What is the order of a cat?

Mezzomixx, a rare Maine Coon cat
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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
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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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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4 Responses

  1. Dale Sommers says:

    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.

  2. Albert Schepis says:

    That Coon in the photo is extremely handsome and looks like it is calico.

  3. Albert Schepis says:

    I love information like this. I wish I’d done better in high school because I’ve always been very scientific.

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