The dog is a domesticated form of the wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The domestic dog has been one of the most widely kept working and companion animals in human history. The word "dog" may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word "bitch" for the female of the species.
The dog quickly became ubiquitous across culture across the world, and was extremely valuable to early human settlements. For instance, it is believed that the successful emigration across the Bering Strait might not have been possible without sled dogs. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, protection, assisting police and military, companionship, and, more recently, aiding handicapped individuals. This versatility, more than almost any other known animal, has given them the nickname "Man's best friend" in the western world. Currently, there are estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.
The cat, also known as the domestic cat or housecat to distinguish it from other felines and felids, is a small domesticated carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and its 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. Due to their close association with humans, cats are now found almost everywhere on Earth. This extreme adaptability and their worrying impacts on native animals has led to them being classed as an invasive species. Most of these problems are caused by the large number of feral cats worldwide, with a population of up to 60 million of these animals in the United States alone.