In the 1980s, the success of local productions of Cats in Tokyo, Sydney, Vienna, Hamburg, and Toronto were turning points that established these cities (and their respective countries) as major commercial markets in the global theatrical circuit. The musical was also a boon for the Broadway touring industry. In 1997, The New York Times credited the regional and touring productions of Cats with "almost single-handedly reviv[ing] the sagging road business". Cats revolutionised the touring business by introducing the now commonplace practice of extended touring engagements that can last several weeks or months in a single city, as opposed to the typical one-week or ten-day tour stop. Mackintosh's insistence that all touring productions of Cats replicate the Broadway production also resulted in the expansion and upgrading of regional theatre venues to accommodate the musical's demanding logistical requirements, as local theatre owners did not want to miss out on the opportunity to host the lucrative show.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felid species, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp teeth and retractable claws adapted to killing small prey. They are predators who are most active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular). Cats can hear sounds too faint or too high in frequency for human ears, such as those made by mice and other small animals. Compared to humans, they see better in the dark (they see in near total darkness) and have a better sense of smell, but poorer color vision. Cats, despite being solitary hunters, are a social species. Cat communication includes the use of vocalizations including meowing, purring, trilling, hissing, growling and grunting as well as cat-specific body language. Cats also communicate by secreting and perceiving pheromones.