Growing Up Feline | Part 2

three newborn kittens
photo of a cat with kittens
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photograph of a tabby cat
Photo by Anna Venezia on

Cats have been domesticated for thousands of years and are one of the most popular pets in the world. Although they are often thought of as independent creatures, their behavior can still be influenced by both their genetics (nature) and their environment (nurture). Understanding the reciprocity between these two factors is key to providing the best care for our feline friends.

The origin of cats dates back to the time during the construction of the pyramids at Giza. It is thought that the very first breed of cat was the Egyptian Mau. The Egyptian Mau is characterized by their long slender faces, that come to a distinct point and tall, alert ears. It is believed that the people of Egypt domesticated the feral cats nearby to manage the rodents and other pest population. Over time, the species spread out of Egypt and into Europe and Asia. As they were introduced, they were crossbred with other feral cats. The result is a multiplicity of breeds originating from one.


kids playing with white cat
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Nature plays a significant role in shaping the behavior of domesticated cats. Their genetic makeup determines characteristics such as their size, coat type, and overall personality. For example, some breeds, such as Siamese and Bengal cats, are known for their energetic and curious nature, while others, such as the Persian and British Shorthair, are more relaxed and laid-back.

In addition to breed, other genetic factors can also influence a cat’s behavior. For example, some cats are naturally more social and enjoy spending time with their owners, while others are more solitary and prefer to spend time alone. Similarly, some cats may be more prone to certain health problems or behavioral issues, such as aggression or anxiety.


black cat looking at a brown cat
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However, while genetics do play a role in shaping a cat’s behavior, their environment can also have a significant impact. This is where the concept of nurture comes into play. Environmental factors such as diet, socialization, and physical activity levels can all play a role in shaping a cat’s behavior and overall health.

For example, a cat that is well-socialized from a young age will be more confident and comfortable around people, while a cat that is not exposed to human interaction may be more skittish and timid. Similarly, a cat that is fed a balanced and nutritious diet will be healthier and have more energy, while a cat that is not given proper nutrition may be more prone to health problems.

In addition, physical activity is also important for domesticated cats. Cats that are not given enough opportunities to play and exercise may become bored and develop behavioral problems, such as destructive scratching or spraying. Providing toys, scratching posts, and opportunities for play can help keep cats physically and mentally stimulated.

Fun Toys and Resources

Go HERE for toys, and puzzles for smart kitties.

short furred gray cat on green grass
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Final Thoughts

Some final thoughts about the topic are how both nature and nurture play important roles in shaping the behavior of domesticated cats. While genetics can determine certain traits and characteristics, environmental factors such as socialization, diet, and physical activity levels can significantly impact a cat’s overall health and behavior. Understanding the reciprocity between these two factors is key to providing the best care for our feline friends.

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