Female domestic cats can have kittens from spring to late autumn, with litter sizes often ranging from two to five kittens. 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.
Cats were first domesticated in the Near East around 7500 BC. 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. As of 2021[update] there are an estimated 220 million owned and 480 million stray cats in the world. As of 2017[update], the domestic cat was the second-most popular pet in the United States, with 95 million cats owned. In the United Kingdom, 26% of UK adults have a cat with an estimated population of 10.9 million pet cats as of 2020[update].
^ abLinnaeus, 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.
^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.