The domestic cat or house cat is a small domesticated
animal that is beautiful and confident. It is often kept as an indoor pet. Cats
are often valued by humans for companionship and their ability to hunt rats,
lizards and all sorts of household pests. A genetic study in 2007 revealed that
domestic cats are descended from African Wildcats circa 8000 BCE, in the Middle
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. According to research, cats are the
most popular household pet in the world, and are now found in almost every place
where people live.
Cats have strong, flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp
retractable claws and teeth that are adapted
to killing small prey. They are predatory in nature. Cats can hear sounds too
faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice. They
can see in near darkness and have an acute sense of smell. Like most other
mammals, cats can't see colours the way humans can.
Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and cat
communication includes mewing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting
as well as other types of cat-specific body language.
Just like dog shows, there are cat shows for pedigree cats. Breeding here is
done in a controlled manner, where only the best males and females are bred for
a limited number of times. However, failure
to control the breeding of pet cats by spaying
and neutering can cause serious problems as cats breed very rapidly.
Furthermore, the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large
numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring population control.