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Portal:Cats

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Cougar closeup.jpg
The family Felidae (the felids) includes the lion, the tiger, the domestic cat, and other felines as its members. All of the fifteen families in the order Carnivora are recognized as obligate carnivores lacking the necessary enzymes required for the digestion and metabolism of plant matter. The first felids emerged during the Eocene, about 40 million years ago. The most familiar feline is the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus), which first became associated with humans about 10,000 years ago. Its wild relative, the wildcat, still lives in Europe, Africa and western Asia, although habitat destruction has restricted their range.

The domestic cat (or simply "cat", although the term can refer to all felids) is a small carnivorous mammal descended from the African wildcat. The cat is a skilled predator and intelligent animal, known to hunt over 1,000 species for food, and intelligent enough that it can be trained (and can learn by itself) to obey simple commands and manipulate simple mechanisms. It has lived in close association with humans for at least 9,500 years, figuring prominently in the mythology and legends of many cultures.

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A caracal hanging out at the San Diego Zoo
The Caracal is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat ranging over the Middle East and Africa. The word caracal comes from the Turkish word "karakulak", meaning "black ear". Although it has traditionally had the alternative names Persian Lynx and African Lynx, the caracal is a form of African Lynx or "The African Golden Cat" . Its ears, which it uses to locate prey, are controlled by 20 different muscles. The caracal is classified as a small cat, yet is amongst the heaviest of all small cats.


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Black panther
Credit: Mizunoryu

The black panther is the common name for a black (melanistic) color variant of any of several species of cat.

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Siamese
The Siamese is one of the first distinctly recognised breeds of Oriental cat. The exact origins of the breed is unknown, but it is believed to be from Southeast Asia, and is said to be descended from the sacred temple cats of Siam (now Thailand). In Thailand, where they are one of several native breeds, they are called Wichien-maat (วิเชียรมาศ, a name meaning "Moon diamond"). The Siamese cat is one of the most popular breed in Europe and North America. Siamese have a creamy base coat with coloured points on their muzzles, ears, paws and lower legs, tails and (in males) scrota. Siamese are affectionate and intelligent cats, known for their social nature and loud vocalisation.

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