Niacin is an essential vitamin for the cat; dietary deficiency can lead to anorexia, weight loss and an increase in body temperature.[119] Biosynthesis of niacin occurs by metabolism of tryptophan via the kynurenine pathway to quinolinic acid, the niacin precursor. However, cats have a high activity of picolinic acid carboxylase, which converts one of the intermediates to picolinic acid instead of quinolinic acid.[120] As a result, niacin can become deficient and require supplementation.[121]
The fourth national company, Cats National IV, toured the United States for 13 years from March 1987 to December 1999.[117] It overtook the first national tour of Oklahoma! in November 1997 to become the longest-running tour in theatre history, and played its 5,000th performance in July 1999.[118] Notable performers in the fourth tour included Amelia Marshall as Sillabub (1988), Jan Horvath as Grizabella (1990), Bryan Batt as Munkustrap (1991–1992), Jennifer Cody as Rumpleteazer (1992), David Hibbard as Rum Tum Tugger (1992–1993), Natalie Toro as Grizabella (1992, 1997), Christopher Gattelli as Mistoffelees (1993), John Treacy Egan as Old Deuteronomy (1993–1994), J. Robert Spencer as Rum Tum Tugger (1995), Bart Shatto as Bustopher Jones/Gus/Growltiger (1996), Linda Balgord as Grizabella (1998), Andy Karl as Rum Tum Tugger (1998), and Lena Hall as Demeter (1998).[117] By June 1997, the North American touring companies had grossed over $400 million.[88]
Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk, capture, and kill prey.[172] Cats also engage in play fighting, with each other and with humans. This behavior may be a way for cats to practice the skills needed for real combat, and might also reduce any fear they associate with launching attacks on other animals.[173]
^ Jump up to: a b Ottoni, C.; Van Neer, W.; De Cupere, B.; Daligault, J.; Guimaraes, S.; Peters, J.; Spassov, N.; Prendergast, M. E.; Boivin, N.; Morales-Muñiz, A.; Bălăşescu, A.; Becker, C.; Benecke, N.; Boroneant, A.; Buitenhuis, H.; Chahoud, J.; Crowther, A.; Llorente, L.; Manaseryan, N.; Monchot, H.; Onar, V.; Osypińska, M.; Putelat, O.; Quintana Morales, E. M.; Studer, J.; Wierer, U.; Decorte, R.; Grange, T.; Geigl, E. (2017). "The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world". Nature Ecology & Evolution. 1 (7): 0139. doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0139. ISSN 2397-334X.

Cats debuted on Broadway on 7 October 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre with a record-breaking $6.2 million in ticket pre-sales.[27] Most of the original creative team remained, with Martin Levan replacing Jacob as the sound designer and Stanley Lebowsky replacing Rabinowitz as music director. The musical was co-produced by the original London production team, along with David Geffen and The Shubert Organization.[103] It was the most expensive Broadway show ever mounted at the time with a production cost of $5.5 million,[104] though it recouped its investment in less than 10 months.[100] On 19 June 1997, Cats overtook A Chorus Line to become the longest-running show in Broadway history with 6,138 performances.[105] At the time, the musical was found to have had an economic impact of $3.12 billion on New York City and had generated the most theatrical jobs of any single entity in Broadway history.[95] A June closing date was announced in early 2000 but was subsequently pushed back after a resulting surge in ticket sales.[106] The show closed on 10 September 2000 after a total of 13 previews and 7,485 performances.[103] One actress, Marlene Danielle, performed in the Broadway production for its entire 18-year run.[72] Its Broadway-run record was surpassed on 9 January 2006 by The Phantom of the Opera, and Cats remains Broadway's fourth-longest-running show of all time. Overall, the original Broadway production grossed approximately $388 million in ticket sales.[107]

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".
"Memory" is the standout hit song from Cats. By 2002, the song had been played over two million times on radio and television stations in the US.[99] It was the most requested song at piano bars and lounges in the 1980s, and was an equally popular choice at weddings, concerts and other gatherings. As of 2006, the song had been recorded around 600 times by artists such as Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Judy Collins, and Johnny Mathis, in covers ranging from easy listening to techno.[334] According to Sternfeld, it is "by some estimations the most successful song ever from a musical."[318]
Cats is considered the quintessential megamusical, because it reconceived, like no other show before, theatrical space as an immense affective encompasser, that transforms the viewing experience into a hypercharged thrill-ride and the spectator into an explorer of new and challenging aural and visual sensations. Its unprecedented success paved the way for even bolder hyperspatial configurations, made the set designer a proper environment builder and raised light and sound design into the status of art in their own right. It also paved the way for the constant revolutionization of stage technology.[320]
Lloyd Webber began setting Eliot's poems to music in 1977 and the compositions were first presented as a song cycle in 1980. Producer Cameron Mackintosh then recruited director Trevor Nunn and choreographer Gillian Lynne to turn the songs into a complete musical. Cats opened to positive reviews at the New London Theatre in the West End in 1981 and then to mixed reviews at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway in 1982. It won numerous awards including Best Musical at both the Laurence Olivier and Tony Awards. Despite its unusual premise which deterred investors initially, the musical turned out to be an unprecedented commercial success, with a worldwide gross of $3.5 billion by 2012.

"Growltiger's Last Stand" has been criticised as being racially offensive. The original lyrics, taken directly from the Eliot poem it is based on, included the ethnic slur "Chinks" and this was later replaced with the word "Siamese".[32] The number also originally involved the cast putting on "Asian accents" to portray the Siamese cats.[305] In the 1998 video version, the entire scene featuring Growltiger was cut.[387] By 2016, "Growltiger's Last Stand" had been removed completely from the US and UK productions of the show.[32]

During a fall from a high place, a cat reflexively twists its body and rights itself to land on its feet using its acute sense of balance and flexibility. This reflex is known as the cat righting reflex.[96] An individual cat always rights itself in the same way during a fall, provided it has sufficient time to do so. The height required for this to occur is around 90 cm (3.0 ft).[97] Cats without a tail also have this reflex.[98] Several explanations have been proposed for this phenomenon since the late 19th century:

Most breeds of cat have a noted fondness for settling in high places, or perching. In the wild, a higher place may serve as a concealed site from which to hunt; domestic cats may strike prey by pouncing from a perch such as a tree branch, as does a leopard.[94] Another possible explanation is that height gives the cat a better observation point, allowing it to survey its territory. A cat falling from heights of up to 3 meters can right itself and land on its paws.[95]
The origin of the English word cat (Old English catt) and its counterparts in other Germanic languages (such as German Katze), descended from Proto-Germanic *kattōn-, is controversial. It was thought traditionally to be a borrowing from Late Latin cattus, 'domestic cat', from catta (used around 75 AD by Martial),[22][23] compare also Byzantine Greek κάττα, Portuguese and Spanish gato, French chat, Maltese qattus, Lithuanian katė, and Old Church Slavonic kotъ (kot'), among others.[24]