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Cats are often valued by humans for companionship and for their ability to hunt vermin.
Members of the genus are found worldwide and include the jungle cat (Felis chaus) of southeast Asia, European wildcat (F. This has been criticized as implausible, because the reward for such an effort may have been too little; cats generally do not carry out commands and although they do eat rodents, other species such as ferrets or terriers may be better at controlling these pests.In their normal, relaxed position, the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the paw's toe pads.This keeps the claws sharp by preventing wear from contact with the ground and allows the silent stalking of prey.The claws on the fore feet are typically sharper than those on the hind feet.Cats can voluntarily extend their claws on one or more paws.In certain areas outside cats' native range, this has contributed, along with habitat destruction and other factors, to the extinction of many bird species.
Cats have been known to extirpate a bird species within specific regions and may have contributed to the extinction of isolated island populations.
Cats are thought to be primarily responsible for the extinction of 33 species of birds, and the presence of feral and free-ranging cats makes some otherwise suitable locations unsuitable for attempted species reintroduction.
A 2016 study found that leopard cats were undergoing domestication independently in China around 5,500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domesticated populations of today. In comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat is not radically different from those of wildcats and domestic cats are perfectly capable of surviving in the wild.
This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain.
Unlike most mammals, when cats walk, they use a "pacing" gait; that is, they move the two legs on one side of the body before the legs on the other side. As a walk speeds up into a trot, a cat's gait changes to be a "diagonal" gait, similar to that of most other mammals (and many other land animals, such as lizards): the diagonally opposite hind and fore legs move simultaneously.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey.