Wild Cat Behaviour
All aspects of a cat's natural behaviour are to do with 'making a living'. To survive from day to day the cats primary business is that of catching food and as a member of a species it sole objective is to reproduce. Each behavioural aspect of the cat is 'tuned' to one of these objectives.
It could be said that the behaviours can be divided into two distinct groups. However there is often an overlap in the direct motivation behind specific behavioural practices. For example, social organisation of territory plays an important role, not only in dividing living space so that mating and the rearing of young can be achieved without undue conflict but also serves to maximise prey to predator ratios - conflict between individuals over prey does not benefit the species as a whole.
Although wild cats are generally thought of as being primarily solitary animals, as opposed to wild dogs and wolves, which are by nature group or pack animals, social interaction is a primary motivation behind many behavioural aspects of there lives. Communication between cats then, plays an important part in their daily activities.
Other behavioural characteristics relate directly to the job of hunting and these serve to maximise the cats physiological adaptation to the task of catching prey. Although primarily solitary hunters, some species of cat, notably the lion, have adapted to hunt in social groups, thus maximising the chances of success in completing a kill.
Use the 'Behaviours Index' to the right of the page to learn more about specific cat behaviours.