Scientific Classification of a Siamese Cat

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Scientific classification is a way of grouping similar organisms together for the purpose of identification. The system of scientific classification in use as of 2011, developed by Carl Linnaeus in the late 18th century, categorizes organisms in broad groups that systematically narrow to a single, easily identifiable organism or group of organisms. Siamese cats have their own classification under the Linnaen system.

Kingdom and Phylum

Siamese cats belong to the scientific kingdom animalia or metazoa. This identifies them as multi-cellular organisms whose cells have specific, complex structures which are surrounded by a thin membrane. Simply put, this classification recognizes that Siamese cats are animals. Cats belong in the subkingdom bilateria, meaning they have bilateral symmetry. Siamese cats belong to the phylum chordata, meaning that cats are vertebrates with spines. Cats belong in the deuterostome superphylum, which describes the embryonic development stage. Cats also belong to the subphylum craniata, which means they have a distinct skull.

Class and Order

Mammalia is the class that contains felines, including the Siamese cat. Mammals are characterized by having hair or fur and the ability to give birth to live offspring. Siamese cats belong to the order carnivora. Carnivorans are placental, terrestrial mammals with specialized teeth and claws. Some members of the order carnivora are carnivores, as is the case with Siamese cats, while others, such as bears and raccoons, are omnivores. Some members of the order, such as the panda bear, are almost entirely herbivorous.

Family and Genus

Siamese cats belong to the family felidae. Felidae is the cat family, encompassing large cats such as tigers and lions as well as domestic cats. Two subfamilies exist: pantherinae and felinae. Tigers, lions and jaguars belong to the former subfamily while Siamese cats belong to the latter subfamily, along with lyxes, cheetahs and ocelots. Siamese cats are further classified into the genus Felis, which is comprised solely of the domestic cat and its closest relatives.

Species and Subspecies

The species name of the domestic housecat is catus. The binomial name of the domestic housecat includes its genus and species. The binomial name for a Siamese cat is Felis catus. This name specifically refers to domestic cats -- no other cats are included in this classification. The Siamese cat can be further designated as Felis catus siamensis or F. catus siamensis. The term “siamensis” designates the Siamese cat as belonging to its own subspecies. Other breeds of cat are not included in this subspecies.

References (4)

  • "Cats"; Rebecca Stefoff; 2003
  • "Cladistics"; Phylogeny and Speciation of Felids; Michelle Y. Mattern, Deborah A. McLennan; 2005
  • "Cat Breeds of the World"; Desmond Morris; 1999
  • "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians"; Dennis McCurnin, Joanna Bassert; 2009

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