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and include lions, tigers, cougars and many others. Two main theories are given about how cats were domesticated.

Within this family, domestic cats (Felis catus) are part of the genus Felis, which is a group of small cats containing about seven species (depending upon classification scheme). In one, people deliberately tamed cats in a process of artificial selection as they were useful predators of vermin.

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A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization.

A purebred (or pure-bred) cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed.

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.

In certain areas outside cats' native range, this has contributed, along with habitat destruction and other factors, to the extinction of many bird species. In comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat is not radically different from those of wildcats and domestic cats are perfectly capable of surviving in the wild.

Cats have been known to extirpate a bird species within specific regions and may have contributed to the extinction of isolated island populations. Cats have either a mutualistic or commensal relationship with humans.

Many references refer to "Berber" (Kabyle) kaddîska, 'wildcat', and Nubian kadīs as possible sources or cognates, but M.

Lionel Bender suggesets the Nubian term is a loan from Arabic Huehnergard opines it is "equally likely that the forms might derive from an ancient Germanic word, imported into Latin and thence to Greek and to Syriac and Arabic".

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.

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