Cats are considered mammals. Even though they don’t look like other mammals (such as humans or bats) they are rather similar to dogs, zebras, and bears. There are a lot of common links between mammals (like drinking milk when young) and things that make cats unique (like their graceful movements).
There are a lot of different types of mammals. Under the mammal category, cats are considered placental mammals, which means they give birth from the womb to fully formed babies.
They are also considered Felifornia (scientific name for “cat-like”), of the Felidae family, and of the Felinae subfamily (where all small felines belong, most of them domestic cats).
Finally, their genus type, Felis, is where the domestic cat truly belongs.
All of these categories are important. That’s because all cats are mammals, but not all mammals are of the Felis genus! For example, cats and tigers are similar, but belong in different categories.
What makes a cat a mammal?
Countless cat characteristics fit the mammal category: they are warm-blooded, they nurse their young, they have hair (or fur) throughout their body, and they move around using their limbs. Being a mammal isn’t an exclusive club, though: there are more than 4000 types of them!
There is more than one way to be a mammal. Some of them lay eggs, others can fly, and depending on the animal, some might walk on two legs and others on all fours.
Cats are more of a four-leg walking, womb-bearing kind of mammal, though. And even if they cannot fly, they can reach pretty impressive heights when they jump.
The one thing that ties them all together is drinking milk. All mammals – cats included! – drink milk when they are in the early stages of their lives and find other forms of nourishment after reaching adulthood. The only animal that keeps drinking milk after growing up is the human being!
What are cats considered other than mammals?
Cats are a lot of things other than a mammal! They’re considered carnivores, members of the Felidae family, and great household pets. Bear in mind that when people talk about cats, they are talking about domestic cats. Cat is a broad term that includes tigers, lions, and other wild animals.
The scientific name for the household cat is “Felis catus”. Household cats have a wide variety of breeds, but the exact number of them depends on who you ask. The Encyclopedia Britannica claims there are 15 cat breeds but other organizations go as far as 71 – and that’s a lot of different cats!
Cats can be considered house cats, farm cats, or feral cats. The first two categories are in contact with humans; the third one, on the other hand, lives on its own and only in relationship with other cats. The house cat is in close relationships with other humans, the farm cat is somewhere in between house and feral cats.
At the end of the day, no matter what you call them, they are still cute little animals!