You searched for: “cat
cat (s) (noun), cats (pl)
1. A small, furry, four-footed, carnivorous mammal ("Felis cats" or "Felis domestics") domesticated since early times as a catcher of rats and mice and as a pet and existing in several distinctive breeds and varieties: When James and Jamie lived on the farm, they always had barn cats that were adept at catching mice and rats.
2. Any of various other carnivorous mammals of the family "Felidae", which includes the lion, tiger, leopard, and lynx: With her binoculars, Mildred could see a large cat, perhaps a lynx, moving across the ridge of hills in the mountains.
3. An informal application: A woman who is regarded as spiteful: There is always at least one cat among the women gossipers in the town.
4. Slang usage: A man; a player or devotee of jazz music: Hank was a cool cat who played a brass trombone in a band.
5. Etymology: The related words in the Romance languages; such as, Spanish and Portuguese gato, gata and Italian gatto, gatta, came from Medieval Latin gattus, gatta, variants of Late Latin cattus, catta. French chat, chatte came directly from Late Latin cattus, catta. Late Latin cattus and catta are possibly loan words from an African language: Nubian kadis, "cat".

Cats are believed to have been living in close association with humans for thousands of years

The cat, also called the "domestic cat" or "house cat", is a small carnivorous mammal of the subspecies "Felis silvestris catus". Its most immediate pre-domestication ancestor is believed to be the African wild cat, "Felis silvestris lybica".

Cats had a special place in the lives of ancient Egyptians

About 5,000 years ago cats were accepted members of the households of Egypt. Many of the breeds we now know have evolved from these ancient cats. The Egyptians used the cat to hunt fish and birds as well as to destroy the rats and mice that infested the grain stocks along the Nile.

The cat was considered so valuable that laws protected it, and eventually a cult of cat worship developed that lasted for more than 2,000 years. The cat goddess "Bastet"—whose name was also spelled "Bast", "Pasht", and many other ways—became one of the most sacred of all figures of worship. She was represented with the head of a cat. Soon all cats became sacred to the Egyptians, and all were well cared for.

After a cat's death, its body was mummified and buried in a special cemetery. One cemetery found in the 1800s in Egypt contained the preserved bodies of more than 300,000 cats.

The Egyptians had strict laws prohibiting the export of cats; however, because cats were valued in other parts of the world for their rat-catching talents, they were taken by the Greeks and Romans to most parts of Europe. Domestic cats have also been found in India, China, and Japan where they were prized as pets as well as rodent catchers; and in China (and other parts of Asia), as meat for meals.

An example of an ancient worship of cats.
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Cats come in all sizes, breeds, colors, and fur styles

There are dozens of breeds of cats, some hairless or even tailless because of mutations, and they exist in a variety of different colors. Cats are skilled predators and have been known to hunt over one thousand different species for food. They are also intelligent animals, and some can be trained, or learn by themselves, to manipulate simple mechanisms; such as, lever-handled doors.

Compiled from information located at
"The Cat in History".
This entry is located in the following unit: cat, cats (page 1)
cat, cats; kat, khat, qat
cat, cats (KAT, KATS) (noun)
1. A small animal that is related to lions and tigers and which is often kept by people as a pet: Carol's cat is curled up on the window sill enjoying the sunshine.

The lion is often called the "King of the Cats".

2. Now considered an old-fashioned word to refer to a man who considers himself to be fashionable: He was a cool cat who wore spats and a striped suit.
kat, khat, qat (KAT, KAHT) (noun)
The leaves of an evergreen shrub, Catha edulis of Arabia and Africa, the leaves of which are used as a narcotic or a euphoric stimulant when chewed or made into a beverage; such as, a tea: In some countries, kat is chewed and enjoyed on a daily basis.

The old cat thought he was so cool when he got some khat to chew, but when he got home he was so sleepy he forgot to feed his hungry cat.

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Units related to: “cat
(Greek: katta to Late Latin: cattus)
(Latin: cat, cats)
(Latin: helmet, helmet shaped, to cover with a helmet; cap; used primarily in zoology and botany with phases of sense development that seem to have been: weasel, weasel's skin or hide, leather, and then a helmet made of leather; by extension, it also means "cat, cats" in some words)
(Latin [cattus] > Spanish: cat, cats)
(Greek: down, downward; under, lower; against; entirely, in accordance with, completely; definitely)
(Greek: khorde, "gut string" [of a lyre]; used in an extended sense to mean "sinew, flexible rod-shaped organ, string, cord"; Latin: chorda, "related notes in music, string of a musical instrument, cat-gut" via Old French, corde, "rope, string, twist, cord")
Word Entries containing the term: “cat
amaurotic cat eye
A yellow reflex from the pupil in cases of retinoblastoma or pseudoglioma.
This entry is located in the following unit: eye, eyes + (page 1)
cat burglar (s) (noun), cat burglars (pl)
A thief who gets into a building by climbing up a wall and going in through a window without being seen: When Janet arrived home after the party, she was shocked to see that a cat burglar had gotten into her apartment and stolen all of her jewelry and valuable coin collections.
This entry is located in the following unit: cat, cats (page 1)
cat fight (s) (noun), cat fights (pl)
An angry fight or argument between two or more women: Corinne and her sister, Jan, were having a cat fight about who would be dumping and resupplying the litter box of their two cats.
This entry is located in the following unit: cat, cats (page 1)
cat got one's tongue
When someone is not able or willing to talk because of shyness: The young boy had a speech to make, but apparently the cat got his tongue because he could not deliver his message.
This entry is located in the following unit: Tongue Idioms (page 1)
Cat got your tongue?
Used to ask a person why he or she is not responding or saying anything: "You have been unusually quiet during the meeting," Monroe said. "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?"
This entry is located in the following unit: cat, cats (page 1)
cata-, cat-, cath- (Greek)
down; completely; according to; against
computerized tomography (noun), CT, CAT scan (s), computerized tomographies (pl)
1. An x-ray procedure that uses the help of a computer to produce a detailed picture of a cross section of tissue of the body.
2. A computerized axial tomography scan which is an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body.

Computerized axial tomography is more commonly known by its abbreviated names, CT scan or CAT scan. A CT scan is used to define normal and abnormal structures in the body and/or to assist in procedures by helping to accurately guide the placement of instruments or treatments.

The procedure was used first in 1972 to study the brain and is a painless and noninvasive procedure that does not require any special preparation. It is considered to be 100 times more sensitive than conventional radiography or X-rays.

As well as being essential for the study of the brain, CT scanning is considered to be invaluable in investigating diseases of any part of the body. It is particularly useful for locating and imaging tumors, and for guiding the operator who is performing a needle biopsy.

—Information in this section is based primarily on information from
The American Medical Association, Home Medical Encyclopedia;
Medical Editor, Charles B. Clayman, MD; The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.;
New York; page 323; 1989.
Webster's New World Medical Dictionary, 3rd edition; Wiley Publishing, Inc.;
Hoboken, New Jersey; page 72; 2008.
let the cat out of the bag
To tell others about a secret: Jan's parents wanted to have a surprise party for his sister, but he let the cat out of the bag."
This entry is located in the following unit: cat, cats (page 1)
look what the cat dragged in
A reference to someone who has come into a room or an area: When Hayden got to the meeting quite late, the chairman said, "Well, look what the cat dragged in."
This entry is located in the following unit: cat, cats (page 1)
Word Entries at Get Words: “cat
cat, cats
Greek: katta to Late Latin: cattus; in this unit.
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A unit at Get Words related to: “cat
(a radiographic technique that produces an image of a detailed cross section of bodily tissue using a narrow collimated beam of x-rays that rotates in a full arc around a patient to image the body in cross-sectional slices)
Word Entries at Get Words containing the term: “cat
cat scan
Searching for a lost cat or a kitty.
This entry is located in the following unit: Medical Terms from a Different Perspective (page 1)
CAT scan or Computerized Axial Tomography scan
Pictures of structures within the body created by a computer that takes the data from multiple X-ray images and turns them into pictures on a screen.

The computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan can reveal some soft-tissue and other structures that cannot even be seen in conventional X-rays.

Using the same dosage of radiation as that of an ordinary X-ray machine, an entire slice of the body can be made visible with about 100 times more clarity with the CAT scan.

The "cuts" (tomograms) for the CAT scan are usually made five or ten millimeters (mm) apart. The CAT machine rotates 180 degrees around the patient's body; hence, the term "axial".

The machine sends out a thin X-ray beam at 160 different points. Crystals positioned at the opposite points of the beam pick up and record the absorption rates of the varying thicknesses of tissue and bone. The data are then relayed to a computer that turns the information into a 2-dimensional cross-sectional image.

CAT scanning was invented in 1972 by the British engineer Godfrey N. Hounsfield (later Sir Godfrey) and the South African (later American) physicist Alan Cormack.

CAT scanning was already in general use by 1979, the year Hounsfield and Cormack were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for its development.