Paws for Thought | Your cat: Family pet or tiny tiger?

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Did you know that your cat exhibits many similar behaviours to its much larger cousins, like lions and tigers, and for very similar reasons?

Cats are crepuscular which means that they are most active during twilight, which is around dusk and just after dawn.

Wild cats will sleep between 16 and 20 hours per day with the male of the species sleeping longer than the females. So too does the family cat. Those many hours spent snoozing in the sun doesn’t mean that your cat is lazy or bored, it is just normal for a cat.

This behaviour stems from their ancestors who needed to conserve energy to catch their prey. If you think about a lion in the wild, it is most often photographed napping under a tree. When it is time to hunt they extend a huge amount of energy to catch, kill and eat their prey and then return to sleep. Your family cat naps for the same reason.

Much of the time they are not actually asleep but simply napping. This is a state where they are resting but still listening to what is going on around them. A napping cat’s ears will often twitch and move around like little radars listening out for potential danger whilst they snooze. Cats in the wild do the same thing.

Cats do sleep however this is usually for short periods and they switch back and forth between sleeping and napping.

Like their bigger cousins, domestic cats like to hunt but will often play with their captive rather than kill it. It is believed they do this because they don’t want the hunt to end and have never been taught how to kill.

Wild cats are taught survival skills like killing their prey by observing the behaviour of their parents, whilst your cat now has you.


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