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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. Like most other mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans.When it overpowers its prey, a cat delivers a lethal neck bite with its two long canine teeth, inserting them between two of the prey's vertebrae and severing its spinal cord, causing irreversible paralysis and death.The premolar and first molar together compose the carnassial pair on each side of the mouth, which efficiently shears meat into small pieces, like a pair of scissors.Cats of unrecorded, mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic short-haired or domestic long-haired cats, by coat type, or commonly as random-bred, moggies (chiefly British), or (using terms borrowed from dog breeding) mongrels or mutt-cats.While the African wildcat is the ancestral subspecies from which domestic cats are descended, and wildcats and domestic cats can completely interbreed (being subspecies of the same species), several intermediate stages occur between domestic pet and pedigree cats on one hand and entirely wild animals on the other.In any case, cat is a classic case of a Wanderwort.An alternative word is English puss (extended as pussy and pussycat).

In certain areas outside cats' native range, this has contributed, along with habitat destruction and other factors, to the extinction of many bird species.A 2016 study found that leopard cats were undergoing domestication independently in China around 5,500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domesticated populations of today. Cats have either a mutualistic or commensal relationship with humans.and include lions, tigers, cougars and many others. Two main theories are given about how cats were domesticated.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 retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey.when kept as indoor pets or simply cats when there is no need to distinguish them from other felids and felines.