Normal Feline Behaviour

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Normal Feline Behaviour
This section is part of Feline Behaviour

The domestic cat, sometimes called Felis silvestris catus, is descended from Felis silvestris lybica, a species of cat that is predominantly native to Africa and the Near East. Other subspecies of Felis silvestris, such as the Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris grampia) are native to areas of the UK and Europe. Genetic evidence indicates that the domestic cat descended from cats living in the Near East, an area of early agricultural development in which human settlements would have provided opportunities for cats to catch rodents that were attracted to food stores. Cats were therefore tolerated and encouraged by humans for the purposes of pest control. Opportunities to hunt in such areas therefore introduced a selection pressure, which favoured cats that were able to live in close proximity with people and other species, such as the domestic dog, as well as in dense communities of conspecifics. The ability of Felis silvestris to cope with solitary and group living has enabled this species to achieve an exceptionally large natural geographic distribution. Its association with man has carried it even further to regions where it is not a native species, such as Australia and the Americas, which it has gone on to successfully colonise. Since the cat is relatively small, non-threatening to people, and carries out its hunting behaviour without any human involvement, there has been no need to domesticate cats to the degree that was necessary with other species such as the dog. As a result, most of the natural behaviour of cats remains intact. This poses a challenge in modern domestic environments in which pet cats lack the freedom to perform their normal behaviour and may be forced to conform to human expectations of social and feeding behaviour.

Section Content:

Social Behaviour
Communication Behaviour
Predatory Behaviour
Territorial Behaviour
Timing of Activity


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