Many cultures have negative superstitions about cats. An example would be the belief that a black cat "crossing one's path" leads to bad luck, or that cats are witches' familiars used to augment a witch's powers and skills. The killing of cats in Medieval Ypres, Belgium, is commemorated in the innocuous present-day Kattenstoet (cat parade).[276] In medieval France, cats would be burnt alive as a form of entertainment. According to Norman Davies, the assembled people "shrieked with laughter as the animals, howling with pain, were singed, roasted, and finally carbonized".[277]
Cats is based on T. S. Eliot's 1939 poetry book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, with the songs in the musical consisting of Eliot's verse set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.[1] The musical is unusual in terms of its construction; along with Eliot's poems, music and dance are the main focus of the show at the expense of a traditional narrative structure.[2] Musicologists William Everett and Paul Laird described Cats as "combining elements of the revue and concept musical".[3] The plot centres on a tribe of cats called the Jellicles, as they come together at the annual Jellicle Ball to decide which one of them will ascend to the Heaviside Layer (their version of heaven) and be reborn into a new life.[4] The bulk of the musical consists of the different contenders being introduced, either by themselves or by other cats.[5]
Feral cats are domestic cats that were born in or have reverted to a wild state. They are unfamiliar with and wary of humans and roam freely in urban and rural areas.[10] The numbers of feral cats is not known, but estimates of the US feral population range from 25 to 60 million.[10] Feral cats may live alone, but most are found in large colonies, which occupy a specific territory and are usually associated with a source of food.[206] Famous feral cat colonies are found in Rome around the Colosseum and Forum Romanum, with cats at some of these sites being fed and given medical attention by volunteers.[207]
Purring may have developed as an evolutionary advantage as a signalling mechanism of reassurance between mother cats and nursing kittens. Post-nursing cats often purr as a sign of contentment: when being petted, becoming relaxed,[143][144] or eating. The mechanism by which cats purr is elusive. The cat has no unique anatomical feature that is clearly responsible for the sound.[145] It was until recent times,[when?] believed that only the cats of the Felis genus could purr. However, felids of the genus Panthera (tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard) also produce non-continuous sounds, called chuffs, similar to purring, but only when exhaling.[146]

"Cats" first premiered on London's West End 38 years ago and the hit musical, which also ran on Broadway for 18 years, will soon be back and bigger than ever — on the silver screen, that is. The first trailer for the upcoming "Cats" film was revealed on Friday, and fans got a glimpse of what Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift and other stars look like as singing and dancing felines.

Domestic cats are generally smaller than wildcats in both skull and limb measurements.[58] Adult domestic cats typically weigh between 4 and 5 kg (9 and 10 lb),[48] although many breeds have a wide range of sizes, with male American Shorthairs ranging from 3 to 7 kg (7 to 20 lb).[59] Some cat breeds, such as the Maine Coon, occasionally exceed 11 kg (24 lb). Very small cats, less than 2 kg (4 lb), have been reported.[60] The world record for the largest cat is 21 kg (50 lb).[61][self-published source] The smallest adult cat ever officially recorded weighed around 1 kg (2 lb).[61] Feral cats tend to be lighter, as they have more limited access to food than house cats. The average feral adult male weighs 4 kg (9 lb), and the average adult female 3 kg (7 lb).[62] Cats average about 23–25 cm (9–10 in) in height and 46 cm (18 in) in head/body length (males being larger than females), with tails averaging 30 cm (12 in) in length.[63]
The first UK and Ireland tour opened in May 1989 at the Opera House Theatre in Blackpool. The cast for this tour included Marti Webb as Grizabella, Rosemarie Ford as Bombalurina and John Partridge as Alonzo.[120] Following a six-month engagement in Blackpool that broke the theatre's box office record and was seen by around 450,000 people,[142] the production moved to the Edinburgh Playhouse for three months, before closing in May 1990 after another two months at the Point Theatre in Dublin.[120] A second national tour launched in June 1993 at the Bristol Hippodrome,[143] featuring Rosemarie Ford as Grizabella, Robin Cousins as Munkustrap, Simon Rice as Mistoffelees and Tony Monopoly as Old Deuteronomy.[144] The tour closed at the Manchester Opera House in December 1995.[145]
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]

Cats, like all mammals, need to get linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, from their diet. Most mammals can convert linoleic acid to arachidonic acid, as well as the omega 3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) through the activity of enzymes, but this process is very limited in cats.[121] The Δ6-desaturase enzyme eventually converts linoleic acid, which is in its salt form linoleate, to arachidonate (salt form of arachidonic acid) in the liver, but this enzyme has very little activity in cats.[121] This means that arachidonic acid is an essential fatty acid for cats as they lack the ability to create required amounts of linoleic acid. Deficiency of arachidonic acid in cats is related to problems in growth, can cause injury and inflammation to skin (e.g. around the mouth) decreased platelet aggregation, fatty liver, increase in birth defects of kittens whose queens were deficient during pregnancy, and reproductive failure in queens.[121] Arachidonic acid can also be metabolized to eicosanoids that create inflammatory responses which are needed to stimulate proper growth and repair mechanisms in the cat.[125]

Under the direction of Peter Weck, the first German-language production of Cats opened in September 1983 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, Austria. In 1988, the show transferred to the newly-renovated Ronacher Theatre where it ran for another two years before closing on its seventh anniversary in September 1990.[112][173] The Vienna production played a total of 2,040 performances to more than 2.3 million audiences.[174]
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]
Cats have seven cervical vertebrae (as do most mammals); 13 thoracic vertebrae (humans have 12); seven lumbar vertebrae (humans have five); three sacral vertebrae (as do most mammals, but humans have five); and a variable number of caudal vertebrae in the tail (humans have only vestigial caudal vertebrae, fused into an internal coccyx).[64]:11 The extra lumbar and thoracic vertebrae account for the cat's spinal mobility and flexibility. Attached to the spine are 13 ribs, the shoulder, and the pelvis.[64] :16 Unlike human arms, cat forelimbs are attached to the shoulder by free-floating clavicle bones which allow them to pass their body through any space into which they can fit their head.[65]
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]

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.[113][133] Cats may reject novel flavors (a response termed neophobia) and learn quickly to avoid foods that have tasted unpleasant in the past.[133] 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.[133][166] 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.[167][168] See also Animal psychopathology § Pica.

Cats have excellent night vision and can see at only one-sixth the light level required for human vision.[66]:43 This is partly the result of cat eyes having a tapetum lucidum, which reflects any light that passes through the retina back into the eye, thereby increasing the eye's sensitivity to dim light.[75] Another adaptation to dim light is the large pupils of cats' eyes. Unlike some big cats, such as tigers, domestic cats have slit pupils.[76] These slit pupils can focus bright light without chromatic aberration, and are needed since the domestic cat's pupils are much larger, relative to their eyes, than the pupils of the big cats.[76] At low light levels, a cat's pupils will expand to cover most of the exposed surface of its eyes.[77] However, domestic cats have rather poor color vision and (like most nonprimate mammals) have only two types of cones, optimized for sensitivity to blue and yellowish green; they have limited ability to distinguish between red and green.[78] A 1993 paper reported a response to middle wavelengths from a system other than the rods which might be due to a third type of cone. However, this appears to be an adaptation to low light levels rather than representing true trichromatic vision.[79]

^ Jump up to: a b Loss, Scott R.; Will, Tom; Marra, Peter P. (29 January 2013). "The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States". Nature Communications. 4. Article number 1396. Bibcode:2013NatCo...4.1396L. doi:10.1038/ncomms2380. PMID 23360987. We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually.
Cats and many other animals have a Jacobson's organ in their mouths that is used in the behavioral process of flehmening. It allows them to sense certain aromas in a way that humans cannot. Cats are sensitive to pheromones such as 3-mercapto-3-methylbutan-1-ol,[86] which they use to communicate through urine spraying and marking with scent glands.[87] Many cats also respond strongly to plants that contain nepetalactone, especially catnip, as they can detect that substance at less than one part per billion.[88] About 70–80% of cats are affected by nepetalactone.[89] This response is also produced by other plants, such as silver vine (Actinidia polygama) and the herb valerian; it may be caused by the smell of these plants mimicking a pheromone and stimulating cats' social or sexual behaviors.[90]
^ Jump up to: a b Lipinski, Monika J.; Froenicke, Lutz; Baysac, Kathleen C.; Billings, Nicholas C.; Leutenegger, Christian M.; Levy, Alon M.; Longeri, Maria; Niini, Tirri; Ozpinar, Haydar (2008). "The Ascent of Cat Breeds: Genetic Evaluations of Breeds and Worldwide Random-bred Populations". Genomics. 91 (1): 12–21. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2007.10.009. PMC 2267438. PMID 18060738.
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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]

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;[346] it performed at various regional venues before making its West End debut at the Ambassadors Theatre in April 2017.[347] 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.[348] 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".[349] Other stage shows that satirise Cats include Six Degrees of Separation,[344] Angels in America,[293] and The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).[350]

After Hamburg, the German production transferred to Stuttgart where it played from 2001 to 2002.[182][183] Stage Entertainment took over the production mid-2002 and moved the show to Berlin (2002–2004)[184][185] and later Düsseldorf (2004–2005),[186] before touring other cities until 2006.[187][188] Mehr-Entertainment launched a separate tour of Cats that ran from December 2010 to June 2013, performing in a travelling purpose-built tent theatre.[180] Besides Germany, this company also made stops in cities in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria.[189]

Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for «fair use» for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of «fair use». The recent amendments to the Copyright Act of 1976 pertain to music. «Fair use» remains in force for film and video.

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.[30] It is recommended that kittens consume a diet containing approximately 30% protein on a dry matter basis for proper growth.[35]

Cats can be infected or infested with viruses, bacteria, fungus, protozoans, arthropods or worms that can transmit diseases to humans.[262] In some cases, the cat exhibits no symptoms of the disease,[263] However, the same disease can then become evident in a human. The likelihood that a person will become diseased depends on the age and immune status of the person. Humans who have cats living in their home or in close association are more likely to become infected, however, those who do not keep cats as pets might also acquire infections from cat feces and parasites exiting the cat's body.[262][264] Some of the infections of most concern include salmonella, cat-scratch disease and toxoplasmosis.[263]
The Dutch live entertainment company Stage Entertainment has been responsible for several European productions of Cats. The company produced the musical at the Coliseum Theatre in Madrid from December 2003 to January 2005, with a cast that included Víctor Ullate as Mistoffelees.[210][211] They then staged a Russian-language production at the Moscow Palace of Youth from 2005 to 2006, with a cast that included Ivan Ozhogin as Munkustrap.[212][213] A Dutch production under the same company toured the Netherlands and Belgium from 2006 to 2007,[205][214] featuring several performers in the role of Grizabella including Pia Douwes and Anita Meyer.[215][216] A Paris revival by Stage Entertainment ran at the Théâtre Mogador from October 2015 to July 2016. This production was based on the 2014 London revival and also featured a new song written especially for the French show by Lloyd Webber.[217][218]
The musical returned to the West End in 2014 for a planned 12-week limited run at the London Palladium. Beginning on 6 December, the revival starred Nicole Scherzinger as Grizabella, and featured the original creative team, with direction from Nunn, choreography by Lynne and design by Napier.[62] Lloyd Webber was also involved and rewrote "The Rum Tum Tugger" and "Growltiger's Last Stand" for the revival.[101] The run was later extended through April 2015 and an additional 100,000 tickets were released, with Kerry Ellis replacing Scherzinger as Grizabella.[68] The musical returned once again to the London Palladium for another limited run lasting from 23 October 2015 to 2 January 2016, starring Beverley Knight as Grizabella.[102]
Though it’s not something you have any control over, your kitten’s age is more than just a number. In fact, it’s crucial that you learn it. Kittens have very specific developmental needs for the first 10 weeks of their lives in terms of nourishment, warmth, socialization, and excretion. For this reason, most breeders and shelters typically wait until their kittens are of age before they’re put up for adoption. If you, by chance, find yourself in a situation where you need to care for an orphaned kitten under 10 weeks old, consult your vet for special instructions.
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.[239][240] From October 2015 to May 2016, a revival toured Australia with stops in Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.[241][242] The revival featured singer-songwriter Delta Goodrem as Grizabella,[243] before Delia Hannah took over the role during the Adelaide and Perth seasons.[235][244]
There are also several powerhouses who worked behind the scenes of the film. Academy Award-winning director Tom Hopper directed and wrote the screenplay, which is of course based on the stage production — which, in turn, was based on poet T. S. Eliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Hopper also directed best-picture winner "The King's Speech" and the musical-turned-movie "Les Misérables."

It was long thought that cat domestication was initiated in Egypt, because cats in ancient Egypt were venerated from around 3100 BC.[11][12] 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.[13] African wildcats were probably first domesticated in the Near East.[14] 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.[15][16]