Finally, the Jellicle patriarch, Old Deuteronomy, arrives before the tribe ("Old Deuteronomy"). He is a wise old cat who "has lived many lives" and is tasked with choosing which Jellicle will go to the Heaviside Layer every year. The cats put on a play for Old Deuteronomy ("The Awefull Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles"), telling a story about two dog tribes clashing in the street and subsequently being scared away by the Great Rumpus Cat. A sombre moral from Old Deuteronomy is interrupted by a second loud crash, presumably from Macavity, which sends the alarmed cats scurrying. After a quick patrol for Macavity, Old Deuteronomy deems it a false alarm and summons the cats back as the main celebration begins ("The Jellicle Ball"), in which the cats sing and display their "Terpsichorean powers".
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.
Vitamin D3 is a dietary requirement for cats as they lack the ability to synthesize vitamin D3 from sunlight. Cats obtain high levels of the enzyme 7-dehydrocholestrol delta 7 reductase which causes immediate conversion of vitamin D3 from sunlight to 7-dehydrocholesterol. This fat soluble vitamin is required in cats for bone formation through the promotion of calcium retention, along with nerve and muscle control through absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
Domestic cats select food based on its temperature, smell and texture; they dislike chilled foods and respond most strongly to moist foods rich in amino acids, which are similar to meat. Cats may reject novel flavors (a response termed neophobia) and learn quickly to avoid foods that have tasted unpleasant in the past. They may also avoid sugary foods and milk. Most adult cats are lactose intolerant; the sugars in milk are not easily digested and may cause soft stools or diarrhea. They can also develop odd eating habits. Some cats like to eat or chew on other things, most commonly wool, but also plastic, cables, paper, string, aluminum foil, or even coal. This condition, pica, can threaten their health, depending on the amount and toxicity of the items eaten. See also Animal psychopathology § Pica.
Spanish and Portuguese-language productions of Cats have been staged in South America, with productions in Argentina in 1993 (with Olivia Bucio as Grizabella), in Chile in 2006 (at the Arena Santiago) and 2014, in Colombia in 2009, and in Brazil in 2010 (with Paula Lima as Grizabella). Other countries that the musical has been performed in include South Africa (2001–2002), Lebanon (2002), Qatar (2003, 2017), Turkey (2013), Israel (2014), and the United Arab Emirates (2017).
Dance plays a major role in Cats as the creative team had specifically set out to create "England's first dance musical". Before Cats, the industry-wide belief was that British dancers were inferior to their Broadway counterparts. The risky hiring of a British choreographer, Lynne, for a British dance musical was described by one historian as "a vivid and marvellous gesture of transatlantic defiance". Making Lynne's job more challenging was the fact that the music in Cats is unceasing and the majority of the cast remains onstage throughout nearly the entire show.
Similar to the original London staging, the set of the 1,200-capacity CATS Theatre is built on a revolving stage floor such that during the overture, the stage and sections of the stalls revolve approximately 180 degrees into place. In 1998, the Japanese production underwent major revisions to the choreography, staging and costume designs. Following further revisions in 2018, the current incarnation features 25 named cats, including both Jemima and Sillabub (who have evolved into two separate characters), and an original character named Gilbert.
Felines are carnivores and have adapted to animal-based diets and low carbohydrate inclusion. Kittens are categorized in a growth life stage, and have high energy and protein requirements. When feeding a kitten, it is often recommended to use highly digestible ingredients and various components to aid in development in order to produce a healthy adult. In North America, diets certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) are accepted as adequate nutrition, thus kitten diets should be AAFCO approved to ensure full supplementation. Key components of the diet are high fat content to meet caloric requirements of growth, high protein to meet requirements for muscle growth as well as supplementation of certain nutrients such as docosahexaenoic acid to benefit the development of the brain and optimization of cognition.
Cats started the megamusical phenomenon, establishing Broadway as a global industry and directing its focus to big-budget blockbusters, as well as family- and tourist-friendly shows. Its profound but polarizing influence also reshaped the aesthetic, technology, and marketing of the medium. The musical was adapted into a direct-to-video film in 1998, with a feature film adaptation by Tom Hooper set to follow in 2019.
In July 2014, Australia's Harvest Rain Theatre Company staged the biggest production of Cats in the Southern Hemisphere with over 700 performers. Produced by Tim O'Connor, the production was performed at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Callum Mansfield directed and choreographed it, and its cast included Marina Prior as Grizabella and Steven Tandy as Bustopher Jones and Gus. From October 2015 to May 2016, a revival toured Australia with stops in Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. The revival featured singer-songwriter Delta Goodrem as Grizabella, before Delia Hannah took over the role during the Adelaide and Perth seasons.
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.
In 2003, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) fixed the scientific name for the wildcat as F. silvestris. The same commission ruled that the domestic cat is a distinct taxon Felis catus. Following results of phylogenetic research, the domestic cat was considered a wildcat subspecies F. silvestris catus in 2007.