Showing posts with label tame wild cat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tame wild cat. Show all posts

Thursday 9 November 2023

Pumba the pet caracal is anxious almost all the time living with humans

Pumba is anxious at best living in the human environment. Screen grab from video below.

I have written about this so-called 'pet caracal' called Pumba before (not a pet at all actually). You might like to read my latest article (see link below). I am somewhat fascinated with this cat not because I am interested in exotic cats as pets but because I'm concerned for the welfare of this cat who is overweight because he's bored and wants to escape. He lives in Latvia and was adopted as a kitten.

But, having watched some of the videos on the owner's (Deniss Jegorovs) TikTok account, every one that I've seen shows Pumba hissing indicating extreme anxiety. He hisses when his owner approaches him. He hissed when his owner approached him to video him and he hissed when his owner fed him and also videoed him as you can see in the video on this page.

This is entirely not what should be the case for a so-called domesticated wild cat. This cat is not domesticated at all. The cat is tame to a certain extent but in my opinion this cat is terrified at worst and probably permanently anxious at best.

And the reason for that is this cat is not socialised to people. He is behaving like a feral domestic cat. He is living in a hostile environment permanently. He has one friend, a domestic cat who also lives with this man.

And of course, the hiss is quite strong as this is a medium-sized wild cat. It's a very intimidating hiss. I don't know how the owner can put up with this because this is a precursor to being attacked. The ears go back and the hiss is a message to the owner to back off and go away otherwise you will be attacked. That is the message which indicates a dysfunctional relationship between caracal and human.

This is entirely unsurprising because, as mentioned, this is a somewhat tame caracal but not a domesticated cat and this cat is unsocialised despite being adopted as a kitten.

This caracal will never be a good cat companion and never be domesticated and never be fully socialised to humans. He will only be relaxed and happy when around other cats he knows but humans to him are large and potentially dangerous. Although Pumba might easily attack a domestic cat if he escaped and met a neighbour's cat.

All of this, for me, points to the fact that one should never purchase a caracal as an exotic pet unless you fully understand what you are getting into but even then, it's wrong because you are doing something which has a negative impact on caracal conservation and wild cat conservation in general.

The videos of Pumba sends the incorrect message that small and medium wild cat species can be pets when the message should be that they should be left in their natural environment, in the wild, and people should leave them alone to live their lives as they should live them. Then they can be happy but not like this.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 4 July 2022

Early "domestic cats" were actually tamed wildcats

It is said, with confidence nowadays, that the first domestic cats on the planet existed about 9500 years ago. It all started in an area that we know now as Syria and spread out from there. The skeleton of a wildcat and a man were unearthed on the island of Cyprus. The remains were dated at 9500 years ago.

It is entirely plausible that cats were domesticated before that date perhaps as long ago was 14,000 years in the past. The wild cat on Cyprus had been imported onto that island from Syria by its owner.

This man had a pet cat. But his pet cat was a tame North African wildcat. It's a bit like today when people sometimes like to live with a tame serval. These are not truly domesticated cats. They are simply conditioned to behave in a fairly calm way around people. They are conditioned to live with people in the human environment. But they don't cope very well and they are quite challenging.

This very early 'domestic cat' was in fact a tamed wildcat from north Africa. Picture in the public domain.

I say that because this man living on Cyprus 9500 years ago would have had the same sort of issues with his pet cat. Although, admittedly, the North African wildcat is naturally predisposed towards a pliable character which gets along well with people. In fact, in Africa today there are African wildcats approaching human settlements and becoming somewhat like domestic cats.

But it is quite important to state that the first so-called 'domestic cats' were actually tamed wildcats. The difference is that with a tamed cat you have trained an individual cat to live with a person or persons but they are still in essence a wild cat and therefore their character is going to be somewhat difficult to accept. There might be the occasional aggression from the cat because they are inherently twitchy especially when living in this false environment of the human world.

RELATED: Why did ancient Egyptians shave off their eyebrows to mourn their dead cats?

In contrast, the true domestic cat has developed over thousands of years. They have a lineage. They've either selectively bred themselves or humans have selectively bred them to have a character which is inherently domesticated or predisposed to domestication. In short, domestication is an alteration to the genetic make-up of an animal as opposed to an alteration of their behaviour. The former changes go far deeper than the latter.

An important further note to make is that domestic cats still require socialisation as kittens. If not they are fearful of humans.

It is somewhat ironic that on Cyprus today there are more cats than people. These are going to be community cats largely but there will be domestic and feral cats as well. This problem has occurred because of a lax approach to spaying and neutering of cats so they have been allowed to breed when living in the urban environment. And of course the government has not grasped the problem sufficiently well to resolve it.

RELATED: Why are there so many cats on Cyprus?

It is probably fair to state that Cyprus is a snapshot of what is wrong with the relationship between humans and cats. In the early days cat domestication it worked to a large extent. The first true domestic cats were in ancient Egypt about 4,000 years ago. They were all mackerel/spotted tabbies and slightly larger than today's domestic cat. Although the ancient Egyptians abused domestic cats by breeding them for sacrifice to the gods. That is a clear abuse by modern standards although it is tricky to judge a race of people by modern standards.

But the fact is that the concept of cat domestication is a good one but humans have screwed up and arguably it is been a failure of a process. This is because there are hundreds of millions of feral cats on the planet. They are homeless, they are often miserable, distressed and ill. Their lifespan is shortened. They should be living with people. This must be judged as a failure of humankind in the domestication of the cat.

Friday 30 April 2021

Pet puma kept in a one-roomed apartment in Moscow

MOSCOW, RUSSIA-NEWS AND VIEWS: It is reported by that the owner of a one-room apartment bought a mountain lion because he was getting bored. He lives in the south-west of Moscow. He calls the cat Hercules. We are told that the two have bonded. He likes the attention that he attracts to himself when he takes his mountain lion for a walk. 

Pet puma kept in a one-roomed apartment in Moscow
Pet puma kept in a one-roomed apartment in Moscow

He has become a local celebrity in the area. Some passers-by admire it and are in awe of a puma on a lead but not everyone is happy including a pop singer and reality television show contestant Vika Daineko who is shocked. 

The man walks his large, domesticated wild cat across the way from her apartment. She wants the man and his cat banned from the area and is in the process of collecting signatures on a petition to achieve that goal. She is also going to take legal action it is reported. She is scared for the area's children.

The Russians like their cats. There are some amazing cat breeders in Russia. They do take cat breeding to a fine art with certain breeds such as the Maine Coon and the hairless cats.

Note: videos on this site are typically made by people other than me and held on YouTube servers or the servers of other businesses (not the server storing this website). Sometimes the videos are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened I apologise but I have no control over it.

You do not have to be an animal advocate to see the unsuitability of this arrangement. Some people might say that if the puma was about to be euthanized then the man is doing a favour and improving cat welfare but that is unlikely to be the reason why he ended up with this mountain lion. He says he was bored so be adopted one to alleviate the boredom; but the problem is wider than that.

It is also about the local authorities and a lack of oversight. The authorities should have prevented this happening. It would appear that you don't need a licence to adopt a large wild cat in Russua; an exotic animal and one unsuited to flat dwelling.

In the UK you would have to apply for a licence and demonstrate that you have the ability to look after a mountain lion and that you have the right facilities. There would be inspections of paperwork and facilities if they granted a licence. In this instance, if this man had applied for a licence in the UK it would have been rejected, quite obviously. Therefore, I'm back to my original point which is that the authorities are ultimately to blame for a lax attitude leading to this unsatisfactory arrangement.

I don't like to see it happening. How did this mountain lion get into Russia in the first place? Who imported the animal? It must have been imported because there are no mountain lions in Russia. It must come from America. Perhaps it belonged to a zoo or there is somebody in America exporting mountain lions to Russia. If that is happening then there is a lax attitude in America towards the exportation of wild cat species such as this puma. A lot of this is to do with the law, the enforcement of the law or the lack of both. Those are the root causes of this problem.

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