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Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche.
Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. Like most other mammals, cats have poorer color vision and a better sense of smell than humans.
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.
While the African wildcat is the ancestral subspecies from which domestic cats are descended, and wildcats and domestic cats can completely interbreed (being subspecies of the same species), several intermediate stages occur between domestic pet and pedigree cats on one hand and entirely wild animals on the other.
The semi-feral cat, a mostly outdoor cat, is not owned by any one individual, but is generally friendly to people and may be fed by several households.
Northern Sami A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization.
A purebred (or pure-bred) cat is one whose ancestry contains only individuals of the same breed.
Cats of unrecorded, mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic short-haired or domestic long-haired cats (by coat type), or commonly as random-bred, moggies (chiefly British), or (using terms borrowed from dog breeding) mongrels or mutt-cats.
Cats are capable of walking very precisely because, like all felines, they directly register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of the corresponding fore paw, minimizing noise and visible tracks.
This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain.
Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by spaying and neutering, as well as the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring population control.
In certain areas outside cats' native range, this has contributed, along with habitat destruction and other factors, to the extinction of many bird species.