Orange CatDiscover Your Cat

Physiology & Behavior| Feeding & Diet

Welcome to "Discover your Cat" web site. Your visit is very welcomed. You are in the right place if you're seeking to know and to learn more about your precious cat. The purpose of this site is to give you a lot of information about cats in general, Who knows? it may be yours in particular. Keep reading. You will not regret this adventure.

Human attitudes toward cats vary widely. Some people keep cats for casual companionship as pets. Others go to great lengths to pamper their cats, sometimes treating them as if they were children. Cats are also bred and shown as registered pedigree pets, in a hobby known as the cat fancy. Because of their small size, domesticated house cats pose almost no danger to adult humans — the main hazard is the possibility of infection (e.g., cat scratch disease, or rarely, rabies) from a cat bite or scratch.

The word cat derives from Old English catt, which belongs to a group of related words in European languages, including Welsh cath, Spanish gato, Basque katu, Byzantine Greek kátia, Old Irish cat, German Katze, and Old Church Slavonic kotka. The ultimate source of all these terms is Late Latin catus, cattus, catta "domestic cat", as opposed to feles "European wildcat". It is unclear whether the Greek or the Latin came first, but they were undoubtedly borrowed from an Afro-Asiatic language akin to Nubian kadís and Berber kaddîska, both meaning "wildcat”.

A group of cats is referred to as a clowder, a male cat is called a tom (or a gib, if neutered), and a female is called a queen. The male progenitor of a cat, especially a pedigreed cat, is its sire, and its female progenitor is its dam. An immature cat is called a kitten. In medieval Britain, the word kitten was interchangeable with the word catling. A cat whose ancestry is formally registered is called a pedigreed cat, purebred cat, or a show cat (although not all show cats are pedigreed or purebred).
In strict terms, a purebred cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed. A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded, but may have ancestors of different breeds (almost exclusively new breeds; cat registries are very strict about which breeds can be mated together). Cats of unrecorded mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic longhairs and domestic short hairs or commonly as random-bred, moggies, mongrels, mutt-cats or alley cats. The ratio of pedigree/purebred cats to random-bred cats varies from country to country. However, generally speaking, purebreds are less than ten percent of the total Feline population.

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Thomas L. Dugue
July 21, 2008