Researchers track how cats' weights change over time

Until now, pet owners and veterinarians didn't know for sure. Now University of Guelph researchers have become the first to access data on more than 19 million cats to get a picture of typical weight gain and loss over their ...

Cat muzzles: cruel or useful?

It's not unusual to slap a muzzle on a dog if it's being aggressive or not keen on being given an injection, but a muzzle is not part of your average cat's wardrobe. Yet there they are online, by the dozen, in a wide range ...

Heritable behavioral differences between cat breeds

Cat breeds differ from each other in behavior with regard to activity, aggressiveness, shyness, sociability and stereotypical behavior. A study conducted at the University of Helsinki discovered that behavioral traits are ...

The benefits of being different

Six different colour morphs of the elusive Asiatic golden cat have been discovered in Northeast India—with the findings being hailed as "an evolutionary puzzle—as the world's greatest number of different coloured wild ...

Diabetes can be detected in gut of cats

The cat is the only animal, aside from humans and primates, which spontaneously develops type 2 diabetes. Therefore, researchers are interested in studying how diabetes develops in cats in order to learn more about the disease ...

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Cat

Felis catus domestica (invalid junior synonym) Felis silvestris catus

The cat (Felis catus), also known as the domestic cat or house cat to distinguish it from other felines and felids, is a small predatory carnivorous species of crepuscular mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and its ability to hunt vermin, snakes, and other unwanted household pests. It has been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years.

A skilled predator, the cat is known to hunt over 1,000 species for food. It can be trained to obey simple commands. Individual cats have also been known to learn on their own to manipulate simple mechanisms, such as doorknobs and toilet handles. Cats use a variety of vocalizations and types of body language for communication, including meowing, purring, "trilling", hissing, growling, squeaking, chirping, clicking, and grunting. Cats may be the most popular pet in the world, with over 600 million in homes all over the world. They are also bred and shown as registered pedigree pets. This hobby is known as "cat fancy".

Until recently the cat was commonly believed to have been domesticated in ancient Egypt, where it was a cult animal. However, in 2004, the earliest known location of cat domestication was discovered to be ancient Cyprus, and a subsequent study in 2007 found that the lines of descent of all house cats probably run through as few as five self-domesticating African Wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) circa 8000 BC, in the Near East.

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