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any of the catlike Australian marsupials that make up the genus Dasyurus in the family Dasyuridae. All native cats are predators that hunt chiefly at night. Because they sometimes raid poultry yards, native cats have been persecuted and in some regions are extinct. Also contributing to their disappearance have been the destruction of their habitats and the introduction of such placental mammals as domestic cats, which compete with the native cats for food, and dogs and foxes, which prey on native cats.