Felines are natural carnivores and do not intentionally consume large quantities of carbohydrates. The domestic cat's liver has adapted to the lack of carbohydrates in the diet by using amino acids to produce glucose to fuel the brain and other tissues. Studies have shown that carbohydrate digestion in young kittens is much less effective than that of a mature feline with a developed gastrointestinal tract. Highly digestible carbohydrates can be found in commercial kitten food as a source of additional energy as well as a source of fiber to stimulate the immature gut tissue. Soluble fibre such as beet pulp is a common ingredient used as a fibrous stool hardener and has been proven to strengthen intestinal muscles and to thicken the gut mucosal layer to prevent diarrhea.
Free-fed feral cats and house cats tend to consume many small meals in a single day, although the frequency and size of meals varies between individuals. Cats use two hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an animal comes close enough to be captured. Although it is not certain, the strategy used may depend on the prey species in the area, with cats waiting in ambush outside burrows, but tending to actively stalk birds.:153
Some of the same factors that have promoted adaptive radiation of island avifauna over evolutionary time appear to promote vulnerability to non-native species in modern time. The susceptibility of many island birds is undoubtedly due to evolution in the absence of mainland predators, competitors, diseases, and parasites, in addition to lower reproductive rates and extended incubation periods. The loss of flight, or reduced flying ability is also characteristic of many island endemics. These biological aspects have increased vulnerability to extinction in the presence of introduced species, such as the domestic cat. Equally, behavioral traits exhibited by island species, such as "predatory naivety" and ground-nesting, have also contributed to their susceptibility.
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As of 2017, the domestic cat was the second-most popular pet in the U.S. by number of pets owned, after freshwater fish, with 95 million cats owned. As of 2017, it was ranked the third-most popular pet in the UK, after fish and dogs, with around 8 million being owned. The number of cats in the United Kingdom has nearly doubled since 1965, when the cat population was 4.1 million.