cats

Topics: Cat, Domestication, Paw Pages: 5 (2053 words) Published: October 2, 2014
The domestic cat was first classified as Felis catus by Carolus Linnaeus in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae in 1758.[1][3] However, because of modern phylogenetics, domestic cats are now usually regarded as another subspecies of the wildcat, F. silvestris.[1][4][33] This has resulted in mixed usage of the terms, as the domestic cat can be called by its subspecies name, Felis silvestris catus.[1][4][33] Wildcats have also been referred to as various subspecies of F. catus,[33] but in 2003, theInternational Commission on Zoological Nomenclature fixed the name for wildcats as F. silvestris.[34] The most common name in use for the domestic cat remains F. catus, following a convention for domesticated animals of using the earliest (the senior) synonym proposed.[34] Sometimes, the domestic cat has been called Felis domesticus[35] or Felis domestica,[1] as proposed by German naturalist J. C. P. Erxleben in 1777, but these are not valid taxonomic names and have been used only rarely in scientific literature,[36] because Linnaeus's binomial takes precedence.[37] Cats have either a mutualistic or commensal relationship with humans. However, in comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat are not radically different from those of wildcats, and domestic cats are perfectly capable of surviving in the wild.[38][39] This limited evolution during domestication means that domestic cats tend to interbreed freely with wild relatives,[32] distinguishing them from other domesticated animals.[citation needed] Fully domesticated house cats also often interbreed with feral F. catus populations.[13] However, several natural behaviors and characteristics of wildcats may have preadapted them for domestication as pets.[39] These traits include their small size, social nature, obvious body language, love of play, and relatively high intelligence;[40]:12–17 they may also have an inborn tendency towards tameness.[39] Two main theories are given about how cats were domesticated. In one, people deliberately tamed cats in a process of artificial selection, as they were useful predators of vermin.[41]However, 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.[4] The alternative idea is that cats were simply tolerated by people and gradually diverged from their wild relatives through natural selection, as they adapted to hunting the vermin found around humans in towns and villages.[4] A population of Transcaucasian black feral cats was once classified as Felis daemon (Satunin 1904) but now this population is considered to be a part of domestic cat.[42] Genetics

Main article: Cat genetics
The domesticated cat and its closest wild ancestor are both diploid organisms that possess 38 chromosomes[43] and roughly 20,000 genes.[44] About 250 heritable genetic disordershave been identified in cats, many similar to human inborn errors.[45] The high level of similarity among the metabolism of mammals allows many of these feline diseases to be diagnosed using genetic tests that were originally developed for use in humans, as well as the use of cats as animal models in the study of the human diseases.[46][47] Anatomy

Main article: Cat anatomy

Diagram of the general anatomy of a male
Domestic cats are similar in size to the other members of the genus Felis, typically weighing between 4 and 5 kg (8.8 and 11.0 lb).[30]However, some breeds, such as the Maine Coon, can occasionally exceed 11 kg (25 lb). Conversely, very small cats (less than 1.8 kg (4.0 lb)) have been reported.[48] The world record for the largest cat is 21.3 kg (47 lb).[49] The smallest adult cat ever officially recorded weighed around 1.36 kg (3.0 lb).[49] Feral cats tend to be lighter as...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • study of cats Essay
  • Essay on Cats and Dogs
  • Why I Love Cats Essay
  • Dog vs Cat Battle Research Paper
  • Comparison between cat and human skeleton Essay
  • Cats vs Dogs Essay
  • Essay about Himalayans Cat
  • Domesticated- Cats Verses Dogs Research Paper

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free