Monday 12 December 2011

How domesticated are cats?

ANSWER: Very domesticated but without socialization during the first seven weeks of life the domestic cat will walk away from the 9,000 years of domestication of the cat and behave in a way that is similar to the Northeastern wildcat (African wildcat) of today. However, the domestic cat cannot be as effective a hunter and survivor as the wildcat. There is too much distance between domestication and today (9,000 years approximately).

The point, though, is that the domestic cat is not far from a wildcat. They are well domesticated if properly socialized but it is skin deep. This is why we as cat caretakers we should respect the cat for what he or she is and not try and mold them into something that we want them to be. Declawing is an example of trying to modify the cat.

You can see the classic wildcat behavior in domestic cats in spraying (marking territory with urine sprayed horizontally) and defending territory when they go outside through a cat flap (door).

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