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Cat History And Cat Classification Of Domestic Cats

Jun 3, 2008
Scientists classify living organisms into different kingdoms, family, and orders to study more about them. Although, most people do not get into such details, but certain individuals who love cats, will definitely want to know the scientific classification of cats.

However, before that here is little history about classifications. In nineteenth century, there was this huge craze to classify the organisms scientifically. During that era, researchers identified numerous species and subspecies. They named the organisms by their own name or by the name of traveler, who bought them from different regions. Accordingly, cats were no exception and researchers classified them too.

Below is a detailed description of the scientific classification of the cats. To start with, the domestic cat in the household is commonly referred as Felis Catus.

How Researchers Classified Cats:

Life science expert Carouse Linnaes gave the name Felis Catus to the domestic cat in the year 1758. The domestic cats are in fact distant relatives of the wild cats. Therefore, domestic cats are the subspecies of feral cats. Thus, according to the guidelines of the ICZN (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature), wild cats are referred as F silvestris and F silvestris catus for the domestic species.

Cats are mammals and represent the vertebrate groups. Furthermore, since cats are meat eaters they are placed under carnivores order. The easy and scientific tabulation of the cat classification is as follows:

Common name: cat, feline, kitty cat, domestic cat, and pussycat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia

Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinate/Pantherinae

Species: Felis catus

Cats such as domestic cats, Pumas, cheetahs, lynx, ocelot, and others come into Subfamily Felinae whereas large cats such as leopards, jaguars, lions, and tigers come in subfamily Pantherinae.

Long before the scientists assigned scientific classification for cats, ancient travelers and cat lovers had already classified them into subspecies. It usually depended on the notion that the particular cat type was representative of the main phenotype of cat in the area.

This method was same as that of Victorian love of gathering and classifying the organisms and then claiming them in certain order. For instance, the present day Felis Catus anura is referred as the Manx, catus Siamensis as Siamese, F catus cartusenesis as the Chartreux, and F catus angorensis as Turkish Angora.

About Species:

Species are nothing but taxonomic assembling of animals, which are similar but are readily distinguishable from one another. Although, they appear similar they never crossbreed naturally.

For instance, tigers and cats are of same species but they are very different in terms of behavior as well as in type, so there is a need to classify them more into subspecies or races. Mammals of a particular subspecies vary morphologically from distinctive mammals.

The domestic cat is actually the offspring of the original African Wildcat. The subspecies of an African wildcat is F s lybica. The domestic cats take the place below F s lybica and become felis catus. All breeds of felis catus interbreed naturally.
About the Author
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