What does this page offer?

  • Read about the basic facts on cats
  • Access some of the free short courses on cats
  • Join OZT as a member to learn even more about how to work with cats while meeting people from around the world!

You have chosen a career to follow and prepare for; now it’s time to learn more about the species and breeds you will work with.

  • Read about the basic facts on cats
  • Join the Cats Group to learn how to work with them and meet people from around the world
  • Access all of the free short courses on cats
  • Connect with tertiary institutions and organisations that work with cats

Basic Facts on Cats

A cat is a small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractable claws. Domesticated (they have adapted to being with humans) cats come in different breeds and colours, some with tails, and some (like the bobcat) without.

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Scientific name:

[Felis catus]

Common use names:

A male is called a tom, a female is called a queen, the young is called a kitten, and a group of cats is called a clowder, clutter, or glaring.

The word “cat” in other languages:

  • Dutch: kat
  • French: chat
  • Spanish: gato
  • Turkish: kedi

Awesome fact:

House cats share 95.6% of their genetic makeup with tigers

Important Dates:

8000 BC: Archaeological evidence of the domestication of cats is found in a grave on the island of Cyprus

AD 1758: Method of zoological classification is established and the domestic cat is given the binomial name Felis catus

AD 1871: The first cat show is held at Crystal Palace in London.

Cat Stats

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Average Height

23 to 25 cm (9 to 10 in)

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Average Weight

4 to 5 kg (9 and 10 lb)


Average Lifespan

10 to 20 years


Average Offspring

​3 to 5 kittens


Running Speed

48 km/h (29.8 mph)

Global Population

Estimated Global Population

600 million+

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Active Period


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Main Diet


The scientific classification of cats

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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Felis
Species: Felis catus

Do you have facts to contribute to this page? Please click on the red beetle to access the contribution form.

Free Short Courses on Cats

Cat History

Cat History

This course deals with the basic information on the history of cat domestication and the...

Cat Taxonomy Course

Cat Taxonomy

This course deals with the basic information on Cat Taxonomy.

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Join the Cat Group

Learn even more about Cats by joining the CAT GROUP

Members of the Group can create and discuss any cat-related topic, as well as access all the different short courses, win awards, and meet other cat lovers from around the world. Gain experience points with each short course and compete for the top spot on the leaderboard!

Topics covered in the CAT GROUP:

  • General cat knowledge (History, Anatomy, Habitat, behaviour, Diet, Ecological Benefits and Conservation)
  • Cat Care and Health
  • Creative (Including education, art, design, publishing, media, news and photography)
  • Breeds (courses on over 80 different breeds)

Interact with all of the relevant tertiary institutions that feature courses related to cats, as well as animal organisations that work with cats.

If you are not a member yet, then register for FREE!

Career profiles and resources

How many career profiles are there on OZT where you can work with cats?

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Indirect Contact

Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the students to learn about the species they will work with. Please add your contribution through the attached form:

Contribution Form

List of Species Mentors/Educators who have contributed to the info:


One Zoo Tree

A few excellent pictures as examples of the species:

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