Not classified by the IUCN.
Domestic cats, Felis catus, are the second most popular domestic pet in the world, second only to the domestic dog, Canis lupus familiaris. However, unlike dog breeds, cats tend to have a weight class that rarely goes over 15 to 20 lbs. The Cat Fanciers’ Association currently recognizes 42 breeds for show while The International Cat Association recognizes 71 breeds for show.
The domestic cat is believed to have evolved from the wild cats in the Middle East and Africa, including the African Wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, anywhere from 70 to 100-thousand years ago. Other members of the genus Felis are found across the globe and include the jungle cat (Felis chaus), the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris), the Chinese mountain cat (Felis bieti), and the Arabian sand cat (Felis margarita). The domestic cat is often also referred to as another subspecies of wildcat and can be called by the subspecies name Felis silvestris catus, which can sometimes lead to confusion in the lay community.
Also unlike dogs, cats have not undergone any major changed throughout the domestication process. Their physical and behavioral characteristics are not radically different than their wild cousins. However, as a result of selective breeding, breeds such as the Persian require human care and attention to remain healthy due to the nature of their nasal and facial structure.
In comparison to dogs, cats tend to not have mutualistic relationships with humans; they typically have commensal relationships with humans, although they can have mutualistic relationships. Cats are also typically more active in the evenings and at night, though they are not truly nocturnal by nature.
These three domestic kitties have the distinction of being the only animal residents at the Conservators Center who were adopted by another animal. We found them as abandoned kittens, having moved into the enclosure with one of our male binturongs. Our immediate intent was to remove them, but then we saw how their new binturong “dad” snuggled up to them and shared his food bowl with them. How could we split up such an adorable family? We soon had the girls spayed and vaccinated and let them coexist with their new parent! After their bearcat papa passed away, we decided to keep them here since they have always lived an outdoor lifestyle, and we certainly did not want to split up these very bonded sisters. They now live off the tour path where they try to (loudly) charm our animal care staff into giving them just a bit...more...food!