Cat

Domestic cat
Cat poster 1.jpg
Various types of the domestic cat
Domesticated
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Felis
Species:
F. catus[1]
Binomial name
Felis catus[1]
Synonyms
  • F. catus domesticus Erxleben, 1777[3]
  • F. angorensis Gmelin, 1788
  • F. vulgaris Fischer, 1829

The cat (Felis catus) is a domestic species of small carnivorous mammal.[1][2] It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is often referred to as the domestic cat to distinguish it from the wild members of the family.[4] A cat can either be a house cat, a farm cat or a feral cat; the latter ranges freely and avoids human contact.[5] Domestic cats are valued by humans for companionship and their ability to hunt rodents. About 60 cat breeds are recognized by various cat registries.[6]

The cat is similar in anatomy to the other felid species: it has a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey. Its night vision and sense of smell are well developed. Cat communication includes vocalizations like meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting as well as cat-specific body language. A predator that is most active at dawn and dusk, the cat is a solitary hunter but a social species. It can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small mammals.[7] It secretes and perceives pheromones.[8]

Female domestic cats can have kittens from spring to late autumn, with litter sizes often ranging from two to five kittens.[9] Domestic cats are bred and shown at events as registered pedigreed cats, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to control breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, as well as abandonment of pets, resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, contributing to the extinction of entire bird, mammal, and reptile species, and evoking population control.[10]

Cats were first domesticated in the Near East around 7500 BC.[11] It was long thought that cat domestication was initiated in ancient Egypt, as since around 3100 BC veneration was given to cats in ancient Egypt.[12][13] As of 2021 there are an estimated 220 million owned and 480 million stray cats in the world.[14][15] As of 2017, the domestic cat was the second-most popular pet in the United States, with 95 million cats owned.[16][17][18] In the United Kingdom, 26% of UK adults have a cat with an estimated population of 10.9 million pet cats as of 2020.[19]

  1. ^ a b Linnaeus, C. (1758). "Felis Catus". Systema naturae per regna tria naturae: secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). 1 (Tenth reformed ed.). Holmiae: Laurentii Salvii. p. 42.
  2. ^ a b Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Species Felis catus". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 534–535. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ Erxleben, J. C. P. (1777). "Felis Catus domesticus". Systema regni animalis per classes, ordines, genera, species, varietates cvm synonymia et historia animalivm. Classis I. Mammalia. Lipsiae: Weygandt. pp. 520–521.
  4. ^ Clutton-Brock, J. (1999) [1987]. "Cats". A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals (Second ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press. pp. 133–140. ISBN 978-0-521-63495-3. OCLC 39786571.
  5. ^ Liberg, O.; Sandell, M.; Pontier, D. & Natoli, E. (2000). "Density, spatial organisation and reproductive tactics in the domestic cat and other felids". In Turner, D. C. & Bateson, P. (eds.). The domestic cat: the biology of its behaviour (Second ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 119–147. ISBN 9780521636483.
  6. ^ Driscoll, C. A.; Clutton-Brock, J.; Kitchener, A. C. & O'Brien, S. J. (2009). "The taming of the cat". Scientific American. 300 (6): 68–75. Bibcode:2009SciAm.300f..68D. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0609-68. PMC 5790555. PMID 19485091.
  7. ^ Moelk, M. (1944). "Vocalizing in the House-cat; A Phonetic and Functional Study". The American Journal of Psychology. 57 (2): 184–205. doi:10.2307/1416947. JSTOR 1416947.
  8. ^ Bland, K. P. (1979). "Tom-cat odour and other pheromones in feline reproduction" (PDF). Veterinary Science Communications. 3 (1): 125–136. doi:10.1007/BF02268958. S2CID 22484090.
  9. ^ Nutter, F. B.; Levine, J. F. & Stoskopf, M. K. (2004). "Reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 225 (9): 1399–1402. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.204.1281. doi:10.2460/javma.2004.225.1399. PMID 15552315. S2CID 1903272.
  10. ^ Rochlitz, I. (2007). The Welfare of Cats. "Animal Welfare" series. Berlin: Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 141–175. ISBN 978-1-4020-6143-1. OCLC 262679891.
  11. ^ Driscoll, C. A.; Menotti-Raymond, M.; Roca, A. L.; Hupe, K.; Johnson, W. E.; Geffen, E.; Harley, E. H.; Delibes, M.; Pontier, D.; Kitchener, A. C.; Yamaguchi, N.; O'Brien, S. J. & Macdonald, D. W. (2007). "The Near Eastern Origin of Cat Domestication". Science. 317 (5837): 519–523. Bibcode:2007Sci...317..519D. doi:10.1126/science.1139518. ISSN 0036-8075. PMC 5612713. PMID 17600185.
  12. ^ Langton, N. & Langton, M. B. (1940). The Cat in ancient Egypt, illustrated from the collection of cat and other Egyptian figures formed. Cambridge University Press.
  13. ^ Malek, J. (1997). The Cat in Ancient Egypt (Revised ed.). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  14. ^ "Statistics on cats". carocat.eu. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  15. ^ Rostami, Ali (2020). "30". In Bowman, Dwight D. (ed.). Toxocara and Toxocariasis. Elsevier Science. p. 616. ISBN 9780128209585.
  16. ^ "Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics". American Pet Products Association. Archived from the original on 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  17. ^ "The 5 Most Expensive Cat Breeds in America". moneytalksnews.com. 2017. Archived from the original on 25 February 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Number of cats in the United States from 2000 to 2017/2018". www.statista.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  19. ^ "How many pets are there in the UK?". www.pdsa.org.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2021.