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Your Inner Kitten

In 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.

 

 


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