The domestic catvermin and household pests.
Cats are similar in sense of smell than humans.
Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and cat communication includes the use of a variety of vocalizations (meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting) as well as pheromones and types of cat-specific body language.
Cats have a rapid breeding rate. Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and shown as 
Since cats were 
A genetic study in 2007 revealed that domestic cats have descended from 
Nomenclature and etymology
The English word 
A group of cats is referred to as a “clowder” or a “glaring”,
A dog breeding) mongrels or mutt-cats.
While the African wildcat is the ancestral species from which domestic cats are descended, there are several intermediate stages between domestic pet and pedigree cats on the one hand and those entirely wild animals on the other. The semi-feral cat is a mostly outdoor cat that is not owned by any one individual, but is generally friendly to people and may be fed by several households. Feral cats are associated with human habitation areas and may be fed by people or forage in rubbish, but are wary of human interaction.
|Pedigree||Fed by owner||Human homes||Yes|
|Pet||Fed by owner||Human homes||Yes|
Taxonomy and evolution
The felids are a rapidly evolving family of mammals that share a common ancestor only 10–15 million years ago, and include, in addition to the domestic cat, lions, tigers, cougars, and many others. Within this family, domestic cats (Felis catus) are part of the genus Felis, which is a group of small cats containing approximately seven species (depending upon classification scheme). Members of the genus are found worldwide and include the jungle cat (Felis chaus) of southeast Asia, European wildcat (F. silvestris silvestris), African wildcat (F. s. lybica), the Chinese mountain cat (F. bieti), and the Arabian sand cat (F. margarita), among others.
All the cats in this genus share a common ancestor that probably lived around 6–7 million years ago in Asia.
The domestic cat was first classified as Felis catus by 
Cats have either a 
There are two main theories about how cats were domesticated. In one, people deliberately tamed cats in a process of 
The domesticated cat and its closest wild ancestor are both 
Domestic cats are similar in size to the other members of the genus Felis, typically weighing between 4 kilograms (8.8 lb) and 5 kilograms (11 lb).
Cats have 7 
The cat skull is unusual among mammals in having very large :37
Cats, like dogs, are 
Like almost all members of the Felidae family, cats have protractable and retractable claws. In their normal, relaxed position the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the paw‘s toe pads. This keeps the claws sharp by preventing wear from contact with the ground and allows the silent stalking of prey. The claws on the forefeet are typically sharper than those on the hind feet. Cats can voluntarily extend their claws on one or more paws. They may extend their claws in hunting or self-defense, climbing, kneading, or for extra traction on soft surfaces. Most cats have five claws on their front paws, and four on their rear paws. The fifth front claw (the dewclaw) is proximal to the other claws. More proximally, there is a protrusion which appears to be a sixth “finger”. This special feature of the front paws, on the inside of the wrists, is the carpal pad, also found on the paws of big cats and of dogs. It has no function in normal walking, but is thought to be an anti-skidding device used while jumping. Some breeds of cats are prone to polydactyly (extra toes and claws). These are particularly common along the northeast coast of North America.
|Body temperature||38.6 °C (101.5 °F)|
|Heart rate||120–140 beats per minute|
|Breathing rate||16–40 breaths per minute|
As cats are familiar and easily kept animals, their physiology has been particularly well studied; it generally resembles that of other carnivorous mammals but displays several unusual features probably attributable to cats’ descent from desert-dwelling species.
Cats conserve heat by reducing the flow of blood to their skin and lose heat by evaporation through their mouth. They do not sweat, and 
Cats are 
A cat’s 
Cats have excellent 
Cats have excellent hearing and can detect an extremely broad range of frequencies. They can hear higher-pitched sounds than either dogs or humans, detecting frequencies from 55 
Cats have an acute sense of smell, which is due in part to their well-developed 
Cats have relatively few taste buds compared to humans. Domestic and wild cats share a gene mutation that keeps their sweet taste buds from binding to sugary molecules like carbohydrates, leaving them with no ability to taste :47
The average life expectancy for male indoor cats at birth is around 12 to 14 years,
Cats can suffer from a wide range of health problems, including infectious diseases, parasites, injuries and chronic disease. Vaccinations are available for many of these diseases, and domestic cats are regularly given treatments to eliminate parasites such as worms and fleas.
In addition to obvious dangers such as  When a cat has a sudden or prolonged serious illness without any obvious cause, it is possible that it has been exposed to a toxin.
Many human medicines should never be given to cats. For example, the painkiller 
Other common household substances that should be used with caution around cats include 
Free-ranging cats are active both day and night, although they tend to be slightly more active at night.
Although wildcats are solitary, the social behavior of domestic cats is much more variable and ranges from widely dispersed individuals to 
Domestic cats use many 
However, some pet cats are poorly socialized. In particular, older cats may show aggressiveness towards newly arrived kittens, which may include biting and scratching; this type of behavior is known as Feline Asocial Aggression.
For cats, life in proximity to humans and other animals kept by them amounts to a “symbiotic social adaptation”.[Grooming
Cats are known for their cleanliness, spending many hours licking their coats.clarification needed
Cats are known for their cleanliness, spending many hours licking their coats.clarification needed]
Among domestic cats, males are more likely to fight than females.citation needed]
When fighting, cats make themselves appear more impressive and threatening by raising their fur, arching their backs, and turning sideways, thus increasing their apparent size. Sexually active males will usually be involved in many fights during their lives, and often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to the ears and nose.
Hunting and feeding
Cats feed on small prey, primarily birds and rodents.:153
Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or perching. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which to hunt; domestic cats may strike prey by pouncing from such a perch as a tree branch, as does a  This leads to the proverb “a cat always lands on its feet”.
One poorly understood element of cat hunting behavior is the presentation of prey to human owners. :153
Domestic cats select food based on its temperature, smell and texture, strongly disliking chilled foods and responding most strongly to moist foods rich in amino acids, which are similar to meat.
Since cats cannot fully close their lips around something to create suction, they use a lapping method with the tongue to draw liquid upwards into their mouths. Lapping at a rate of four times a second, the cat touches the smooth tip of its tongue to the surface of the water, and quickly retracts it, drawing water upwards.
Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to 
Owing to the close similarity between play and hunting, cats prefer to play with objects that resemble prey, such as small furry toys that move rapidly, but rapidly lose interest (they become clarification needed]
Female cats are seasonally citation needed]
After mating, the female will wash her vulva thoroughly. If a male attempts to mate with her at this point, the female will attack him. After about 20 to 30 minutes, once the female is finished grooming, the cycle will repeat.
Because ovulation is not always triggered by a single mating, females may not be impregnated by the first male with which they mate.
Cats are ready to go to new homes at about 12 weeks old,
The cat is a very vocal animal. Known for its trademark purring, it also produces a wide variety of other sounds.
The mechanism by which cats purr is elusive. The cat has no unique anatomical feature that is clearly responsible for the sound.[clarification needed] It was, until recent times, believed that only the cats of the Felis genus could purr. However, felids of the Panthera genus (tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard) also produce sounds similar to purring, but only when exhaling.[clarification needed][unreliable source?]
Cats are a 
Impact on prey species
To date, there are few scientific data available to assess the impact of cat predation on prey populations. Even well-fed domestic cats may hunt and kill, mainly catching small mammals, but also birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish and invertebrates.
In the 
Cat numbers in the UK are growing and their abundance is far above the “natural”  and the trend is an increase of 0.5 million cats annually.
Impact on birds
The domestic cat is probably a significant predator of birds. UK assessments indicate that they may be accountable for an estimated 64.8 million bird deaths each year. Certain species appear more susceptible than others; for example, 30% of house sparrow mortality is linked to the domestic cat. In the recovery of ringed robins (Erithacus rubecula) and dunnocks (Prunella modularis), it was also concluded that 31% of deaths were a result of cat predation. The presence of larger carnivores such as coyotes which prey on cats and other small predators reduces the effect of predation by cats and other small predators such as opossums and raccoons on bird numbers and variety. The proposal that cat populations will increase when the numbers of these top predators decline is called the mesopredator release hypothesis.
On islands, birds can contribute as much as 60% of a cat’s diet.
Some of the same factors that have promoted  have also contributed to their susceptibility.
Cats and humans
Cats are common 
According to the 
People less often eat cat meat than the flesh of other common domestic animals.
There are approximately 220 million domestic cats in the world, according to the International Federation for Animal Health Europe (IFAH).
Few attempts to build a cat census have been made over the years, both through associations or national and international organization (such as  but such task doesn’t seem so simple to achieve.
Public attitudes towards feral cats vary widely: ranging from seeing them as free-ranging pets, to regarding them as vermin.
History and mythology
Traditionally, historians tended to think that 
In ancient Egypt cats were :223
Several ancient religions believed that cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that they are all-knowing but are mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the 
Many cultures have negative Kattenstoet (cat parade).
According to a myth in many cultures, cats have multiple lives. In many countries, they are believed to have nine lives, but in Germany and some Spanish-speaking regions they are said to have seven lives,
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- Humane Society of the United States
- Stray Pet Advocacy
- European Pet Food Industry Federation
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- Wildlife Extra
- New South Wales Game Council
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- BBC News
- Japan Pet Food Association, 2009 (cited in JapanVisitor)
- 2007 Ipsos-Reid survey cited in BC Nature
- Nova Scotia SPCA – this number may include ferals)
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- Maps of the World (the latter number may include ferals)
- Maps of the World
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Pet Food Update (2007)
- (figure extrapolated using a combination of Dr. Sands’ cat-to-human ratios from Cats:500 Questions Answered and CIA population statistics)
- B.B. Chomel (2010), “Zoonosis in the Bedroom,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- (figure extrapolated using a combination of Dr. Sands’ cat-to-human ratios and CIA population statistics)
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