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This article is about the cat species that is commonly kept as a pet. For the cat family, see Felidae. For other uses, see Cat (disambiguation) and Cats (disambiguation).
Domestic cat[1]
Cat poster 1.jpg
Six different breeds of cat
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. catus
Binomial name
Felis catus[2]
Linnaeus, 1758[3]
Felis silvestris catus (subjective synonym)[4]
Felis catus domestica (invalid junior synonym)[5]

The domestic cat[1][2] (Felis catus[2] or Felis silvestris catus[4]) is a small, usually furry, domesticated, and carnivorous mammal. They are often called a housecat when kept as an indoor pet,[6] or simply a cat when there is no need to distinguish them from other felids and felines. Cats are often valued by humans for companionship, and their ability to hunt vermin and household pests.

Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with strong, flexible bodies, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey. Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche. Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. They can see in near darkness. Like most other mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans.

Despite being solitary hunters, cats are a social species, and cat communication includes the use of a variety of vocalizations (mewing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling, and grunting), as well as cat pheromones, and types of cat-specific body language.[7]

Cats have a high breeding rate. Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and shown as registered pedigree pets, a hobby known as cat fancy. Failure to control the breeding...