Information about: Cat

Index | Cat

Note: Information is dated. Do not rely on it.

Cat. A well-known domesticated quadruped, order Carnivora, the same name being also given to allied forms of the same order. It is believed that the cat was originally domesticated in Egypt and India, and the gloved cat of Egypt and Nubia has by some been considered the original stock of the domestic cat. It was seldom, if at all, kept by the Greeks and Romans, and until long after the Christian era was rare in many parts of Europe. The domestic cat belongs to a genus - that which contains the lion and the tiger - better armed than any other quadrupeds for the destruction of animal life. The short and powerful jaws, trenchant teeth, cunning disposition, combined with nocturnal habits (for which their eyesight is naturally adapted) and much patience in pursuit, give these animals great advantages over their prey. The cat, in a degree, partakes of all the attributes of its race. Its food, in a state of domestication, is necessarily various, but always of flesh or fish if it can be obtained. Instances of its catching the latter are known, though usually the cat is extremely averse to wetting itself. It is a very cleanly animal, avoiding any sort of filth, and preserving its fur in a very neat condition. Its fur is very easily injured by water on account of the want of oil in it; it can be rendered highly electric by friction. The cat goes with young for sixty-three days, and brings forth usually from three to six at a litter, which remain blind for nine days. It is usually regarded as less intelligent than the dog, but this is by no means certain. It has a singular power of finding its way home when taken to a distance and covered up by the way. Among the various breeds or races of cat may be mentioned the tailless or Manx cat of the Isle of Man; the Tortoise-shell, with its color a mixture of black, white, and brownish or fawn color; the large Angora and Persian cats with their long silky fur; and the Blue Tabby, with long, soft, grayish-blue fur.