The family Felidae
(the felids) includes the lion
, the tiger
, the domestic cat
, and other felines
as its members. All of the fifteen families in the order Carnivora
are recognized as obligate carnivores
lacking the necessary enzymes required for the digestion and metabolism of plant matter. The first felids emerged during the Eocene
, about 40 million years ago. The most familiar feline is the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus
), which first became associated with humans about 10,000 years ago. Its wild relative, the wildcat
, still lives in Europe, Africa and western Asia, although habitat destruction
has restricted their range.
The domestic cat (or simply "cat", although the term can refer to all felids) is a small carnivorous mammal descended from the African wildcat. The cat is a skilled predator and intelligent animal, known to hunt over 1,000 species for food, and intelligent enough that it can be trained (and can learn by itself) to obey simple commands and manipulate simple mechanisms. It has lived in close association with humans for at least 9,500 years, figuring prominently in the mythology and legends of many cultures.
The Bobcat (Lynx rufus), occasionally known as the Bay Lynx, is a North American mammal of the cat family, Felidae. With twelve recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico, including most of the contiguous United States. The Bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semi-desert, urban edge, and swampland environments. Although the Bobcat has been subject to extensive hunting by humans, both for sport and fur, its population has proven resilient.
With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the Bobcat resembles the other species of the mid-sized Lynx genus. It is smaller than the Canadian Lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.
Though the Bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it will hunt anything from insects and small rodents to deer and Pronghorn Antelope. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the Bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although there is some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces.
A Jaguar in a wildlife rescue & rehabilitation centre in Formosa Province, Argentina.
Selected topics about Cats
Savannahs are cats produced by crossbreeding Servals and domestic cats. The coat of a Savannah depends a lot on the breed of cat used for the domestic cross. Early generations have some form of dark spotting on a lighter coat, and many breeders employ "wild" looking spotted breeds such as the Bengal and Egyptian Mau for the cross to help preserve these markings in later generations. An often noted trait of the Savannah is its jumping ability. Savannahs are known to jump up on top of doors, refrigerators and high cabinets. Some Savannahs can leap about 8 feet (2.5 m) high from a standing position. As, pets, they are commonly compared to dogs in their loyalty, and they will follow their owners around the house like a canine. They can also be trained to walk on a leash like a dog, and even fetch...
- ...that the fauna of Scotland includes almost half of the EU’s breeding seabirds, but only one endemic vertebrate species, and that although a population of wildcats (pictured) remains, many of the larger mammals were hunted to extinction in historic times?
- ...that the average lifespan of a feral cat who survives kittenhood is two years, compared to 16 years for house cats?
- ...that in addition to human spaceflight, there have been many animals in space, including monkeys, apes, mice, dogs, guinea pigs, frogs, rats, cats, tortoises, fish, newts, insects, snails, spiders and nematodes?
- ...that in cat coat genetics, two different X-chromosome alleles must be expressed to create a calico?
- ...that Socks was one of Bill Clinton's two pets while President of the United States?
- ... that Grumpy Cat's signature facial expression is permanent and probably caused by feline dwarfism?