All cats are members of the family
Felidea, which split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making
it one of the oldest mammalian families. All cats share certain characteristics that are unique to the cat family.
Cats are pure carnivores. They need a high level of protein in their diets - around 30% - and lack the digestive equipment to do well on a diet of grains, fruits or vegetables.
They are designed to live from hunting mammals, with powerful jaws, long, sharp teeth,
claws that draw back into their paws when not in use, exceptionally acute
hearing, and eyes adapted for vision in dim light for hunting just before dawn and just after dusk, the prime hunting periods.
Contrary to popular belief, the cat is a social animal. A pet cat will respond and answer to speech , and seems to enjoy human
companionship and can be trained. However, unlike humans and dogs, cats do not suffer a lot from loneliness.
Therefore, it is a mistake to project our social feelings onto our
cats. Cats are social to a degree, but they are far more concerned with territorial issues than we can even imagine.
Cats without apparent pedigree are generally
referred to as "Domestic Shorthair" or "Domestic Longhair", depending
on their coat length. Domestics have a wide range of appearance and temperaments.
Domestics may be found in many colors and combinations of colors. Coat lengths may vary
from short and sleek to full and fluffy to long and draping. Tails also may vary and may
be long, short, kinky, or non-existent. Similarly, eye color also varies with the whims of
Whether you choose a Domestic or a
Pedigreed cat, you may appreciate some hints for determining your cat's color
using the standard nomenclature and some tips on caring for your cat.
As you are reading, do remember that most authorities consider kittenhood to
last until 8 months of age, after which the cat is considered an adult,
though full maturation and development may take up to two years.
Pedigreed cats come in many different
breeds, with traits and personality (temperament) styles being rather uniform within
each breed. The Breed Profiles below provide some information about the history and traits
of each breed. The Breed Standards within each registry (CFA,
CCA, TCA, CFF, FIFE, etc) define
the aesthetic ideal that is being strived for in the registry and breed.