Microbes make chemicals for scent marking in a cat

Domestic cats, like many other mammals, use smelly secretions from anal sacs to mark territory and communicate with other animals. A new study from the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis shows that many ...

What's killing sea otters? Scientists pinpoint parasite strain

Many wild southern sea otters in California are infected with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, yet the infection is fatal for only a fraction of sea otters, which has long puzzled the scientific community. A study from the ...

Is scruffing the best way to handle an upset cat?

Many of us were taught that "scruffing" a cat—or grabbing the animal by the loose skin at the back of the neck—is not only an effective mode of restraint, but also causes cats to relax. The thought behind this is that ...

Schrödinger's cat with 20 qubits

Dead or alive, left-spinning or right-spinning—in the quantum world particles such as the famous analogy of Schrödinger's cat can be all these things at the same time. An international team, including researchers from ...

Captive lion breeding in South Africa: the case for a total ban

A new report by global NGO, World Animal Protection, provides a damning indictment on the captive predator breeding industry. Big cats are being bred for the use of their bones in traditional Chinese medicine. China is estimated ...

Thanks to science, parasite can have sex in mice, not just cats

Toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled parasite perhaps best known for its ability to trick mice into taking potentially fatal risks around cats and, in humans, as a serious threat to fetal health, has given up a long-held secret ...

Unique hybrid implant first installed to a cat

A scientific team from a small innovative enterprise, Biomimetix, based at the National University of Science and Technology MISIS together with their colleagues from the N.N. Blokhin National Medical Research Centre of oncology ...

How to stroke a cat, according to science

Many of us will have experienced that super friendly cat who seems to love being stoked one minute, only to bite or swipe at us the next. It might be easy at this point to blame it on the cat, but what's likely happening ...

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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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