- Kitten redirects here. Kitten also refers to a newborn rat.
- This article is about the species. You may be looking for Stalking Cat, also known as Cat.
A cat generally refers to a common domestic cat (Felis sylvestris catus). However, it is also used as a generic term for any feline or member of the family Felidae. Felines are one of the most popular phenotypes of furries, with a significant number of these being domestic cats.
About 40 different breeds of domestic cat have been officially recognized. Domestic cat breeds are often classified under 'longhair', 'shorthair' and those born through a genetic mutation. There are a very few breeds founded through hybrids of domestic cats and another felines species. As house pets, cats often live in arrangements rivaling their human owners for control of living spaces.
Cats are very diverse and have few common traits. They are easily seen as social or solitary, loyal or selfish, energetic or lazy, mystical or mundane... Cats are well understood by humans and often used allegorically. For example, in Jay Naylor's "Better Days" webcomic cats represent Caucasian race. Cartoons cats, such as Tom Cat, Sylvester and Garfield, are widely popular outside the furry fandom. Cats are often sympathetic characters, but sometimes fill a role of antagonists when rodents or canids are protagonists.
Mystic traditions associate cats with ESP and hearth protection, initially due to their ability to rid household of mice. Cats are believed to see the unseen or live in multiple realities. They often hold secrets or special wisdom. These beliefs are reflected in many cat-centric stories, such as "Feline Wizards" by Diane Duane or John Wick's Cat role-playing game.