Origin of the Venetian cat mask
The first reason for the multitude of cats in Venice in the past centuries was due to the invasion of rats in the city.
These, carriers of various diseases had arrived from the ships to the port, and they reproduced with such a speed that Venice was invaded by them in a short period of time. The poor hygienic condition in which the Venetian inhabitants lived was breeding grounds for the rats.
Just to say that the plague epidemic of 1500 caused by rats, led to the deaths of nearly 1/3 of the population.
Towards the end of 1400 the Venetians found a simple and ingenious way to dramatically decrease the invasion.
They shipped loads of cats from Dalmatia, who had no choice but to hunt mice and doze in the sun. The outcome was positive.
That’s why among the various Venetian masks are also the cat, an animal that has been helpful to Venice for many centuries.
Today it is not so, after a careful design of cat sterilization.
It ‘nice to think that in any case our Italian cats have in their genes Asian ancestors .