Cats are often shown in icons of Annunciation and of the Holy Family and, according to Italian folklore, on the same night that Mary gave birth to Jesus, a cat in Bethlehem gave birth to a kitten. Please see our brief essay.   Cats can voluntarily extend their claws on one or more paws. The earliest unmistakable evidence of the Greeks having domestic cats comes from two coins from Magna Graecia dating to the mid-fifth century BC showing Iokastos and Phalanthos, the legendary founders of Rhegion and Taras respectively, playing with their pet cats.
 Among feral cats, the most common reason for cat fighting is competition between two males to mate with a female.
This commensal relationship between early farmers and tamed cats lasted thousands of years. Several natural behaviors and characteristics of wildcats may have pre-adapted them for domestication as pets. It walks on the toes, with the bones of the feet making up the lower part of the visible leg.  Their taste buds instead respond to acids, amino acids like protein, and bitter tastes.
, Certain species appear more susceptible than others; for example, 30% of house sparrow mortality is linked to the domestic cat. ", "The evolutionary basis for the feeding behavior of domestic dogs (, "The labyrinthine posture reflex (righting reflex) in the cat during weightlessness", "How does a cat always land on its feet?  This hypothesis is inconsistent with the fact that male cats also bring home prey, despite males having negligible involvement in raising kittens. Nonetheless, cats can still be injured or killed by a high fall.  This surgery also prevents undesirable sex-related behavior, such as aggression, territory marking (spraying urine) in males and yowling (calling) in females.
:43 This is partly the result of cat eyes having a tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light.  Domestic cats are bred and shown at events as registered pedigreed cats, a hobby known as cat fancy.
 Another common reason for fighting in domestic cats is the difficulty of establishing territories within a small home.  Hybridisation between domestic and other Felinae species is also possible. The genus includes the domestic cat.  Feral cats are generally silent.  Cat Scientific Classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae Genus: Felis Scientific Name: Felis catus. Cats are sensitive to pheromones such as 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol, which they use to communicate through urine spraying and marking with scent glands.
A predator that is most active at dawn and dusk, the cat is a solitary hunter but a social species. One feral cat in New Zealand killed 102 New Zealand lesser short-tailed bats in seven days. Vaccinations are available for many infectious diseases, as are treatments to eliminate parasites such as worms and fleas.   The strategy used depends on the prey species in the area, with cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk birds.  Results of phylogenetic research confirm that the wild Felis species evolved through sympatric or parapatric speciation, whereas the domestic cat evolved through artificial selection.
 About 70–80% of cats are affected by nepetalactone.
Post-nursing cats often purr as a sign of contentment: when being petted, becoming relaxed, or eating.
 However, some pet cats are poorly socialized.  Sexually active males are usually involved in many fights during their lives, and often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to their ears and nose. , In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped, and the goddess Bastet often depicted in cat form, sometimes taking on the war-like aspect of a lioness.
, Domestic cats' scent rubbing behavior towards humans or other cats is thought to be a feline means for social bonding.  The numbers of feral cats is not known, but estimates of the United States feral population range from twenty-five to sixty million. The cat was once partnering with the first dog before the latter broke an oath they had made which resulted in enmity between the descendants of these two animals. They fight over her, and the victor wins the right to mate.
In Ovid's Metamorphoses, when the deities flee to Egypt and take animal forms, the goddess Diana turns into a cat.  Cats also engage in play fighting, with each other and with humans.  This response is also produced by other plants, such as silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and the herb valerian; it may be caused by the smell of these plants mimicking a pheromone and stimulating cats' social or sexual behaviors.
Cats shed the outside layer of their claw sheaths when scratching rough surfaces.
The dewclaw is proximal to the other claws.  Cats also have a distinct temperature preference for their food, preferring food with a temperature around 38 °C (100 °F) which is similar to that of a fresh kill and routinely rejecting food presented cold or refrigerated (which would signal to the cat that the "prey" item is long dead and therefore possibly toxic or decomposing). 6. Who developed the system of classifying organisms by assigning them a genus and species name? , Cats are ready to go to new homes at about 12 weeks of age, when they are ready to leave their mother.
, The cat is similar in anatomy to the other felid species: it has a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey.
 Also lending credence to this myth is the fact that falling cats often land on their feet, using an instinctive righting reflex to twist their bodies around. For the cat family, see, Infections transmitted from cats to humans, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (. Cats can be infected or infested with viruses, bacteria, fungus, protozoans, arthropods or worms that can transmit diseases to humans. , When cats become aggressive, they try to make themselves appear larger and more threatening by raising their fur, arching their backs, turning sideways and hissing or spitting. Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puisín or puiscín. Cats are common pets throughout the world, and their worldwide population exceeds 500 million as of 2007.
, The cat is digitigrade.
:35 Within the jaw, cats have teeth adapted for killing prey and tearing meat. Males are larger than females.  While asleep, cats experience short periods of rapid eye movement sleep often accompanied by muscle twitches, which suggests they are dreaming.  Estimated genetic divergence times of the listed species are indicated in million years ago (Mya), based on analysis of autosomal, xDNA, yDNA and mtDNA gene segments.
 String is often used as a toy, but if it is eaten, it can become caught at the base of the cat's tongue and then move into the intestines, a medical emergency which can cause serious illness, even death.
", "The ASPCA Warns About High-Rise Falls by Cats: High-Rise Apartments, Windows, Terraces and Fire Escapes Pose Risk to Urban Cats", Biodiversity Heritage Library bibliography, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cat&oldid=986210296, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from November 2014, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2017, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2019, Articles containing Old English (ca.  Domestic cats are valued by humans for companionship and their ability to hunt rodents.  Adult cats live their lives in a kind of extended kittenhood, a form of behavioral neoteny. In particular, older cats show aggressiveness towards newly arrived kittens, which include biting and scratching; this type of behavior is known as feline asocial aggression.  In 2017, the IUCN Cat Classification Taskforce followed the recommendation of the ICZN in regarding the domestic cat as a distinct species, Felis catus.
A raised tail indicates a friendly greeting, and flattened ears indicates hostility. Fights usually consist of grappling and delivering powerful slaps to the face and body with the forepaws as well as bites. Some cat breeds are prone to having extra digits (“polydactyly”). The first litter is usually smaller than subsequent litters. However, fights for mating rights are typically more severe and injuries may include deep puncture wounds and lacerations. They become habituated to a toy they have played with before. These contain keratin which makes them rigid so the papillae act like a hairbrush. , A black cat from Transcaucasia described in 1904 as F. daemon by Satunin turned out to be a feral cat, probably a hybrid of wildcat and domestic cat.  Compared to other felines, domestic cats have narrowly spaced canine teeth relative to the size of their jaw, which is an adaptation to their preferred prey of small rodents, which have small vertebrae. Additional support has come from the Marisla Foundation, UM College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Museum of Zoology, and Information and Technology Services.
, The earliest known indication for the taming of an African wildcat (F. lybica) was excavated close by a human Neolithic grave in Shillourokambos, southern Cyprus, dating to about 7500-7200 BC.
 The word may be derived from Germanic and Northern European languages, and ultimately be borrowed from Uralic, cf.
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