[18], A black cat from Transcaucasia described in 1904 as F. daemon by Satunin[19] turned out to be a feral cat, probably a hybrid of wildcat and domestic cat. [180], Feral cats are domestic cats that were born in or have reverted to a wild state. The killing of cats in Medieval Ypres, Belgium, is commemorated in the innocuous present-day Kattenstoet (cat parade). [17], The origin of the English word 'cat', Old English catt, is thought to be the Late Latin word cattus, which was first used at the beginning of the 6th century. an order within an order? Another possible explanation is that height gives the cat a better observation point, allowing it to survey its territory. 4, 15 February 1996, pp. [83] About 70–80% of cats are affected by nepetalactone. The Greeks later syncretized their own goddess Artemis with the Egyptian goddess Bastet, adopting Bastet's associations with cats and ascribing them to Artemis. This behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk, capture, and kill prey. The frequency and size of meals varies between individuals. [30], The scientific name Felis catus was proposed by Carl Linnaeus in 1758 for a domestic cat. [54] Most breeds are founded on random-bred domestic cats. [43], The earliest known indication for the taming of an African wildcat (F. lybica) was excavated close by a human Neolithic grave in Shillourokambos, southern Cyprus, dating to about 7500-7200 BC. Results of phylogenetic research confirm that the wild Felis species evolved through sympatric or parapatric speciation, whereas the domestic cat evolved through artificial selection. Families took their dead cats to the sacred city of Bubastis, where they were embalmed and buried in sacred repositories. A predator that is most active at dawn and dusk, the cat is a solitary hunter but a social species. 2020. [142] Cats have contributed to the extinction of the Navassa curly-tailed lizard and Chioninia coctei. [176][177] [86], To aid with navigation and sensation, cats have dozens of movable whiskers (vibrissae) over their body, especially their faces. [61] The premolar and first molar together compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently shears meat into small pieces, like a pair of scissors. [217] Although no species are sacred in Islam, cats are revered by Muslims. Felis daemon proposed by Konstantin Alekseevich Satunin in 1904 was a black cat from the Transcaucasus, later identified as a domestic cat. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Felidae.

[84] This response is also produced by other plants, such as silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and the herb valerian; it may be caused by the smell of these plants mimicking a pheromone and stimulating cats' social or sexual behaviors. The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was tamed independently in China around 5500 BC. [222] In medieval France, cats would be burnt alive as a form of entertainment. The genus Felis diverged from the Felidae around 6–7 million years ago. The dewclaw is proximal to the other claws. It is "equally likely that the forms might derive from an ancient Germanic word, imported into Latin and thence to Greek and to Syriac and Arabic".

An unspayed female is called a queen,[28] especially in a cat-breeding context. [45], During domestication, cats have undergone only minor changes in anatomy and behavior, and they are still capable of surviving in the wild. [42] [152], The morula forms 124 hours after conception. [152] The Nubian word kaddîska "wildcat" and Nobiin kadīs are possible sources or cognates. [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. [114] Often, the ears are pointed down and back to avoid damage to the inner ear and potentially listen for any changes behind them while focused forward.

[56] [145], Cats also tend to play with toys more when they are hungry.

[113], When cats become aggressive, they try to make themselves appear larger and more threatening by raising their fur, arching their backs, turning sideways and hissing or spitting. Post-nursing cats often purr as a sign of contentment: when being petted, becoming relaxed,[106][107] or eating. Volunteers continue to feed and give care to these cats throughout their lives. [1] Other scientists consider it also a Felis species. [117], The shape and structure of cats' cheeks is insufficient to suck. [214] Domestic cats were spread throughout much of the rest of the world during the Age of Discovery, as ships' cats were carried on sailing ships to control shipboard rodents and as good-luck charms. The earliest known evidence for the occurrence of the domestic cat in Greece dates to around 1200 BC. [61] Compared to other felines, domestic cats have narrowly spaced canine teeth relative to the size of their jaw, which is an adaptation to their preferred prey of small rodents, which have small vertebrae. [71] At low light, a cat's pupils expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes. Felis daemon proposed by Konstantin Alekseevich Satunin in 1904 was a black cat from the Transcaucasus, later identified as a domestic cat. [143], Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. Cats are often shown in icons of Annunciation and of the Holy Family and, according to Italian folklore, on the same night that Mary gave birth to Jesus, a cat in Bethlehem gave birth to a kitten. [10] Feral cats may live alone, but most are found in large colonies, which occupy a specific territory and are usually associated with a source of food. [90] Disclaimer: [59], The cat skull is unusual among mammals in having very large eye sockets and a powerful specialized jaw. Feral cats can live in forests, grasslands, tundra, coastal areas, agricultural land, scrublands, urban areas, and wetlands. [112] Another common reason for fighting in domestic cats is the difficulty of establishing territories within a small home. In such cases, most fights are won by the heavier male. It averages about 46 cm (18 in) in head-to-body length and 23–25 cm (9–10 in) in height, with about 30 cm (12 in) long tails. One explanation is that cats adopt humans into their social group and share excess kill with others in the group according to the dominance hierarchy, in which humans are reacted to as if they are at, or near, the top. At Metz midsummer fires were lighted with great pomp on the esplanade, and a dozen cats, enclosed in wicker cages, were burned alive in them, to the amusement of the people. The domestic cat has slit pupils, which allow it to focus bright light without chromatic aberration. Grants DRL 0089283, DRL 0628151, DUE 0633095, DRL 0918590, and DUE 1122742. This material is based upon work supported by the Several natural behaviors and characteristics of wildcats may have pre-adapted them for domestication as pets. [45] Herodotus expressed astonishment at the domestic cats in Egypt, because he had only ever seen wildcats. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, when the deities flee to Egypt and take animal forms, the goddess Diana turns into a cat. Cats reject novel flavors (a response termed neophobia) and learn quickly to avoid foods that have tasted unpleasant in the past. Hairballs can be prevented with remedies that ease elimination of the hair through the gut, as well as regular grooming of the coat with a comb or stiff brush. [52] It lives on small islands with no human inhabitants. The tail and ears are particularly important social signal mechanisms in cats. [208][210] Some of the infections of most concern include salmonella, cat-scratch disease and toxoplasmosis. [147] String is often used as a toy, but if it is eaten, it can become caught at the base of the cat's tongue and then move into the intestines, a medical emergency which can cause serious illness, even death. [3] Help us improve the site by taking our survey. Northern Sami gáđfi, "female stoat", and Hungarian hölgy, "stoat"; from Proto-Uralic *käďwä, "female (of a furred animal)". [220] One of the companions of Muhammad was known as Abu Hurayrah ("father of the kitten"), in reference to his documented affection to cats. This line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domestic cat populations of today. In 1648 Louis XIV, crowned with a wreath of roses and carrying a bunch of roses in his hand, kindled the fire, danced at it and partook of the banquet afterwards in the town hall. [37], The domestic cat is a member of the Felidae, a family that had a common ancestor about 10–15 million years ago. Please see our brief essay. The Animal Diversity Web team is excited to announce ADW Pocket Guides! [1][2] [73] A response to middle wavelengths from a system other than the rod cells might be due to a third type of cone. [5] Later taxonomists split the cat family into different genera. At 10–12 days, implantation occurs. The Animal Diversity Web (online). [159], The average lifespan of pet cats has risen in recent decades. [209], In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped, and the goddess Bastet often depicted in cat form, sometimes taking on the war-like aspect of a lioness. This condition, pica, can threaten their health, depending on the amount and toxicity of the items eaten. A juvenile cat is referred to as a kitten. [158] In the United States, about 80% of household cats are neutered. In Early Modern English, the word kitten was interchangeable with the now-obsolete word catling. Of 169 kittens, 127 died before they were six months old due to a trauma caused in most cases by dog attacks and road accidents. At first, the female rejects the male, but eventually, the female allows the male to mate. [53]

Diseases affecting domestic cats include acute infections, parasitic infestations, injuries, and chronic diseases such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, and arthritis. The female utters a loud yowl as the male pulls out of her because a male cat's penis has a band of about 120–150 backward-pointing penile spines, which are about 1 mm (1⁄32 in) long; upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina, which acts to induce ovulation. The first litter is usually smaller than subsequent litters. [55], The domestic cat has a smaller skull and shorter bones than the European wildcat. [128], In Australia, the impact of cats on mammal populations is even greater than the impact of habitat loss. [144] Cats also engage in play fighting, with each other and with humans. [182], Public attitudes towards feral cats vary widely, ranging from seeing them as free-ranging pets, to regarding them as vermin.

[44] Scientists therefore assume that African wildcats were attracted to early human settlements in the Fertile Crescent by rodents, in particular the house mouse (Mus musculus), and were tamed by Neolithic farmers. Accessed at https://animaldiversity.org. Often, at the end of the year, all of the points accrued at various shows are added up and more national and regional titles are awarded to champion cats.

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