The cat (Felis catus, or Felis silvestris catus, literally “woodland cat”),415 often referred to as the domestic cat to distinguish from other felids and felines, is a small, typically furry, carnivorous mammal. It is often called house cat6 when kept as indoor pet or feral/feral domestic cat when wild.7 It is often valued by humans for companionship and for its ability to hunt vermin.
There are more than seventy cat breeds recognized by various cat registries. Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth and retractable claws 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.
Cats, despite being solitary hunters, 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.8