The cats--domestic and wild--have intrigued humans for thousands of years, and throughout that time the relationship of these animals with humans has varied widely. People have valued cats as hunters, worshiped them as gods, and sacrificed them as demons.

However, the animals have survived and are still fascinating. They have often been used as symbols of beauty, grace, mystery, and power, and they have been favorite subjects for many artists and writers.

Today, the domestic cat (house cat) is second only to the dog in popularity as a house pet. No one knows exactly how many domestic cats there are in the United States, but researchers estimate that more than 30 million are owned as pets.

There is no way to estimate the numbers of homeless cats that roam about freely as feral animals (those that had been tame but have returned to living in a wild state). There probably are many millions of such cats wandering about in the streets and alleys of cities and towns across the country.

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an anatomy of the cat - cat breeds - a cat's life history - choosing & caring for a cat - some diseases of cats - the cat in history

the cat family - general breed standards - famous cats