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Cats
The cat (''Felis catus'') is a domestic species of small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and is commonly referred to as the domestic cat or house cat to distinguish it from the wild members of the family. Cats are commonly kept as house pets but can also be farm cats or feral cats; the feral cat ranges freely and avoids human contact. Domestic cats are valued by humans for companionship and their ability to kill rodents. About 60 cat breeds are recognized by various cat registries. The cat is similar in anatomy to the other felid species: they have a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth, and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey. Their 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. Although the cat is a social species, they are a solitary hunter. ...
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Cat Communication
Cats need to communicate with each other for bonding, and relating with each other; they need to collaborate, play, and share resources. When they communicate with people, they do so to get what they need or want, such as food, affection, or play. Cats use a range of communication methods such as vocal, visual, tactile and olfactory. Cats mostly meow to communicate with people, rarely with other animals. As such, the cats' communication methods have been significantly affected by domestication. Up to 21 different cat vocalizations have been studied. It is now evident that domestic cats meow more than feral cats. Vocal communication Cat vocalizations have been categorized according to a range of characteristics. Originally suggested by Mildred Moelk, cat sounds are often divided into three main classes: # sounds produced with the mouth closed (murmurs – purring, trilling) # sounds produced when the mouth is first opened and then gradually closed (meowing, howling, yowli ...
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Cat Body Language
Cats need to communicate with each other for bonding, and relating with each other; they need to collaborate, play, and share resources. When they communicate with people, they do so to get what they need or want, such as food, affection, or play. Cats use a range of communication methods such as vocal, visual, tactile and olfactory. Cats mostly meow to communicate with people, rarely with other animals. As such, the cats' communication methods have been significantly affected by domestication. Up to 21 different cat vocalizations have been studied. It is now evident that domestic cats meow more than feral cats. Vocal communication Cat vocalizations have been categorized according to a range of characteristics. Originally suggested by Mildred Moelk, cat sounds are often divided into three main classes: # sounds produced with the mouth closed (murmurs – purring, trilling) # sounds produced when the mouth is first opened and then gradually closed (meowing, howling, yowlin ...
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Feral Cat
A feral cat or a stray cat is an unowned domestic cat (''Felis catus'') that lives outdoors and avoids human contact: it does not allow itself to be handled or touched, and usually remains hidden from humans. Feral cats may breed over dozens of generations and become an aggressive local apex predator in urban, savannah and bushland environments. Some feral cats may become more comfortable with people who regularly feed them, but even with long-term attempts at socialization, they usually remain aloof and are most active after dusk. Feral cats are devastating to wildlife, and conservation biologists consider them to be one of the worst invasive species on Earth. Attempts to control feral cat populations are widespread but generally of greatest impact within purpose-fenced reserves. Some animal rights groups advocate trap-neuter-return programs to prevent the feral cats from continuing to breed. Scientific evidence has demonstrated that TNR is not effective at controlling ...
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Cat Anatomy
The anatomy of the domestic cat is similar to that of other members of the genus ''Felis''. Mouth Permanent dentition teeth Cats are carnivores that have highly specialized teeth. There are four types of permanent dentition teeth that structure the mouth: twelve '' incisors, four canines, ten premolars and four molars.'' The premolar and first molar are located on each side of the mouth that together are called the carnassial pair. The carnassial pair specialize in cutting food and are parallel to the jaw. The incisors located in the front section of the lower and upper mouth are small, narrow, and have a single root. They are used for grasping and biting food. Deciduous dentition teeth A cat also has a deciduous dentition prior to the formation of the permanent one. This dentition emerges seven days after birth and it is composed of 26 teeth with slight differences. The mouth will have smaller incisors, slender and strongly curved upper canines, vertical lower canines, ...
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Felidae
Felidae () is the family of mammals in the order Carnivora colloquially referred to as cats, and constitutes a clade. A member of this family is also called a felid (). The term "cat" refers both to felids in general and specifically to the domestic cat ('' Felis catus''). Felidae species exhibit the most diverse fur pattern of all terrestrial carnivores. Cats have retractile claws, slender muscular bodies and strong flexible forelimbs. Their teeth and facial muscles allow for a powerful bite. They are all obligate carnivores, and most are solitary predators ambushing or stalking their prey. Wild cats occur in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Some wild cat species are adapted to forest habitats, some to arid environments, and a few also to wetlands and mountainous terrain. Their activity patterns range from nocturnal and crepuscular to diurnal, depending on their preferred prey species. Reginald Innes Pocock divided the extant Felidae into three subfamilies: the Pant ...
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Cat Registries
A cat registry or cat breed registry, also known as a cat fancier organization, cattery federation, or cat breeders' association, is an organization that registers domestic cats (usually purebred) of many breeds, for exhibition and for breeding lineage tracking purposes. A cat registry stores the pedigrees (genealogies) of cats, cattery names, and other details of cats; studbooks (lists of authorized studs of recognized breeds), breed descriptions, and the formal breed standards (a.k.a. standards of points or SoP); lists of judges qualified to judge at shows run by or affiliated with that registry, and sometimes other information. A cat registry is not the same as a breed club or breed society (these are specific-breed organizations that may be affiliated with one or more registries with whom they have lodged breed standards in order to be able to exhibit under the auspices of that registry). Cat registries each have their own rules and usually also organize or license (sanction ...
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Purr
A purr is a tonal fluttering sound made by some species of felids and two species of genets. It varies in loudness and tone among species and in the same animal. Felids are a family of mammals that belong to the order Carnivora and are informally known as cats. This designation includes larger, outdoor cats and the domestic cat (''Felis catus''). Genets are members of the genus ''Genetta'' and are slim animals with features similar to cats. Their features include retractile claws, leopard-like spotted fur and the raccoon-like mask and ringed tail. Although true purring is exclusive to felids and viverrids, other animals such as raccoons produce vocalizations that sound similar to true purring. Animals that produce purr-like sounds include mongooses, bears, kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, badgers, foxes, hyenas, rabbits, squirrels, guinea pigs, tapirs, ring-tailed lemurs and gorillas while eating. Animals purr for a variety of reasons, including to express happiness ...
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Domestication Of The Cat
The domestic cat originated from Near-Eastern and Egyptian populations of the African wildcat, ''Felis sylvestris lybica''. The family Felidae, to which all living feline species belong, arose about ten to eleven million years ago. This family is divided into eight major phylogenetic lineages. The domestic cat is a member of the ''Felis'' lineage. A number of investigations have shown that all domestic varieties of cats come from a single species of the ''Felis'' lineage, ''Felis catus''. Variations of this lineage are found all over the world and up until recently scientists have had a hard time pinning down exactly which region gave rise to modern domestic cat breeds. Scientists believed that it was not just one incident that led to the domesticated cat but multiple, independent incidents at different places that led to these breeds. More complications arose from the fact that the wildcat population as a whole is very widespread and very similar to one another. These variations o ...
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Farm Cat
The farm cat, also known as a barn cat, is a domestic cat, usually of mixed breed, that lives primarily outdoors, in a feral or semi-feral condition on agricultural properties, usually sheltering in outbuildings. They eat assorted vermin such as rodents and other small animals that live in or around outbuildings and farm fields. The need for the farm cat may have been the original reason cats were domesticated, to keep rodents from consuming or contaminating grain crops stored for later human consumption. They are still commonly kept for their effectiveness at controlling undesired vermin found on farms, ranches, greenhouses, and even drug farms, which would otherwise eat or contaminate crops, especially grain or feed stocks. Farm cats hunt the initial rodent population, and their pheromones keep further rodents from filling the void. History Archeological evidence suggests that the earliest domestication of cats occurred about 7500 BC and was motivated by the human need to safe ...
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Meow
A meow or miaow is a cat vocalization. ''Meows'' may have diverse tones and are sometimes chattered, murmured or whispered. Adult cats rarely meow to each other, so an adult cat meowing to human beings is probably a post-domestication extension of meowing by kittens: a call for attention. The meow can be assertive, plaintive, friendly, bold, welcoming, attention-soliciting, demanding, or complaining. It can even be silent, where the cat opens its mouth but does not vocalize. Just as humans may verbalize exhaustively when they are happy, so can cats. According to ''The Purrington Post'', a chatty cat is likely happy too. A mew is a high-pitched meow often produced by kittens. It is apparently used to solicit attention from the kitten's mother, and adult cats may use it as well. The mew is similar to what is described in Brown et al. 1978 as an isolation call. By around three to four weeks of age kittens do not mew when at least one littermate is present, and at four to fiv ...
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Growling
Growling is a low, guttural vocalization produced by animals as an aggressive warning but can also be found in other contexts such as playful behaviors or mating. Different animals will use growling in specific contexts as a form of communication. In humans, low or dull rumbling noises may also be emitted when they are discontent with something or they are angry, although this human sound is often termed " groaning". Animals that growl include felines, bears, canines and crocodilians. The animals most commonly known for growling are canines, bears, and felines. ''Grrr'' is an onomatopoeic word which imitates the growling sound of animals, often used with other related meanings. It is one of the rare pronounceable words of the English language that consists solely of consonants. Its most simple use is by children imitating animals. An example would be: "Mom!, Dad!, Look at me! I'm a polar bear! Grrr!" This word is also widely used in various titles to express growling when w ...
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Retractable Claws
A claw is a curved, pointed appendage found at the end of a toe or finger in most amniotes (mammals, reptiles, birds). Some invertebrates such as beetles and spiders have somewhat similar fine, hooked structures at the end of the leg or tarsus for gripping a surface as they walk. The pincers of crabs, lobsters and scorpions, more formally known as their chelae, are sometimes called claws. A true claw is made of a hard protein called keratin. Claws are used to catch and hold prey in carnivorous mammals such as cats and dogs, but may also be used for such purposes as digging, climbing trees, self-defense and grooming, in those and other species. Similar appendages that are flat and do not come to a sharp point are called nails instead. Claw-like projections that do not form at the end of digits but spring from other parts of the foot are properly named spurs. Tetrapods In tetrapods, claws are made of keratin and consist of two layers. The unguis is the harder external ...
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