Saturday 2 October 2021

Domestic cats have more control over their lives than dogs

This is a little note about cat domestication. For an animal to be fully domesticated humankind must have complete control over their lives. Humans need to control what the animal eats and where they go. And, importantly, how they breed. Purebred cats aside, as most domestic cats have a lot of control over their lives they can't be considered as completely domesticated.

Domestic cat wandering outside
Domestic cat wandering outside. Photo in public domain.

Arguably the trend in keeping cats inside all the time is one more step in total domestication. It is probably a major step as it means complete control over what they eat. Outside cats hunt and choice prey to supplement their commercially prepared diet.

It is not just about human control over cats. The mentality of domestic cats is closer to their wild ancestor than for dogs. They've retained the wild cat mentality. A cat can go from eating a freshly killed mouse one minute to eating kibble the next and enjoy them equally.

The life of a purebred cat is very much more under the control of humans. They are more likely to be kept inside the home all their lives and their existence is down to selective breeding by a breeder. The breeder chooses if they exist. Their appearance is controlled by the breeder and to a certain extent their character. The purebred cat is more domesticated.

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