Cats are capable of walking very precisely, because like all felines, they directly register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of the corresponding fore paw, minimizing noise and visible tracks.This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain.Cats of unrecorded, mixed ancestry are referred to as domestic short-haired or domestic long-haired cats, by coat type, or commonly as random-bred, moggies (chiefly British), or (using terms borrowed from dog breeding) mongrels or mutt-cats.
The semiferal cat, a mostly outdoor cat, is not owned by any one individual, but is generally friendly to people and may be fed by several households.
Feral cats are associated with human habitation areas and may be fed by people or forage for food, but are typically wary of human interaction.
Under controlled breeding, they can be bred and shown as registered pedigree pets, a hobby known as cat fancy.
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.
These are vital in feeding, since cats' small molars cannot chew food effectively, and cats are largely incapable of mastication.
Though cats tend to have better teeth than most humans, with decay generally less likely because of a thicker protective layer of enamel, a less damaging saliva, less retention of food particles between teeth, and a diet mostly devoid of sugar, they are nonetheless subject to occasional tooth loss and infection.
Unlike most mammals, when cats walk, they use a "pacing" gait; that is, they move the two legs on one side of the body before the legs on the other side. As a walk speeds up into a trot, a cat's gait changes to be a "diagonal" gait, similar to that of most other mammals (and many other land animals, such as lizards): the diagonally opposite hind and fore legs move simultaneously.
In their normal, relaxed position, the claws are sheathed with the skin and fur around the paw's toe pads.
Attested only from the 16th century, it may have been introduced from Dutch poes or from Low German puuskatte, related to Swedish kattepus, or Norwegian pus, pusekatt.
Similar forms exist in Lithuanian puižė and Irish puiscín.
Cats can voluntarily extend their claws on one or more paws.