the cat family the similarity in build between all different groups and breeds
is exceptional. An African lion, an Asian Tiger, and a North American Cougar,
and even a typical housecat have remarkably similar characteristics. These
features all combine to make one effective predator. So why is your predator
such a pussycat? Years of domestication have clearly helped. There is evidence
of domestic cats as far back as ancient Egypt. The need for hunting has been
decreased through human contact. However, many small cats have needed to
hunt for survival even up to modern times. Canned cat food can’t be
traced back to ancient Egypt. Another reason many household cats are no longer
the hunters their wild cousins are is that by being domestic they are essentially
kept in a state of perpetual kitten-hood. As kittens their mothers keep them
fed and they play to learn the skills that they will later need to survive.
Eventually, they become independent and hunt for survival. Domestic cats
never become independent, while the hunting instinct remains; hunting is
much more of a game. Consequently, many cats are just as happy to chase a
fuzzy cat toy, as they would be to chase a real mouse. Many outdoor cats
are still adept hunters, but really are no longer suited to live in the wild.
Through domestication cats have kept many traits of their wild cousins, but
are best suited as human companions.