Aug 1, 2010

Cat Society Examined - Article

Cats With Jobs

I've noticed the social structure among feral cats for a long time. There are friends and enemies, pecking orders and cliques. Cats have much more complex social relationships than most people realize. And there is more to be discovered... Over at catster, they have an interesting article on cat behavior and society: Do Cat Families Have a Hierarchical Structure?
'In feral colonies, observers have noted that related females in colonies are sometimes bonded so closely that they will den together when birthing, act as midwives for each other, and nurse each other's kittens, with kittens being raised cooperatively by all of the females. The mothers even join forces to drive off intruders and threats to the colony, including fighting off tomcats...'


I agree with their observations about closely bonded females but I also have to add that there are similar structures among the toms. We've talked about how brothers Shemp and Curly were constant companions and never fought. This isn't unusual; I see many tomcats that clearly have other tomcat buddies with whom they hang out.

Also, cats have jobs. This is my observation alone - but as you know I have a lot of experience. Example: One queen cat we saw for a long time clearly had the job of "Security" - whenever there was a potential of a threat, other cats would run first to find HER, returning shortly with this cat at their side... to have "Security" scope out the situation.

I suspect further study would find cat society every bit as complex as human society. They don't just exist - they live. Cats have built their own culture, it seems, invisible to our eyes.

How have your cats built a world for themselves?