Q:

How many species of cats are there?

A:

Quick Answer

Most scientists recognize 36 or 37 species of cats, depending upon how they define a species and the latest knowledge of cat evolution. Some experts recognize as many as 41 species. Although numerous domestic cat breeds exist, common household cats derive from a single species, called Felis catus.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Scientists agree that the common house cat is a single species despite being highly variable in appearance. Most modern science on the classification of species focuses upon biochemical or genetic data, rather than outward appearance or number of similarities between creatures.

All cats, including the big cats, such as lions and tigers, belong to a single scientific grouping, called Felidae. Within that scientific grouping, scientists determine what is a species; varying scientific opinions lead to disagreements over the exact number of species in a group.

Learn more about Large Cats

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What kind of habitat did the saber-toothed cat live in?

    A:

    Saber-toothed cats primarily inhabited the plains of North and South America. They relied on open plains to spot their prey, often attacking out of low-hanging tree branches.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the smallest unit of evolution?

    A:

    Most scientists consider the smallest unit of evolution to be a population of a given species living in a particular, sometimes isolated, area. This is the smallest unit in which the process of evolution, or natural selection, can be observed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does comparative embryology support the theory of evolution?

    A:

    Comparative embryology supports the theory of evolution because scientists have found that the embryos of many different species show similarities, which implies they share a common origin. For example, in humans the embryo passes through a stage in which it has a gill structure similar to that of fish. Human embryos also have a tail, much like other primates, though the tail is usually re-absorbed before birth, and this suggests that, even though their adult forms are different, these various species all have a common ancestor.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is my cat crying?

    A:

    According to Web MD, a cat's excessive crying or meowing can be caused by illness, hunger, or even simply wanting attention. Each cat is different and may vocalize for different reasons, so it is best to find the cause and narrow down the reason for their communications.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore