Cats, also called domestic cat or house cat ("Felis silvestris catus"), are carnivorous (meat-eating) mammals, of the family "Felidae". Cats have been domesticated for over 3000 years, and they are popular pets. Cats were first domesticated and kept because they eat mice, but later they were kept because they are friendly and good companions. A young cat is called a "kitten". Cats are sometimes called "kitty" or "pussy".
The word "cat" is also used for other felines: the big cats (lions, tigers, and others) and wild cats (lynxes, pumas, and others). These big cats aren't tamed and can be very dangerous. There are many different breeds of tabby cats.
A female cat is a Queen and the male cat is a Tom.
Throughout history, people kept cats because the cats hunted and ate mice, rats, and insects. Today, people often keep cats as pets, but there are also cats that live without being cared for by people. These kinds of cats are called "feral cats". Today, special food for cats is widely available. Proper feeding will make a cat live much longer compared to hunting or being fed table scraps. Not feeding a cat correctly can lead to problems (see below for health concerns).
Cats cannot taste sweet foods (with sugar) because of a mutation (change) in their ancestors which removed the gene necessary for tasting sweet things.
There are many different types of cat food. You can buy "wet" canned food. These come in many different flavors and costs are often very small. There is also "dry" cat food which comes in different sized bags and formulas. There are kitten formulas, cat formulas, health formulas, formulas for reducing a cat's weight, and many others. These can even be organic (made from all natural ingredients), and have vegetables, salmon, tuna, meat, and milk essence.
Cats are carnivorous; meaning that they tend to eat birds and small mammals (like mice). Cats are quiet and well-behaved animals, so they are popular pets. Many house cats no longer hunt their own food, but eat food that their owner gives them, made in factories. Young kittens are playful. So a lot of pet companies make toys to redeem, or rid of, cats energy without the owner always having to pay attention to it.
Cats are very clean animals. They groom themselves by licking their fur. The cat's tongue can act as a hairbrush and can clean and detangle a cats fur. Still, many owners buy grooming products so the cat will not always be depended on to take care of itself. After licking their fur, cats sometimes get hairballs. A hairball is a small amount of fur that is vomited up by animals when it becomes too big. Cats are commonly shown coughing up hairballs in comedy shows. Cats are brushed by their owners to try to prevent a lot of hairballs.
House cats are not often taught to do things, but large cats raised by people in enclosed spaces can be taught to do tricks. When a cat is happy, it moves its chest very quickly, which makes a soft noise. This is called "purring". Cats are also very clean animals. They lick their fur many times a day, and they like clean places. They also sleep a lot, sometimes up to 18 hours a day. This makes them easy to care for.
Health Concerns.
Cats, like other living things, can get diseases. When a cat gets a disease,you should take it to a veterinarian (animal doctor). Depending on the way a cat looks, a disease could be more common. For example, blue-eyed cats with white fur can become sick easier then some other cats. Regular visits to a vet can keep your cat alive many extra years by catching sickness and disease early.
House cats, can become overweight easily due to less exercise than feral (wild) cats, and from being spayed or neutered. (This sometimes is known as being "fixed"). Spaying is done for female cats and neutering is done for male cats. It is important to fix cats to avoid overpopulation which means more cats and dogs to be put to sleep (euthanized) in animal "pounds" (pounds are great places to get animals for little money and you will be saving an animals life too!) It then is important to help your cat stay fit by diet and exercise (play is great exercise and no money need be spent to keep a cat entertained -a piece of string can do the trick! Cats can also be born Polydactyl. Polydactyl means many digits, or many "fingers" from poly (many) and dactyl (digit). Sometimes there is a mutation (change) in cat families. Most cats have only four toes per paw. These mutated cats have five. Rarely, some are born with more than five toes per paw. All of these cats are called " polydactyl cats". They can also be called "Hemingway cats" because author Ernest Hemingway owned many of these cats. This mutation can happen in any breed (kind) of cat.

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