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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 has traditionally thought to be a borrowing from Late Latin cattus "domestic cat", from catta (used around 75 AD by Martial), The Late Latin word is generally thought to originate from an Afro-Asiatic language, but every proposed source word has presented problems.
Cats are often valued by humans for companionship and for their ability to hunt vermin.
There are more than 70 cat breeds, though different associations proclaim different numbers according to their standards.
Within the jaw, cats have teeth adapted for killing prey and tearing meat.
When it overpowers its prey, a cat delivers a lethal neck bite with its two long canine teeth, inserting them between two of the prey's vertebrae and severing its spinal cord, causing irreversible paralysis and death.
Cats are similar in anatomy to the other felids, with a strong flexible body, quick reflexes, sharp retractable claws, and teeth adapted to killing small prey.
Cat senses fit a crepuscular and predatory ecological niche.
Failure to control the breeding of pet cats by neutering, as well as the abandonment of former household pets, has resulted in large numbers of feral cats worldwide, requiring population control.
Northern Sami gađfe "female stoat" and Hungarian hölgy "stoat; lady, bride" from Proto-Uralic *käďwä "female (of a fur animal)".
In any case, cat is a classic case of a Wanderwort.
Many references refer to "Berber" (Kabyle) kaddîska "wildcat" and "Nubian kadīs" as possible sources or cognates, but M.
Lionel Bender says the Nubian term is a loan from Arabic قِطَّة qiṭṭa.