All cats have evolved into predatory mammals with particularly keen senses of hearing, sight, and smell.
Anatomical features such as rounded heads and skeletal structure suggest that all 37 recognized species in the family Felidae evolved from a common ancestor, possibly living in Asia around 10-12 million years ago.
The family Felidae has grown rapidly and diversified over the past 10 to 11 million years, and 3 million years ago, there were many species of cats that inhabited all regions of the earth except the North Pole, Antarctica, and Australia.
The rise and fall of sea levels over many millennia both enabled Felidae species to migrate and colonize other geographical locations (when sea levels were low) while isolating the development of species (when sea level is high).
The widespread migration of ancestors may have been facilitated by their natural behavior of dispersing and searching for their own territory, as well as keeping track of what “prey” species they hunted. The Felidae are the most highly developed predators of all mammals.
With the exception of herd lions, all other wild cats are solitary with the ability to hunt and protect themselves.
Cats have a territorial nature so they will find and keep their own area. They hunt and mark their territory primarily through scent. Cats come together mainly to mate.
With the exception of lions (males have distinctive manes), male and female cats are very similar in appearance, although males will be slightly larger in appearance.
They have five toes on the front feet and four toes on the hind feet. The toes are protected by pads – this is also the part that helps to reduce the sound when they are hunting.
Except for the cheetah, all cats have retractable claws. Cats come in a wide range of coat colors – in the wild, these are adaptive ways to allow cats to camouflage and support their predatory lifestyle.
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