The domestic house cat, Felis silvestris catus, descends from a group of
desert wildcats that lived in the Near East, but most people do not think of the
house cat in a biological context, but rather as a favorite pet.
The relationship between the domestic house cat and humans dates back over
9,500 years. It is sometimes considered to be symbiotic. The human provides
food, a safe place to live, and generally a great deal of attention. In return,
the cat honors the human with its presence. Cats are very independent; and the
terms "owner" and "master" are just not applicable as they are to dogs. It has
been said that humans exist to serve their cats. Who owns whom? Cats are great
companions. Many will entertain their human with funny antics and joyful
playfulness. They will crawl up into their humanís lap and purr. They may even
provide an occasional lick to express their affection.
This poster shows thirty-four breeds from around the world, but a recent
study showed that over 95% of all domestic house cats are not true breeds, but
rather, hybrids. The domestic house cat recently overtook dog breeds as the most
popular pet in the United States. They are found in over 53 percent of all