Nobody has actually counted all of them but it is estimated that there are about 200 million domestic cats in the world. In Germany alone live abou 14 million. That makes it the most popular pet in this country.
It is not easy to describe what makes the cat so appealing to humans.
On the one hand, cats are playful, affectionate pets which seek the proximity of humans and love being petted, cuddled, fed and tended by them.
On the other hand, they are of a wild independent character, which they have retained despite the long time they have spent with people as domesticated pets. Although they are called house cats, they are still predators deep inside that go hunting in nature.
Due to this apparent contradiction and a certain inscrutability and inexplicability of their nature, they are often endowed with an air of mystery and magic. This also explains why in fairy tales and stories cats so often appear as magical creatures.
The ancestors of today’s domestic cat originated from the Egyptian region.
The Egyptians were also the first people to keep cats as pets about 3,000 years ago. Cats presumably sought the vicinity of human settlements because there it was easy to get at their prey, such as mice or rats. And people were grateful to the cats because they hunted mice and rats.
The veneration of the Egyptians went so far as to worship a cat goddess, who represented gaiety and warmth.