Morphing to cattus Felis

The early Romans used felis to refer to the domestic cat, but in time the word cattus replaced it. When did the change occur? We can’t be certain, but we do have a clue, since we know that by the sixth century A.D., one unit of the Pretorian Guards (the emperor’s personal bodyguards) was known as the Catti, meaning “cats.” We can assume that these soldiers did not see anything negative—certainly nothing feminine—in applying the name “cats” to them selves.
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