Is the cat and its wild character a domestic animal?

The cat keeps his heart wild and his instinct, although he has always lived in a house. Knowing that feline essence will help you live better with your cat. Do you want to know more?

In all this time writing about cats, many times I have had to repeat things similar to: “the cat retains its wildest side”, “to understand the cat you have to imagine it in its natural habitat”, “the cat is not accustomed to receiving orders and fulfill them”, “your pussy does not see you as a leader, but as an equal”, etc.

And it is totally like that.

If you want to understand these cats well, you have to realize that their evolution has erased very little of their wildest origins. As the feline therapist Laura Trillo says: “To understand the cat well as a species we have to look at how it lives in a natural state, only then can we know what we are not doing well.”

The origin of the human-cat relationship

As we mentioned in this previous post, experts point out that the relationship between the minions and the people was based on a tacit agreement in which both won.

It was during the emergence of agriculture: cats were attracted to rats that roamed the cereal stored by the Egyptians. When hunting rats, the minions protected the food and helped to eliminate diseases like the plague. His peculiar character and his fantastic beauty captivated the human being, who gradually accepted him in his home.

“The cat is the only animal that has managed to tame man.”

The sociologist and anthropologist Marcel Mauss said it, and it is an affirmation that we could say that conforms very much to reality.

Unlike other domestic animals such as dogs, in which the human has been selecting those that seemed best (by physical appearance, character, etc.), the cat-human bond has not generated that synergy of “animal that obeys the man.” It is true that there are also people who get carried away by how beautiful it is, by some curious feature or by the breed of the cat, but that has not been the form of a constant relationship between human-cats. It has influenced but has not been able to erase the essence, in the beginning, there was that win-win relationship, and it has been maintained.

We all know dogs that obey orders, but we don’t have that same feeling as most cats we know (there are exceptions, of course). The cat has been adapting to the environment and us and has modified part of his behavior or his way of being for it. But, as we will see below, it has not reached the point of domestication of the can.

The wild of domestic cats

Before analyzing the cats, it is essential to differentiate between domestic cats and wild or feral cats (who live in freedom and do not have any or very little contact with humans).

We are going to talk about cats that live completely indoors or in semi-freedom with humans, who are accustomed to contact with people. The characteristics that we will see are even more accentuated in wild cats since logically, they do need to continue implementing survival techniques. The surprising thing is when a cat that has always lived at home continues to do things like, for example, hunting; when maybe he has never seen any cat do it nor is it necessary.

What does the cat keep from its wild origins?

There are many features that remain almost intact, although not all cats have them in the same degree.

The most common are:

  • Hunting instinct. Surely you have been able to see your cat “play” to hunt, the prey can be anything, from an insect that sneaks into the house, to a little mouse from the garden, or any toy or element that it finds in its path, and it can even do See what hunts you. All with those stealthy positions so feline; First watching, then preparing your body to jump, until you wait calmly and patiently at the right time to jump over the dam.
  • Nocturnal activity. Normally linked to the previous point, as the cat is a night hunter, it often conserves that energy for the night, and puts into practice its most intrepid games when you are sleeping. If this is your case, you should see these tips to try to make the cat sleep at night.
  • Feed rationed as needed. In its natural state, the pussy catches and eats what it needs, and can continue to hunt without hunger. If you have unlimited access to your food, it is distributed to satisfy your appetite. Domestic cats do not usually have this privilege, so if the cat does not have any health problems, it is good to be allowed to regulate their food intake. Look at these tips on dry and wet food.
  • Anatomy. Every part of his body is designed for survival, his hunter’s eyes with privileged night vision, his raspy tongue that helps him strangle his prey, his shoulderless shoulder blades that allow him to make turns of the whole body and almost always fall on his feet, etc.
  • Relative hierarchy. In the relationships between cats and those of humans and cats living in the same house, what is called relative hierarchy applies to the pussycat: each member of the group or family may have a different position depending on the time, place and the situation. Now a cat has the position of “leader” and the others give way, and after a while, the roles are exchanged. We can see this constantly in the games between minors when one first chases the fleeing cat, and then the persecuted becomes a persecutor. Something similar happens with people, they will not always see you as “their leader” as is the case with dogs, in fact, they claim that cats see us as if we were another giant cat, which plays with the same rules.
  • Division of the territory. Its strong territorial character makes it essential that the house has a division similar to what the cat would have in its natural state. A place to sleep, one to eat, one to play … all of them differentiated and separated from each other.
  • Read this detailed post on how to prepare the house thinking about the feline territory.
  • Marking. Taking into account these strong roots in the territory, the cat has several ways of marking (just as it would in nature). Its main brands are visual, olfactory, with urine, etc. Sometimes they are territorial or alarm marks, and other times they are identified or familiarization marks. For example, when the cat rubs against you when you arrive at home, it’s his way of saying hello and sharing your scents with his, it’s like saying “I know you and I recognize you.” Another peculiar way to greet exchanging smells is when your cat puts your ass in your face. It is not very pleasant for us, but the pussy is only recognizing you with a warm greeting.
  • Privacy to make your needs. When the cat lives in its wild state, it looks for an intimate place to pee and poop. A place to be protected and where to leave no evidence for their predators. This requirement is maintained when it is domestic, so the sandbox must be in a suitable place and have specific characteristics.
  • Defense against possible predators. Not only does the cat avoid showing itself weak while it is “in the bathroom, but” it also tends to hide that it is bad. In nature, the cat would hide if it is injured, to prevent a predator from taking advantage of it. And when the cat is domestic, it also avoids being vulnerable. That is why we must be aware of possible warning signs: the cat eats less, hides more, is less active, etc. An example of how cats “hide” from feeling bad or suffering from something is how some deaf cats “hide” their deafness

Domestic cats can frequently connect with their wild origins, even having always lived in a house. They simulate that they are hunting in a box, scratching their scraper as if it were the most robust and pleasant tree in the whole forest …

I think that this wild connection and so yours makes them even more special and wonderful. At least I love that they are, authentic.

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