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Within this family, domestic cats (Felis catus) are part of the genus Felis, which is a group of small cats containing about seven species (depending upon classification scheme). In one, people deliberately tamed cats in a process of artificial selection as they were useful predators of vermin.Members of the genus are found worldwide and include the jungle cat (Felis chaus) of southeast Asia, European wildcat (F. This has been criticized as implausible, because the reward for such an effort may have been too little; cats generally do not carry out commands and although they do eat rodents, other species such as ferrets or terriers may be better at controlling these pests.
Huehnergard opines it is "equally likely that the forms might derive from an ancient Germanic word, imported into Latin and thence to Greek and to Syriac and Arabic".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.There are more than seventy cat breeds recognized by various cat registries.Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey.The semiferal cat, a mostly outdoor cat, 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 for food, but are typically wary of human interaction.
It has traditionally thought to be a borrowing from Late Latin cattus "domestic cat", from catta (used around 75 AD by Martial), The Late Latin word is generally thought to originate from an Afro-Asiatic language, but every proposed source word has presented problems.
Many references refer to "Berber" (Kabyle) kaddîska "wildcat" and "Nubian kadīs" as possible sources or cognates, but M.
A 2016 study found that leopard cats were undergoing domestication independently in China around 5,500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domesticated populations of today. Cats have either a mutualistic or commensal relationship with humans.
and include lions, tigers, cougars and many others. Two main theories are given about how cats were domesticated.
Cats have been known to extirpate a bird species within specific regions and may have contributed to the extinction of isolated island populations.