It is more than likely that if you are reading these lines you feel true love towards cats. But you may not know that ailurophilia is the word that designates this feeling of affection and admiration.
Love towards cats is not strange. They are beautiful and intelligent animals that have also accepted our company. But it must also be taken into account that ailurophilia can be pathological, as shown by the well-known Noah syndrome.
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Do you know what ailurophilia is?
Using the etymology, the word “ailurophilia” comes from the Greek and is made up of two terms: “ailuro”, which means “cat”, and “filia”, which has the meaning of “love towards”. Thus, it is the perfect word to designate the adoration that many people show towards domestic cats.
The problem is that, in a small percentage of cases, this love stops being healthy and becomes paraphilia . The affected person will show sexual inclinations towards felines. It is a disorder that has to be treated by a professional. On the other hand, misunderstood love for cats in some people ends up leading to Noah syndrome.
The serious problem of Noah’s syndrome
This syndrome is similar to Diogenes’ disorder, in which affected people accumulate all kinds of belongings to the point of rendering their home impractical. The difference is that, in this case, what accumulates are animals, especially cats, although there are also people who store dogs.
In no case are they aware of their illness and are dedicated to collecting animals to rescue them from the street. The problem is that, being in high numbers, it is impossible to guarantee the minimum hygiene conditions that any animal needs to live with dignity.
Thus, it is not strange that the authorities are forced to intervene to rescue cats that will be malnourished, parasitized, sick and with serious behavioral alterations produced by the unsanitary conditions of confinement and overcrowding. These people need psychological treatment.
Tips for caring for cats
If your well-understood love for cats leads you to share life with them, the main thing is that you inform yourself well about their needs. In this way you can prevent both health and behavior problems. So, follow these tips for a happy coexistence :
- Adopt instead of buy. Thousands of cats of all ages, sizes and colors await their opportunity in kennels and kennels.
- Never get a kitten that is less than two months old. Before he has to live with his mother and brothers. It is critical to your future health.
- Go to the vet to get the appropriate deworming and vaccinations schedule for you. Also mark a date for sterilization.
- As a carnivore, offer him a diet based on animal protein, from meat or fish. Have fresh and clean water at your disposal, although, if you feed it, feed it a mixed diet by adding wet food.
- Keep it in a safe environment, with furniture at different heights so that it can climb and jump, with hiding places, toys, scratchers, etc.
- Put your sandbox in a quiet place.
- Since they are animals very sensitive to changes in their routine, before making any changes, follow some presentation guidelines.
Curiosities of cats
You love cats, probably because of their duality between domestic and wild animals. Or, in other words, dependency and independence. These curious facts make it a unique species:
- The International Feline Federation recognizes 48 breeds of domestic cats, although there may be more than 100.
- Cat remains dating back more than 9000 years have been found. It seems that they lived thousands of years close to humans before being domesticated.
- The Egyptians considered them sacred animals. The punishment for killing them was capital punishment and their export was prohibited. When a cat died it was embalmed and its caretakers mourned, including shaving the eyebrows.
- The cat goddess is Bastet.
- Cats fell out of favor in the Middle Ages, at which time they were singled out as evil creatures. Thousands of cats were tortured and killed.
- Today, there are an estimated 600 million cats worldwide. In Spain the figure would exceed two million.
- Cats can sleep up to 16 hours a day.
- The gestation of the cats lasts about nine weeks. An average of five kittens calve.
- Kittens begin to groom themselves around three weeks of age.
- Cats have special glands that secrete pheromones. They are located mainly on the head, that is why they rub against people and surfaces, marking them with their scent.
- They are able to distinguish some colors, although the color is not relevant to them. They see better than us when the light is scarce.
- The characteristic sound of the cat is the purr, but it can also produce the hiss when it feels threatened.
How to help cats
As a good “ailurophilic” surely you already live with one or more cats, but you are interested in committing more to them. For this you can collaborate with protective associations. There are specific ones for cats and focused on different actions, such as caring for street colonies or collecting specimens for adoption.
You can help by contributing money, your time as a volunteer or even your home by becoming a foster home. In addition, some municipalities manage the control of cats that live on the street. They give an accreditation card to all the volunteers.