The domestic cat (Felis catus or Felis silvestris catus) is a small, usually furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal. It is often called the housecat, or simply the cat when there is no need to distinguish it from other felids and felines. Cats are valued by humans for companionship and ability to hunt vermin and household pests. Cats have been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years, and are currently the most popular pet in the world. Owing to their close association with humans, cats are now found almost everywhere in the world.