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There are more than seventy cat breeds recognized by various cat registries.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey.
The alternative idea is that cats were simply tolerated by people and gradually diverged from their wild relatives through natural selection, as they adapted to hunting the vermin found around humans in towns and villages.
The origin of the English word cat (Old English catt) and its counterparts in other Germanic languages (such as German Katze), descended from Proto-Germanic *kattōn-, is controversial.
Cats have seven cervical vertebrae, as do almost all mammals; 13 thoracic vertebrae (humans have 12); seven lumbar vertebrae (humans have five); three sacral vertebrae like most mammals (humans have five); and a variable number of caudal vertebrae in the tail (humans retain three to five caudal vertebrae, fused into an internal coccyx).
Within the jaw, cats have teeth adapted for killing prey and tearing meat.
Northern Sami gađfe "female stoat" and Hungarian hölgy "stoat; lady, bride" from Proto-Uralic *käďwä "female (of a fur animal)".
Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt.
Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puisín or puiscín.
The etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound used to attract a cat.
A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization.