How Cats are Like Larger Wild Felines

House cats come from the family of African wild cats. The large felines such as lions and tigers have similar behavior like your lovable pet cats. Do you also know the identical traits and features of the small and big cats?

african-wildcat-1.2Some studies show that wild and domestic cats have an almost identical genetic makeup. House cats have similar attributes to their wild relatives in many ways. How they react to people’s activities and their breeding patterns are alike. Below are some similarities of domestic cats and wild felines.


hunting-cat-2.2Body movements

The body language of your house pets are comparable to their big cats cousins. Both their tails’ position and movement, including their ears, can signal their mood. It includes how these cats stroll. These body movements are noticeable in all cat species. Some wild felines have tufts or white markings on their ears which they use to signal  other cats during dim light. Like your domestic cats, wild felines are famous for head butting their fellow cats as a sign of pride. They like smelling while their mouths are wide open. They also like wiggling their tails before jumping on their prey.

cat-green-eye-1.2Physical attributes

The physiology of a house cats are similar to  big cats. The only difference is that your cat is smaller in size. The eyes of both groups glow either green or blue in the dark. That helps those in the wild find their prey at night. They both have the same rough tongue with a sandpaper texture. Like domestic cats, the wild cats use their tongue to clean themselves. It also helps them to break down the flesh of their prey when feeding.

nocturnal-cats-1.2Behavior at night

You may notice that your cats stay up late at night.  Most of them like running around and getting exercise.  This behavior is like their big cat counterparts. They have sharp eyesight and hearing which enables them to be comfortable being awake in the dark. Cats are naturally nocturnal but take frequent naps both day and night.

cat-rubbing-against-fence-1.2Odor marking

As your cat brushes up against your legs, it usually rubs its face and chin on you. The pet does this to almost everything it sees. This is how your pet leaves its mark on you and its surroundings with its scent. Scent marking is a common trait in house cats and their wild counterparts. This is how these animals mark territory in the wild and a way to interact with other cats.

cat-hunting-1.2Predatory acts

How a lion stalks, hunts, and devours its prey is comparable to your kitten’s behavior. You can observe how your cat stalks a bird or mouse, its movements are alike with the wild feline. Both wild and domestic cats bring their prey “home”.  This keeps cats safe and out of danger while they eat. It also helps them feed their young.  Female lions do all the hunting and bring back the prey for the males and cubs.  Cats love toys that they have to stalk and hunt. They may hide or stay very still and then jump out to catch the toy. They love to chase feathers and yarn which looks like a small animal tail.  When your cat brings home a present for you – well that is its nature and instinct.


Both domestic and wild cats are fond of cleaning themselves. Most of them spend about half of their waking hours grooming. Cats like to cleaning themselves to remove their scent. By doing so, this also helps them get rid parasites and cool their bodies.


Your house pets create sounds such as meows and purrs. Big cats also have their own vocalizations. They can create sound like your cats’. Big cats such as tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards create roaring sound. These large felines have different bone structure in their throat enabling them to roar. The smaller cats such as cougars, bobcats, and lynx do not roar. Other lions can hear a fellow lion’s roar at a distance of five miles away.

lynx-1.2Good hunters

When it comes to hunting, all cats have this specialized skill. Some house cats may not be fond of hunting. They might like to stalk things but may not bring it home to eat. If your cat has seen you become upset by its gifts, it may not bring them home anymore.  Some become lazy, knowing that they will be fed by their owners.  But when needed for survival, they are all willing to hunt to feed themselves. Each cat, from the strong lion to the small cat, can catch and find its prey. The prey’s size depends on how big the cat is.

cheetah-1.2Flexibility and coat types

Most cats breeds have flexible bodies. The most energetic Olympian will find it difficult to imitate a cat’s movements. These include curling, twisting, stretching, jumping, and rolling like a healthy, house cat.

There are about  42 breeds of cats. These cats have different coat types, patterns and colors. All cats shed their coats in summer and let them thicken in winter. All cats can handle their pain and sufferings well. All cats, except the big cats, have the ability to purr. They have different ways and reasons for doing this. Medium sized cats such as bobcats, ocelots and lynxes usually purr.

wet-cat-food-3.2Health issues

To stay healthy and fit, all cats have a set of needs. They all need taurine, an amino acid, to survive. All cats are carnivores or meat eaters. They seldom eat vegetables. Taurine is an essential element of animal products. Many mammals produce their own taurine from other amino acids. Cats can’t do this. If taurine is not available, cats may experience heart failure or blindness. Cats are fond of burying their feces and urine. They do this to hide their presence from potential predators. Predators  may hunt them as food. Most big cats do not want to show their solid waste. Cats can both be prey and predator.


All pet cats like sleeping during the day. Even their big relatives do the same. They usually sleep between 16 to 20 hours daily. With their hunting activity in the wild, big cats are opportunity hunters. They may not be marathon runners, but they can run fast when chasing  prey. They like sleeping to save their energy before hunting. Upon hearing a gazelle coming, they can be awake to chase it down.

cat-playing-with-mouse1.2Picky about food

Pet cats like eating their food on the ground instead of their bowl. This creates a messy eating place, but cats enjoy doing this. The captive large felines like putting their food on the ground before eating it as well. Some domestic cats like playing with their food before eating it.  This behavior is noticeable among wild cats. Big cats do not always have something to eat. Whenever they catch prey, they do not consume it immediately. They will try to bury some first, then go back to eat it later. They bury their prey so other cats will not see or smell it. Leopards like  dragging their prey to a high place so that lions and tigers cannot reach them.

Feeding-Your-CatYou may notice that your house cat does not like to finish the last drop of food.  When a cat has dry food in it’s bowl all the time it may stop eating when it sees the supply dwindling. This is instinct. It worries, just like it’s wild cousins, that it won’t have food later on.

Now that you know how similar your pet is to it’s wild relatives you can understand its behavior.  Enjoy watching with a whole new perspective.

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