Feral house cats, Felis catus
, are often overlooked in discussions of exotic nuisance animals due to their ubiquity and our familiarity with them as companion animals. They are, however, among the most ecologically damaging introduced animals worldwide.Domestic cats are characterized by a number of well-known physical characteristics. These include a flexible and compact body, keen eyesight and adaptations for visual acuity at night, retractable claws, sharp teeth and a reduction in numbers of teeth (e.g., the hind chewing teeth) reflecting adaptation as a carnivore, long vibrissae (whiskers), and a long and flexible tail important as an aid to balance (LaBruna 2001, ISSG).F. catus
is among the smaller members of the felid family, but shares with other family members the trait of being an agile and efficient predator.