Cats are naturally carnivores and require high amounts of protein in the diet. Kittens are undergoing growth and require high amounts of protein to provide essential amino acids that enable the growth of tissues and muscles. It is recommended that kittens consume a diet containing approximately 30% protein on a dry matter basis for proper growth.
Cats, like dogs, are digitigrades. They walk directly on their toes, with the bones of their feet making up the lower part of the visible leg. Cats are capable of walking very precisely because, like all felines, they directly register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of the corresponding fore paw, minimizing noise and visible tracks. This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain. Unlike most mammals, when cats walk, they use a "pacing" gait; that is, they move the two legs on one side of the body before the legs on the other side. This trait is shared with camels and giraffes. As a walk speeds up into a trot, a cat's gait changes to be a "diagonal" gait, similar to that of most other mammals (and many other land animals, such as lizards): the diagonally opposite hind and fore legs move simultaneously.
Stage parodies of the musical have also been mounted in the West End and Off-Broadway. CAT – (THE PLAY!!!), a one-man show written by Jamie Beamish and Richard Hardwick, is a dark comedy about the fictitious life of Dave, a cat who was fired from the original London production of Cats on opening night. Starring Gerard McCarthy as Dave and with choreography by Arlene Phillips, the musical premiered at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival; it performed at various regional venues before making its West End debut at the Ambassadors Theatre in April 2017. Katdashians! Break the Musical!, a parody mashup of Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Cats by Bob and Tobly McSmith, premiered Off-Broadway at the Elektra Theatre in June 2016. All the song parodies of Cats were later removed after accusations of copyright infringement from Lloyd Webber's representatives, who claimed the songs were being used "to parody another subject matter entirely". Other stage shows that satirise Cats include Six Degrees of Separation, Angels in America, and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).
Several ancient religions believed cats are exalted souls, companions or guides for humans, that are all-knowing but mute so they cannot influence decisions made by humans. In Japan, the maneki neko cat is a symbol of good fortune. In Norse mythology, Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility, is depicted as riding a chariot drawn by cats. In Jewish legend, the first cat was living in the house of the first man Adam as a pet that got rid of mice. The cat was once partnering with the first dog before the latter broke an oath they had made which resulted in enmity between the descendants of these two animals. It is also written that neither cats nor foxes are represented in the water, while every other animal has an incarnation species in the water. Although no species are sacred in Islam, cats are revered by Muslims. Some Western writers have stated Muhammad had a favorite cat, Muezza. He is reported to have loved cats so much, "he would do without his cloak rather than disturb one that was sleeping on it". The story has no origin in early Muslim writers, and seems to confuse a story of a later Sufi saint, Ahmed ar-Rifa'i, centuries after Muhammad. One of the companions of Muhammad was known as "Abu Hurayrah" (Father of the Kitten), in reference to his documented affection to cats.
Domestic kittens in developed societies are usually vaccinated against common illnesses from two to three months of age. The usual combination vaccination protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), feline calicivirus (C), and feline panleukopenia (P). This FVRCP inoculation is usually given at eight, twelve, and sixteen weeks, and an inoculation against rabies may be given at sixteen weeks. Kittens are usually spayed or neutered at seven months of age, but kittens may be neutered as young as seven weeks (if large enough), especially in animal shelters. Such early neutering does not appear to have any long-term health risks to cats, and may even be beneficial in male cats. Kittens are commonly wormed against roundworms from about four weeks.
^ Zorro, the last cat of a colony at the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts, died in 2009 at age 16. "Trap-Neuter-Return Effectively Stabilizes and Reduces Feral Cat Populations: Trap-Neuter-Return Humanely Stabilized and Reduced in Size the Merrimack River Colony" Archived 5 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Alley Cat Allies, accessed 18 August 2014; an earlier article in the LA Times was written when Zorro was the last remaining living cat: "Advocates report success with trap, neuter, return approach to stray cats" Archived 6 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Los Angeles Times, 29 September 2009.
Domestic cats use many vocalizations for communication, including purring, trilling, hissing, growling/snarling, grunting, and several different forms of meowing. By contrast, feral cats are generally silent.:208 Their types of body language, including position of ears and tail, relaxation of the whole body, and kneading of the paws, are all indicators of mood. The tail and ears are particularly important social signal mechanisms in cats; for example, a raised tail acts as a friendly greeting, and flattened ears indicates hostility. Tail-raising also indicates the cat's position in the group's social hierarchy, with dominant individuals raising their tails less often than subordinate animals. Nose-to-nose touching is also a common greeting and may be followed by social grooming, which is solicited by one of the cats raising and tilting its head.
The gestation period of queens is between 64 and 67 days, with an average of 66 days. Data on reproductive capacity of more than 2,300 free-ranging queens were collected during a study between May 1998 and October 2000. They had one to six kittens per litter, with an average of three kittens. They produced a mean of 1.4 litters per year, but a maximum of three litters in a year. Of 169 kittens, 127 died before they were six months old due to a trauma caused in most cases by dog attacks and road accidents. The first litter is usually smaller than subsequent litters. Kittens are weaned between six and seven weeks of age. Queens normally reach sexual maturity at 5–10 months, and males at 5–7 months. This varies depending on breed.
Cats hunt small prey, primarily birds and rodents, and are often used as a form of pest control. Domestic cats are a major predator of wildlife in the United States, killing an estimated 1.4 to 3.7 billion birds and 6.9 to 20.7 billion mammals annually. The bulk of predation in the United States is done by 80 million feral and stray cats. Effective measures to reduce this population are elusive, meeting opposition from cat enthusiasts. In the case of free-ranging pets, equipping cats with bells and not letting them out at night will reduce wildlife predation.
The 2016 Broadway revival featured new choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, who introduced more hip hop and cool jazz elements to the movements and dances. Blankenbuehler's choreography for the ensemble numbers did not differ too much from the original by Lynne, but significant changes were made in several solo numbers, including "The Rum Tum Tugger" and "Mr. Mistoffelees".
Cats has received many international awards and nominations. The original London production was nominated for six Laurence Olivier Awards in 1981, winning two awards including Best New Musical. Two years later, the original Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, out of eleven nominations. The London and Broadway cast recordings were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, which the latter won. In 2015, the London revival was nominated for — but did not win — two Olivier Awards, including Best Musical Revival.
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^ Jump up to: a b Nutter, F. B.; Levine, J. F.; Stoskopf, M. K. (2004). "Reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate" (PDF). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 225 (9): 1399−1402. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.204.1281. doi:10.2460/javma.2004.225.1399. Archived (PDF) from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
Napier began designing the set in November 1980, wanting "a place where cats might congregate together, which also included maximum room for dancing". The set of Cats consists of a junkyard filled with oversized props to give the illusion that the cast are the size of actual cats; it remains the same throughout the show without any scene changes. Over 2,500 of these scaled-up props were used to fill the whole auditorium in the original Broadway production.
Besides Japan, Cats is also produced regularly in other parts of Asia. The region has hosted numerous English-language productions of the musical, beginning with a tour from 1993 to 1994 when it played in Singapore (with local actress Jacintha Abisheganaden as Grizabella), Hong Kong and South Korea. Cats returned to Asia from 2002 to 2004 when it visited Malaysia, South Korea, Shanghai, Taipei and Beijing; the 2004 cast included Slindile Nodangala in the role of Grizabella. A touring company visited Asia again between 2007 and 2010, including stops in Taiwan, Macau, and Thailand in 2007; South Korea from 2007 to 2009; China in 2008; Singapore and Hong Kong in 2009 (with Delia Hannah playing Grizabella); and Manila in 2010 (with Lea Salonga as Grizabella). Cats toured Asia again from 2014 to 2015, making stops in South Korea, Singapore and Macau. Two years later, another international tour was launched and is scheduled to run through 2020, with visits to South Korea from 2017 to 2018, Hong Kong and Taiwan in 2018, China in 2018 (with Joanna Ampil as Grizabella) and 2019, and planned stops in the Philippines and Singapore in 2019, and Malaysia in 2020.
In isolated landmasses, such as Australasia, there are often no other native, medium-sized quadrupedal predators (including other feline species); this tends to exacerbate the impact of feral cats on small native animals. Native species such as the New Zealand kakapo and the Australian bettong, for example, tend to be more ecologically vulnerable and behaviorally "naive", when faced with predation by cats. Feral cats have had a major impact on these native species and have played a leading role in the endangerment and extinction of many animals.
With a third crash and an evil laugh, the "most wanted" cat Macavity appears. He is the so-called "Napoleon of Crime" who always manages to evade the authorities. Macavity's henchmen capture Old Deuteronomy and take off with the patriarch in tow. As Munkustrap and his troops give chase, Demeter and Bombalurina explain what they know about Macavity ("Macavity: The Mystery Cat"). When they are finished, Macavity returns disguised as Old Deuteronomy, but his cover is blown by Demeter and he ends up in a fight with Munkustrap and Alonzo. Macavity holds his own for a time, but as the rest of the tribe begin to gang up and surround him, he shorts out the stage lights and escapes in the resulting confusion.
The musical first played in Mexico from April 1991 to November 1992; the Spanish-language production performed over 400 shows and starred María del Sol as Grizabella, Manuel Landeta as Munkustrap, Susana Zabaleta as Jellylorum, Maru Dueñas as Sillabub and Ariel López Padilla as Macavity. A revival premiered at the Teatro San Rafael in May 2013, with an opening night cast that included Filippa Giordano as Grizabella, Landeta, and Maru Dueñas. After a total of 350 performances, the show closed at the Teatro San Rafael in June 2014, and then toured over 36 cities in Mexico until December 2014. Other performers who later joined the production included Lisset, Rocío Banquells, Lila Deneken and Myriam Montemayor Cruz, all of whom played Grizabella. Another Mexican revival was launched at the Coyoacán Centennial Theater in October 2018, with Yuri as Grizabella and Landeta as Old Deuteronomy. The revival marked its 200th performance in May 2019.
Reactions to the original Broadway production were mixed. In his review for The New York Times, Frank Rich noted that the main draw of the show was that it "transports the audience into a complete fantasy world that could only exist in the theater". He attributed much of this "wondrous spectacle" to Nunn's direction, Napier's set and costume designs, as well as the talented cast. Rich found many of Lloyd Webber's songs to be "cleverly and appropriately" pastiche, and was impressed with how Lynne and Nunn distinguished each character through personalised movement. However, he panned Lynne's choreography and felt that the musical failed in its vague attempt to tell a story. Overall, he wished that the show had more "feeling to go with its most inventive stagecraft." Clive Barnes of the New York Post concluded his review saying: "Its importance lies in its wholeheartedness. It is a statement of musical theater that cannot be ignored, should prove controversial and will never be forgotten."
It was long thought that cat domestication was initiated in Egypt, because cats in ancient Egypt were venerated from around 3100 BC. However, the earliest indication for the taming of an African wildcat (F. lybica) was found in Cyprus, where a cat skeleton was excavated close by a human Neolithic grave dating to around 7500 BC. African wildcats were probably first domesticated in the Near East. The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) was tamed independently in China around 5500 BC, though this line of partially domesticated cats leaves no trace in the domestic cat populations of today.