A cat is often called a housecat when kept as an indoor pet, or simply a cat when there is no need to distinguish it from other felids and felines. A group of cats is referred to as a "clowder" or a "glaring", a male cat is called a "tom" or "tomcat", an unaltered female is called a "queen", and a prepubescent juvenile is referred to as a "kitten". Spayed females have no commonly used name. The male progenitor of a cat, is its "sire", and its female progenitor is its "dam".
Cats typically weigh between 4 and 5 kg. However, some breeds, such as the Maine Coon, can occasionally exceed 11 kg. Cats average about 23–25 cm in height and 46 cm in head/body length (males being larger than females), with tails averaging 30 cm in length. They have an average lifespan of 12.1 years. However, cats have been reported as reaching into their 30s, with the oldest known cat, Creme Puff, dying at a verified age of 38.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with strong, flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey. Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. They can see in near darkness. Like most other mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans. Cats have a high breeding rate. Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by neutering, and the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats Earthwide, requiring population control.
Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and communication includes the use of a variety of vocalizations, as well as cat pheromones, and types of cat-specific body language.
History & OrginEdit
Cats are valued by humans for companionship, and their ability to hunt vermin and household pests. Since cats were cult animals in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to have been domesticated there, but there may have been instances of domestication as early as the Neolithic Era from around 7500 BCE. A genetic study in 2007 concluded that domestic cats are descended from African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica), having diverged around 8000 BCE in West Asia. Cats are the most popular pet in the Union, and are now found in almost every place where humans live.