Is It Easy to Live in Harmony with a House Cat?

As humans, having cats as pets they are expected to adapt to human lifestyle and living conditions, forgetting the fact that houses are not their natural environment. Cats, as do all animals, behave the way they do since it is in their nature, despite the opinion of some behaviors being inappropriate. A cat has no concept of what is deemed right or wrong. A cat has to be able to understand what is desired for them to do or not to do in order to live a contented life in human surroundings. Part of the way a cat learns to understand a human is by humans understanding them and why they do what they do. Communication and understanding is the key to living in harmony with a house cat.
When we think of a house cat, we think of a sweet, cuddly ball of fur curled up sleeping in someone’s lap, when in actuality these sweet creatures are not genetically far off from wild voracious hunters. According to Bradshaw (2013), over 10,000 years ago, humans began farming and building granaries to store grain, which triggered the self-domestication of the house mouse (granaries provided excellent shelter and food source). Feral cats naturally adapted to living close by human communities attracted to the increasing mouse population in the granaries. The cat’s wild behavior of hunting became useful as a natural pest controller. Since cats are basically carnivores and have no interest in grain or vegetation, this symbiotic relationship became beneficial to both cats and humans. Eventually, tamed wild cats proved to be excellent companions as well. “Although we treasured cats until recently for their prowess as hunters, few owners’ today express delight when their cat deposits a dead mouse on the kitchen floor” (Bradshaw, 2013, p. xxiv).
Throughout th...

... middle of paper ...

...d cats to have certain characteristics and physical features that that they desired, such as long hair, no hair, and different length noses and other physicalities. Some of these breeding traits have altered the natural capabilities of the cat to be able to hunt and survive in the wild. Breeding cats that have short noses has affected their ability to hunt but not the instinct. Cats that are bred to be hairless, if exposed to the elements would not be able to survive long at all outdoors.

Bradshaw, J. (2013). Cat Sense: How The New Feline Science Can Make You A Better Friend To Your Pet. New York, NY. Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group
Budiansky, S. (2002). The Character of Cats: The Origins, Intelligence, Behavior, and Stratagems of Felis silvestris catus. New York, NY. Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc.

More about Is It Easy to Live in Harmony with a House Cat?

Get Access