Big Cats vs Little Cats


Cats have evolved as the "predatory hunting animal" equipped with great agility and keen senses.  From almost the very start - a kitten of all species of cat shows instinctive behavior typical of hunters.  Cats are extremely alert to sounds and movements.  They  stalk, ambush, and convert rigid stillness into rapid movements to pounce on their prey.  All cats including your own domestic companion demonstrate the typical biting and clawing actions needed to bring down and kill prey quickly.


Here are some similarities of your domestic cat and his exotic cousins:

bullet The domestic cat has the anatomical features and senses of the big cat.
bullet Lions and tigers don't purr like little cats because the smaller cat's larynx is attached to the skull by a hyoid bone which allows the little cat to purr.  The lion or tiger's larynx is attached to the skull by cartilage which is flexible thereby making the lion roar.  A big cat, the puma -  purrs just like a domestic cat.  Except, the puma sounds like a freight train instead of a little purr.
bullet Many behavioral traits in domestic cats are like that of the big cats.
bullet When your domestic cat rubs up against you - he is just like his big brother, the wild big  cat.  Your cat is "scent marking".  This rubbing allows your cat to deposit scent from their sebaceous glands on you, marking you as part of their territory.
bullet Mad at your cat for scratching your furniture?  Well that is a natural behavior like you guessed it; the big cat.  Big cats use visual markings, such as scratches on objects to identify their territory.
bullet If your cat keeps you up at night with his busy activity, he is acting like the big cats.  Most cats are nocturnal which means that they hunt at night in the wild.  All cats both big and little, see exceptionally well at night and they can hear sounds at very high frequencies making them at home in the dark.
bullet Your cat's stalking behavior is the same as that of the big cats.  The big cat uses stealth to sneak up on their prey.  They track their next meal and use their cover to quickly strike at their target by holding them down with their powerful claws.  They make a quick kill by piercing the victim's vertebra with their canines.
bullet All cats are strictly meat eaters.  Vegetarian diet for your domestic cat?  Not on your life, or should we say on his life.  All cats must eat meat or food with meat products in it.
bullet All cats have retractable claws.  The only exception to this is the cheetah.  They have semi-retractable claws.
bullet Cats have five toes on the front feet and four toes on the hind feet.
bullet Cats walk on their toes.  Their feet have soft pads on the toes and foot which helps to reduce sound while they walk.  These pads also protect the bones in the feet from damage while the cat runs and jumps.
bullet Cats have 38 chromosomes in each cell.  The Ocelot and Geoffreys Cat are the exceptions with 36.

Enjoy your domestic cat.  Your pet brings the wild into your home and yet remains part of the family.  Cats have survived for so long due to their unique skills.  Think about it.  There is only one mainstay of a cat's diet.  Meat.  Nature has supplied the cat with the intelligence, courage and speed to become and stay the fabulous hunter that it needs to be to survive.  Hunting preoccupies a cat almost from birth.  When you watch your cat playing they are in actuality play acting.  And practice makes "purffect"

Cool Facts to impress your friends with:

bullet Everybody has heard about the saber toothed tiger.  As you know the saber toothed tiger is most known for his large canines.  As a matter of fact they were 20 inches or longer.  The Saber toothed tiger however is NOT related to the modern day cat.  The saber toothed tiger died out about 30,000 years ago. 
bullet Modern cats are similar to fossils found dating back about 12 million years ago.  Three million years ago saw many cat species inhabiting most parts of the earth except the North Pole, South Pole and Australia. 
bullet Anatomical features such as a rounded head and a skeletal structure made for agility indicate that all cats both wild and domestic evolved from a single prehistoric ancestor.