There are now more than 80 million domestic cats in the United States, making the cat population almost three times that of dogs worldwide. (View a video uncovering the hidden world of cats.)
However, there is still a lot we don't know about feline buddies, such as their perspectives on their human caregivers.
Author and cat behavior specialist John Bradshaw teaches at the University of Bristol. His latest book is titled Cat Sense.
After studying domestic cats for a long time, he made a fascinating discovery: cats don't have the same level of human understanding as dogs.
Cats were reportedly coexisting with humans in the Mesopotamia area and Turkey, as well as on the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, thousands of years before they were known to have lived in Egypt.
My first 20 years as a researcher were spent investigating olfactory (scent) behavior in insects and other arthropods. The canine sense of smell has always attracted me the most among the many things animals possess.
A great deal of monitoring cats in groups and making assumptions about their social hierarchy. You get intriguing dynamics [when new cats are introduced] with free-roaming cat colonies and animal shelters that keep large numbers of cats in close quarters.
I've also done some things that are a little more manipulative, like observe how cats interact with toys and do experiments on their [behavior] at various times of the day. As part of my research, I've been interviewing cat owners and providing them with surveys to get a sense of how they feel about their pets.