Domestic cats use many vocalizations for communication, including purring, trilling, hissing, growling/snarling, grunting, and several different forms of meowing.[7] By contrast, feral cats are generally silent.[140]: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;[141][142] 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.[142] 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.[131]

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.[133] Cats use two hunting strategies, either stalking prey actively, or waiting in ambush until an animal comes close enough to be captured.[160] 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.[161]:153

Despite mixed reviews when Cats opened in New York in 1982, critics agreed that it was innovative and visually spectacular in ways that Broadway had never seen before.[304] The musical became a cultural phenomenon and has had a profound influence on the medium.[312] Cats established musical theatre as a global commodity,[313][314] marking the beginning of a new era in the industry that is characterised by huge global stakes for potentially even huger global profits.[313] It led the shift in the Broadway market towards big-budget blockbusters and shows that appeal to families and tourists,[88][315] which in turn left smaller productions struggling to compete.[314] Cats also ushered in a "golden age of British musicals" which saw West End exports dominate the industry for nearly two decades.[316][317] Musical theatre historian Vagelis Siropoulos asserted that its "seminal Broadway opening" was "comparable only to Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! thirty nine years ago."[313]
As of 2017, the domestic cat was the second-most popular pet in the U.S. by number of pets owned, after freshwater fish,[17] with 95 million cats owned.[18][19] As of 2017, it was ranked the third-most popular pet in the UK, after fish and dogs, with around 8 million being owned.[20] The number of cats in the United Kingdom has nearly doubled since 1965, when the cat population was 4.1 million.[21]
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