The cat (Felis catus) is a small carnivorous mammal. It is the only domesticated species in the family Felidae and often referred to as the domestic cat to distinguish it from wild members of the family. The cat is either a house cat, kept as a pet, or a feral cat, freely ranging and avoiding human contact. A house cat is valued by humans for companionship and for its ability to hunt rodents. About 60 cat breeds are recognized by various cat registries.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felid species, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey. They are predators who are most active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular). Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. Compared to humans, they see better in the dark (they see in near total darkness) and have a better sense of smell, but poorer color vision. Cats, despite being solitary hunters, are a social species. Cat communication includes the use of vocalizations including mewing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting as well as cat-specific body language. Cats also communicate by secreting and perceiving pheromones. Read more...
|Felix the Cat is a cartoon character from the silent-film era. His black body, white eyes, and giant grin, coupled with the surrealism of the situations in which his cartoons place him, combined to make Felix one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world. Felix was the first character from animation to attain a level of popularity sufficient to draw movie audiences based solely on his star power. |
Felix's origins remain disputed. Australian cartoonist and film entrepreneur Pat Sullivan and American animator Otto Messmer have both claimed to be his creator, and evidence seems to back up both claims. However, many historians, such as John Canemaker, argue that Messmer ghosted for Sullivan. Other historians disagree. What is certain is that the cat emerged from Sullivan's studio.
Selected topics about Cats
The Turkish Van
is a breed
that may be derived from a type still to be found in the Lake Van
region of present-day Turkey
. The coat on a Van is considered semi-longhaired. While many cats have three distinct hair types in their coat - guard hairs
, awn hairs
and down hairs
- the Turkish Van only has one. This makes their coat feel like cashmere
or rabbit fur, and the coat dries quickly when wet. Turkish Vans are very intelligent, and will easily take over their home and owners. Vans are people cats that want to be with them wherever they go.
Did you know...
- ...that the fauna of Scotland includes almost half of the EU’s breeding seabirds, but only one endemic vertebrate species, and that although a population of wildcats (pictured) remains, many of the larger mammals were hunted to extinction in historic times?
- ...that the average lifespan of a feral cat who survives kittenhood is two years, compared to 16 years for house cats?
- ...that in addition to human spaceflight, there have been many animals in space, including monkeys, apes, mice, dogs, guinea pigs, frogs, rats, cats, tortoises, fish, newts, insects, snails, spiders and nematodes?
- ...that in cat coat genetics, two different X-chromosome alleles must be expressed to create a calico?
- ...that Socks was one of Bill Clinton's two pets while President of the United States?
- ... that Grumpy Cat's signature facial expression is permanent and probably caused by feline dwarfism?
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