House cats are members of a large family, feline, of which there are more than 3500 recognized species worldwide. The cat is an obligate carnivore and is unique among mammals in that it pre-adapted to live in a society based on hunting and controlling prey. It is probably best recognized by the name domestic cat since it is legally considered a member of the human household. It is also the only domesticated mammal in the feline family and is thus known as the domestic cat to differentiate it from its wild forefathers.
Domesticated cats have undergone a great deal of modification through the years. One of the most significant changes has been in relation to body size and shape. Modern day house cats are smaller in comparison to their wild ancestors with some species even smaller than their arboreal cousins. Many recent studies point to this transformation as being largely due to selective breeding with cats that possess specific traits that facilitate easy capture and handling making these cats very popular pets around the world today. Domestic cats and their wild forefathers share many similar characteristics including strong patterns of body tufting and increased muscle mass both in the limbs and tail.
During late pregnancy most female house cats will give birth to a litter of one to eight kittens. These kittens will stay with their mother until they are at least two weeks old. After this period of time they will begin to seek out and find their own food and will eventually grow up eating cat foods manufactured by various companies. During this age they will start to develop their own tastes in cat food with some preferring dry cat foods over wet ones and others preferring canned foods more. By the end of the eight weeks of pregnancy most kittens will be fully developed and ready to start exploring the world around them.