What is the order of a cat?

Mezzomixx, a rare Maine Coon cat

Mezzomixx, a rare Maine Coon cat and in the species labelled ‘felis silvestris catus

“What is the order of a cat?” sounds rather strange. On the face of it it does not make sense. However, the question revolves around the word “order” which is one level in the scientific classification of the domestic cat. You can see the various levels of classification below in the table.

The word “order” is simply a scientific word created to label a certain group of animals – carnivores – flesh eating animals (“meat-eating organisms”) which as we know includes the family of cat species. But it also includes other animals such as the wolverine, spotted hyena, brown bear and gray wolf to name four. They all have certain distinguishing features such as sharp claws and prominent canine teeth.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. silvestris
Subspecies: F. s. catus

Of course Latin is used a lot in classifications. It looks more scientific and Latin was used a lot more when the classification of the species was commenced over 200 years ago. The classification of the species is called ‘taxonomy’.

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


What is the order of a cat? — 4 Comments

  1. Please get a high-school education in matters of science. Latin is used because it is considered a “dead language”. Words in Latin do not change their meanings over time (as do commonplace words today in our “living languages”; the “net” no longer commonly refers to a fish-catching device, unless used in that specific context, “cable” doesn’t most commonly refer to a steel-rope for pulling a vehicle, for the same reasons), nor are new words added-to or invented for the dead-language of Latin. There is no “facetime” nor “selfie” in Latin. This ensures that meanings used for species nomenclature do not change over time. THAT is why Latin is used in the scientific community for scientific-names of species. But then you’d know all this if you ever got to a freshman’s class in high-school at some point in your life. This is common-knowledge in a freshman’s required class of Biology-101.

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