Cat Catalog

black cat green eyes

Felines (Cats)

Cats are in the feline family.
This includes both big wildcats and pet cats that live in our homes.
The feline family has over 40 cat species. Some are as big as the fierce tiger while others are small like the tabby cat napping on your bed.

Pet cats and wildcats are different in many ways. But they share the things that make cats such special animals.

Cat Catalog

Please note: this page is a work in progress, and new information is added regularly as we research it.

Overview

Cats have a flexible skeletal structure and powerful muscles, allowing for agility and precise movements.

Their anatomy is specialized for hunting, with sharp retractable claws and heightened senses.

  • Definition of cats (Felidae family)
  • General characteristics of cats
  • Domestic vs. wild cats
  • Global distribution and habitats
  • Ecological roles and importance
  • Cultural significance across civilizations
  • Basic cat care and ownership statistics

Taxonomy and Classification

Taxonomy of Cats Image
Cat Families Taxonomy Image
  • Felidae family overview
  • Major taxonomic groups:
  • Pantherinae subfamily (big cats)
  • Felinae subfamily (small cats)
  • Extinct subfamilies
  • Genetic relationships among cat species
  • Evolutionary timeline of cats
  • Recent taxonomic debates and reclassifications
  • Distinguishing features of cat subfamilies

History and Evolution

  • History and Evolution:
  • Feline ancestors and prehistoric cats
  • Domestication process
  • Ancient cat worship (e.g., in Egypt)
  • Cats in different cultures throughout history
  • Breed development and selective breeding
  • Modern cat breeds and their origins
  • Cats in art and literature
  • Evolutionary adaptations
  • Genetic divergence from wild cats
  • Feline migration patterns
  • Impact of human activity on cat evolution
  • Conservation status of wild cat species
Walking cat

Want to know more?

In our Cat Catalog: Overview of Cats page, we offer a comprehensive overview of the feline world. Explore the fascinating history of cat evolution, understand their taxonomic classification, and discover how these enigmatic creatures have intertwined their lives with humans throughout the ages.

Anatomy

  • Body Structure and Size
  • Skeletal Structure
  • Muscular System
  • Internal Organs
  • Teeth and Jaws
  • Claws and Paws
  • Skin and Fur

Physiology

  • Digestive System
  • Circulatory System
  • Respiratory System
  • Nervous System
  • Endocrine System
  • Metabolism
  • Urinary System
  • Immune System

Specialized Features

  • Specialized Teeth
  • Cortisol Response

Reproduction and Genetics

  • Reproductive Cycle
  • Estrus Cycle
  • Mating Behavior
  • Gestation and Birth
  • Kitten Development
  • Heredity and Genetic Traits
  • Coat Colors and Patterns
  • Breed-Specific Traits
  • Common Genetic Disorders

Senses

  • Vision and Eye Structure
  • Hearing and Ear Anatomy
  • Smell and Olfactory System
  • Taste and Tongue Structure
  • Touch and Tactile Receptors
  • Balance and Equilibrium
  • Whiskers and Vibrissae

Lifespan and Development

  • Fetal Development
  • Neonatal Period
  • Kitten Stage
  • Adolescence
  • Adulthood
  • Senior Years
  • Factors Affecting Lifespan

Adaptations

  • Nocturnal Adaptations
  • Hunting Abilities
  • Climbing and Balancing
  • Flexibility and Agility
  • Temperature Regulation
  • Water Conservation
  • Sensory Adaptations

Want to know more?

Our Cat Catalog: Feline Biology and Science page delves into the intricate workings of cat physiology. From their keen senses to their agile bodies, learn about the unique adaptations that make cats such remarkable animals and how these features help them thrive in diverse environments.

Discover Cat Biology (coming soon)

Communication

  • Vocalizations
  • Body Language
  • Scent Marking
  • Facial Expressions
  • Tail Positions
  • Ear Movements
  • Tactile Communication

Social Structure

  • Solitary vs. Social Behavior
  • Territorial Behavior
  • Dominance and Submission
  • Feral Cat Colonies
  • Mother-Kitten Relationships
  • Multi-Cat Households
  • Interaction with Other Species

Hunting/Feeding Behavior

  • Predatory Instincts
  • Hunting Techniques
  • Dietary Preferences
  • Feeding Patterns
  • Play Behavior and Hunting
  • Impact on Local Ecosystems
  • Domestication Effects on Hunting

Intelligence and Learning

  • Problem-Solving Abilities
  • Memory and Recognition
  • Training and Conditioning
  • Environmental Enrichment
  • Cognitive Aging
  • Comparative Intelligence
  • Individual Differences

Habitat and Distribution

  • Natural Habitats
  • Geographic Distribution
  • Adaptation to Urban Environments
  • Habitat Loss and Fragmentation
  • Range Expansion
  • Climate Influences
  • Ecological Niches

Migration Patterns

  • Seasonal Movements
  • Dispersal Behavior
  • Home Range Size
  • Factors Influencing Movement
  • Tracking Technologies
  • Conservation Implications
  • Comparison with Other Species
Cat streching

Want to know more?

In our Cat Catalog: Behavior and Psychology page, we delve deeper into the fascinating world of feline behavior, exploring how cats communicate, interact socially, and adapt to their surroundings. Discover the complexities of cat intelligence, their hunting instincts, and the unique ways they perceive their environment.

Understand Cat Behavior (Coming Soon)

Domestic (Pet) Cats

  • Breed standards and registries
  • Long-haired vs. short-haired breeds
  • Popular breeds (e.g., Siamese, Persian, Maine Coon)
  • Rare and unusual breeds
  • Natural vs. man-made breeds
  • Breed-specific traits and characteristics
  • Health concerns in purebred cats
  • Hypoallergenic breeds
  • Experimental and developing breeds
  • Breed personality traits
  • Geographic origins of various breeds
  • Mixed breeds and “designer” cats

Wild Cats

  • Big cats (lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards)
  • Medium-sized Cats (Lynx, Ocelots, etc.)
  • Small Wild Cats (Fishing Cat, Sand Cat, etc.)
  • Extinct Wild Cat Species
  • Conservation Status of Wild Cats
  • Endangered wild cat species
  • Habitat and geographic distribution
  • Behavioral differences from domestic cats
  • Hunting and feeding habits
  • Social structures in wild cat populations
  • Human-wild cat conflict
  • Adaptations to various environments
  • Hybridization between wild cat species
  • Lesser-known wild cat species

Breed Development

  • Historical Development of Cat BreedsS
  • elective Breeding Practices
  • Emergence of New Breeds
  • Breed Recognition Process
  • Influence of Geography on Breed Development
  • Cultural Significance of Certain Breeds
  • Future Trends in Cat Breeding

Notable Species

  • Cheetah: The Speed Champion
  • Snow Leopard: The Mountain Ghost
  • Clouded Leopard: The Tree-dwelling Acrobat
  • Black-footed Cat: The Smallest African Cat
  • Smilodon: The Saber-toothed Tiger
  • Fishing Cat: The Aquatic Hunter
  • Pallas’s Cat: The Expressive Wildcat

Invasive Species

  • Feral Domestic CatsImpact on Native Wildlife
  • Island Ecosystems and Cats
  • Control and Management Strategies
  • Success Stories in Invasive Cat Management
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Public Awareness and Education
Silhouette of a lion

Want to know more?

Discover the diverse world of cat breeds in our Cat Catalog: Cat Breeds page. From domestic favorites to wild species, explore the characteristics that make each breed unique. Learn about their origins, traits, and the ongoing efforts in breed development and conservation.

Explore Cat Breeds (coming soon)

Cats As Pets

  • History of cat domestication
  • Benefits of cat ownership (physical and mental health)
  • Responsibilities of cat ownership
  • Common cat behaviors in domestic settings
  • Training and socialization techniques
  • Multi-cat households
  • Indoor vs. outdoor cats: pros and cons

Cultural Significance

  • Cats in ancient religions and mythologies
  • Cats in literature and art throughout history
  • Superstitions and folklore surrounding cats
  • Cats in modern pop culture and media
  • Famous cats in history
  • Cat cafes and cat-themed businesses
  • Internet cat culture and memes

Economic Importance

  • Pet industry statistics related to cats
  • Cat food and product market
  • Veterinary care and services
  • Cat shows and competitions
  • Cats in advertising and marketing
  • Employment opportunities in cat-related fields
  • Economic impact of feral cat management

Welfare Issues

  • Animal rights and cat welfare laws
  • Common health issues in domestic cats
  • Overpopulation and spay/neuter programs
  • Feral cat management strategies
  • Cat abandonment and shelter systems
  • Ethical considerations in breeding practices
  • Improving living conditions for working cats (e.g., barn cats)
Human hands and Cat paw

Want to learn more?

Our Cat Catalog: Human-Cat Interactions page examines the complex relationship between humans and felines. Explore cats’ roles as pets and their cultural significance, delve into economic impacts, and understand critical welfare issues shaping our interactions with these beloved animals.

Learn About Cat-Human Bonds (coming soon)

Conservation Efforts

  • Overview of international conservation organizations
  • Key conservation strategies for different cat species
  • Habitat preservation and restoration projects
  • Anti-poaching efforts and law enforcement
  • Captive breeding and reintroduction programs
  • Community-based conservation initiatives
  • Funding and challenges in cat conservation

Zoos and Conservation Programs

  • Role of zoos in cat conservation
  • Species Survival Plans (SSPs) for endangered cats
  • Education and public awareness programs
  • Research conducted in zoo settings
  • Ethical considerations of cats in captivity
  • Collaborations between zoos and wild conservation efforts
  • Success stories of zoo-based conservation programs

Wild Cat Conservation and Management

  • Overview of wild cat conservation status
  • Major threats to wild cat populations
  • Conservation strategies and programs
  • Role of zoos and wildlife sanctuaries
  • Human-wildlife conflict management
  • Success stories in wild cat conservation
  • Citizen science and public involvement in conservation

Threats

  • Habitat loss and fragmentation
  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Poaching and illegal wildlife trade
  • Climate change impacts
  • Disease and health issues
  • Genetic bottlenecks in small populations
  • Competition with invasive species

Population Trends

  • Current population estimates for various cat species
  • Historical population trends
  • Monitoring techniques and challenges
  • Impact of conservation efforts on population numbers
  • Case studies of population recoveries and declines
  • Importance of genetic diversity in populations
  • Predictive modeling for future population trends

Future Outlook

  • Projected scenarios for different cat species
  • Emerging conservation technologies and techniques
  • Potential impacts of climate change on cat habitats
  • Role of rewilding in cat conservation
  • Sustainable development and its effect on cat populations
  • Public engagement and the future of conservation funding
  • Balancing human needs with cat conservation

Want to learn more?

In the Cat Catalog: Conservation Status page, we highlight the crucial efforts to protect wild cat populations. Learn about current threats, conservation initiatives, and the vital role of zoos and wildlife programs in ensuring a future for these magnificent creatures.

Support Cat Conservation (coming soon)
Black and White animals in Africa

Cat Curiosities: Fascinating Feline Facts

  • Cats can make over 100 different sounds, while dogs only make about 10
  • A group of cats is called a “clowder”Cats spend 70% of their lives sleeping
  • The first cat in space was a French cat named Felicette in 1963
  • Cats can’t taste sweetness
  • The oldest known pet cat was found in a 9,500-year-old grave on Cyprus
  • A cat’s hearing is much more sensitive than a human’s or dog’s
  • Cats have a third eyelid called the “nictitating membrane”
  • The ridged pattern on a cat’s nose is as unique as a human fingerprint
  • Cats can jump up to six times their length


Dive into a treasure trove of feline trivia on our Cat Catalog: Fascinating Feline Facts page. Uncover surprising tidbits about cat biology, behavior, and history that will delight and amaze both novice and expert cat enthusiasts alike.

Uncover Cat Facts (coming soon)

Cutting-Edge Cat Science: Latest Research and Discoveries

  • Feline genome sequencing and its implications
  • Studies on cat cognition and problem-solving abilities
  • Research on feline infectious diseases and treatments
  • Conservation genetics and its role in protecting wild cat populations
  • Investigations into cat-human bond and its psychological effects
  • Studies on feral cat behavior and management strategies
  • Research on environmental enrichment for captive cats
  • Advancements in feline nutrition and dietary needs
  • Studies on the impact of cats on local ecosystems
  • Ongoing research on cat domestication and evolutionary history

Stay at the forefront of feline science with our Cat Catalog: Cat Research and Studies page. Explore the latest discoveries in cat biology, behavior, and conservation, and learn how cutting-edge research is shaping our understanding of these complex animals.

Explore Cat Research (coming soon)
Cat laying but awake and aware

Feline Fictions: Debunking Common Cat Myths

  • Myth: Cats always land on their feet
    • Fact: While cats have a righting reflex, they can be injured in falls
  • Myth: Cats hate water
    • Fact: Some cat breeds, like the Turkish Van, enjoy water
  • Myth: Milk is good for cats
    • Fact: Many adult cats are lactose intolerant
  • Myth: Cats can see in complete darkness
    • Fact: Cats need some light to see, but they see better than humans in low light
  • Myth: Black cats are bad luck
    • Fact: This superstition varies culturally and has no factual basis
  • Myth: Cats are nocturnal
    • Fact: Cats are actually crepuscular, most active at dawn and dusk
  • Myth: Indoor cats don’t need vaccinations
    • Fact: Indoor cats still need certain vaccinations for health protection
  • Myth: Purring always means a cat is happy
    • Fact: Cats also purr when in pain or stressed
  • Myth: Cats are aloof and unaffectionate
    • Fact: Many cats form strong bonds and show affection to their owners
  • Myth: Declawing is a simple nail-trimming procedure
    • Fact: Declawing is actually an amputation of the last bone of each toe

Separate fact from fiction on our Cat Catalog: Feline Myths and Misconceptions page. Challenge your assumptions about cats and gain a more accurate understanding of these often misunderstood creatures, backed by scientific evidence and expert knowledge

Debunk Cat Myths (coming soon)
Cat Catalog 
Cat Tracks

Sources

“Cat Breeds.” CatTime, https://cattime.com/cat-breeds.

“Cats: What Does My Cat’s Meow Mean?” ASPCA, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/meow-means.

“Cats – Normal Values.” AVMA, https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/cats-normal-values.

“Detailed Breed Standards and Show Class Judging Procedures.” Cat Fanciers’ Association, https://cfa.org/.

“Encouraging Natural Behaviours in Cats.” International Cat Care, https://icatcare.org/advice/encouraging-natural-behaviours-in-cats/.

“Encyclopedia Articles Outlining Scientific Classification, Conservation Threats, and Habitat Ranges of Wild Feline Species.” National Geographic – Animals Reference, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/..

“Getting a New Cat.” VCA Hospitals, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/getting-a-new-cat.

“In-depth Analyses of Physiological and Neurological Mechanisms Supporting Feline Sensory Capabilities and Instinctive Behavioral Patterns.” Journal of Comparative Physiology A – Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology, https://www.springer.com/journal/357.

“Normal Feline Vital Signs.” UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, https://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/hospital/animal-health-topics/normal-feline-vital-signs.

“Peer Reviewed Clinical Studies and Review Articles on Cat Diseases and Veterinary Treatments.” Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, https://journals.sagepub.com/home/jfm.

“Non-profit Funder of Studies Enhancing Cat Health and Care Through Veterinary Research Grants.” Winn Feline Foundation, https://www.winnfelinefoundation.org.