Cat

From Main Street Museum Catalog Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Sleepykitty00.jpg

Domestic Cat or House Cat (Felis silvestris catus)

The cat (Felis catus), also known as the domestic cat or house cat to distinguish it from other felines, is a small carnivorous species of crepuscular mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and its ability to hunt vermin, snakes and scorpions. It has been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years. [1]

A skilled predator, the cat is known to hunt over 1,000 species for food. It can be trained to obey simple commands. Individual cats have also been known to learn on their own to manipulate simple mechanisms, such as doorknobs. With 69 million of them present in American homes, [2] cats are the most or the second most popular pets in that country.

Until recently the cat was commonly believed to have been domesticated in ancient Egypt, where it was a cult animal. However a 2007 study found that all house cats are probably descended from a group of as few as five self-domesticating African Wildcats Felis silvestris lybica circa 8000 BC, in the Near East.

Specimens in the Museum

See also: Cat Toys