and include lions, tigers, cougars and many others. Two main theories are given about how cats were domesticated.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.Reviewed by Michael Smith on February 01, 2016 Sources Amy Garber, RN, host.; Hahn, A.
when kept as indoor pets or simply cats when there is no need to distinguish them from other felids and felines.
They are often valued by humans for companionship and for their ability to hunt vermin.
Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by neutering, as well as the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring population control.
In certain areas outside cats' native range, this has contributed, along with habitat destruction and other factors, to the extinction of many bird species.
Cats have been known to extirpate a bird species within specific regions and may have contributed to the extinction of isolated island populations. In comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat is not radically different from those of wildcats and domestic cats are perfectly capable of surviving in the wild.
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.
A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization.
A purebred cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed.
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.