a great influence on their ability to live with dogs.
Domestic shorthair and children
It goes without saying that introductions must be carried out with care and understanding. You should never force it. On the contrary, taking the time needed to properly introduce the two, will be a good lesson for the children.
Domestic shorthair and the elderly
Historically, the domestic cat has often been a good companion for rather calm and lonely people. You just have to remember that every adopter must be able to take care of their cat's needs.
The price of a common kitten is usually between £0 and £150. This price varies according to many factors: age, sex, appearance, etc. For the monthly budget, on average £25 / month is enough to meet their biological needs. In any case, it is vital to offer quality food and medical care to keep your cat healthy.
If the cat has long hair, daily brushing is recommended, otherwise weekly maintenance of the coat is sufficient. Some individuals need their eyes and ears to be cleaned regularly. In these cases, it is important to be attentive to avoid the accumulation of secretions.
Depending on the length of the coat, hair loss can be more or less significant.
Nutrition of the Domestic shorthair
As with all cats, it is important to provide your domestic cat with a high quality diet, appropriate to their level of activity and lifestyle. Medical recommendations from your vet should always be followed.
Health of the Domestic shorthair
On average they tend to live for 13 to 17 years but many live for much longer. In some exceptional cases, cats have lived for over 30 years.
Strong / robust
The alley cat is particularly resistant to changes in weather and extreme temperatures. They’re typically considered to be healthy and robust cats as long as their biological needs are met.
Tendency to put on weight
Several factors increase the risk of feline obesity, such as age, environment, diet and activity of the cat. As a general rule, the common cat does not get overweight if they are sufficiently active and have access to a balanced diet.
If all their needs are met, no particular disease is known, thanks to the great genetic diversity in the common cat. An annual medical check-up is nevertheless recommended, especially to ensure your cat’s oral health or any negative effects of aging.
However, they can develop the same illnesses as any other cat, such as oral diseases.
Obviously they can be bred with any breed of cat. The litters are usually of around 5 kittens.