10 Most Popular Cat Breeds Around The World

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1) Persian Cat
2) Siamese Cat
3) Turkish Van Cat
4) British Shorthair Cat
5) Birman Cat
6) American Bobtail Cat
7) Bombay Cat
8) Cymric Cat
9) Himalayan Cat
10) Snowshoe Cat

The domestic cat is a small, usually furry, domesticated, and carnivorous mammal. It is often called the housecat when kept as an indoor pet, or simply the cat when there is no need to distinguish it from other felids and felines. Cats are often valued by humans for companionship, and their ability to hunt vermin and household pests.

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.

Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and cat communication includes the use of a variety of vocalizations (mewing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting) as well as cat pheromones, and types of cat-specific body language.

Cats have a rapid breeding rate. Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and shown as registered pedigree pets, a hobby known as cat fancy. 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 worldwide, requiring population control.

Since cats were cult animals in ancient Egypt, they were commonly believed to have been domesticated there,[9] but there may have been instances of domestication as early as the Neolithic from around 9500 years ago (7500 BC).

A genetic study in 2007 concluded that domestic cats are descended from African wildcats (Felis silvestris lybica) c. 8000 BC, in West Asia.[9][11] Cats are the most popular pet in the world, and are now found in almost every place where humans live.

The English word cat (Old English catt) is in origin a loanword, introduced to many languages of Europe from Latin cattus[14] and Byzantine Greek κάττα, including Portuguese and Spanish gato, French chat, German Katze, Lithuanian katė and Old Church Slavonic kotka, among others.[15] The ultimate source of the word is Afroasiatic, presumably from Late Egyptian čaute,[16] the feminine of čaus “wildcat”. The word was introduced, together with the domestic animal itself, to the Roman Republic by the 1st century BC.[citation needed] An alternative word with cognates in many languages is English puss (pussycat). Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puisín. The etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound used to attract a cat.

A group of cats is referred to as a “clowder” or a “glaring”,[19] a male cat is called a “tom” or “tomcat”[20] (or a “gib”,[21] if neutered), an unaltered female is called a “queen”,[22] and a pre-pubescent juvenile is referred to as a “kitten”. Although spayed females have no commonly used name, in some rare instances immature or spayed females are referred to as a “molly”.[citation needed] The male progenitor of a cat, especially a pedigreed cat, is its “sire”, and its female progenitor is its “dam”. In Early Modern English, the word kitten was interchangeable with the now-obsolete word catling.

A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization. A purebred cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed. Many pedigreed and especially purebred cats are exhibited as show cats. Cats of unrecorded, mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic short-haired or domestic long-haired cats, by coat type, or commonly as random-bred, moggies (chiefly British), or (using terms borrowed from dog breeding) mongrels or mutt-cats.

While the African wildcat is the ancestral subspecies from which domestic cats are descended, and wildcats and domestic cats can completely interbreed, there are several intermediate stages between domestic pet and pedigree cats on the one hand and those entirely wild animals on the other. The semi-feral cat is a mostly outdoor cat that is not owned by any one individual, but is generally friendly to people and may be fed by several households. Feral cats are associated with human habitation areas and may be fed by people or forage in rubbish, but are typically wary of human interaction.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat

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