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13 May

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.

Cats have been known to extirpate a bird species within specific regions and may have contributed to the extinction of isolated island populations.

Cats are thought to be primarily responsible for the extinction of 33 species of birds, and the presence of feral and free-ranging cats makes some otherwise suitable locations unsuitable for attempted species reintroduction. In comparison to dogs, cats have not undergone major changes during the domestication process, as the form and behavior of the domestic cat is not radically different from those of wildcats and domestic cats are perfectly capable of surviving in the wild.

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 puisín or puiscín.

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.In certain areas outside cats' native range, this has contributed, along with habitat destruction and other factors, to the extinction of many bird species.Guus Kroonen also considers the word to be native to Germanic (due to morphological alternations) and Northern Europe, and suggests that it might ultimately be borrowed from Uralic, cf.Northern Sami gađfe "female stoat" and Hungarian hölgy "stoat; lady, bride" from Proto-Uralic *käďwä "female (of a fur animal)".The etymology of this word is unknown, but it may have simply arisen from a sound used to attract a cat.A pedigreed cat is one whose ancestry is recorded by a cat fancier organization.