The Tiger On Your Lap

Are you aware that besides the difference in size, the markings of the fur and the sounds they make, a wild tiger, (the largest member of the cat family) and your pet cat is the same animal in many ways? Biologically, the tiger shares 95.6% of its DNA with the domestic cat, but let's talk about similar behavior because that's more fun. And by understanding your cat's actions that are instinctually rooted in its "wild cat" heritage, you can learn things to do with your cat to live in greater harmony and comfort.

Let's start with similarities. A 500 lb Bengal tiger and your  8 lb. tabby, stalks prey just the same. Of course, the prey your cat may be hunting is the toy mouse or aluminum foil ball on your floor. Wild cats in play spend a good deal of time practicing their hunting skills. Participating in and encouraging playtime with your cat is just as important – by making sure she is practicing her hunting skills, it keeps her muscles and heart strong as well as maintaining good mental health.   

Somalian cat and computer mouseFor both animals, its coloration and markings act as camouflage, allowing the cat to blend into its surroundings. A new born tiger cub already has its markings and stripes and each striped pattern is as different and permanent as our fingerprints. Speaking of that, your cat's nose print is just as unique to the individual as your human fingerprint.

Back to camo, a light underbelly on a cat helps it fade into shadows and the stripes break up the contour of the body.  In domestic cats, with all the breeding, we've introduced colors not found in the wild, however, if your cat's fur has stripes, is marbled or patchy you may have seen it disappear into the background while outside.    iStock_000003738250XSmallbengalcamo

Both animals are true carnivores and must eat meat to survive. Even though tigers do like to be in water more than many of our pet cats do, they do not drink a lot of water, obtaining the moisture they need from the prey animals they eat.  If your cat was fending for itself and hunting for dinner, the average prey animal would be a mouse, lizard or small bird, whose bodies contains approximately 75 percent water. The average percentage of water in dry kibble is much less. This is why we at NutriSource, also recommend feeding your cat canned food. It has more moisture. You may love the convenience and cost of dry food, but at least, try to feed a combination of dry (adding water to it) and some wetter, canned food. This can help with the common problem of dehydration in cats.

In all of our lines, NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet Organics, we've got some great, grain free, canned cat food flavors. Ask your local, independent, family owned, pet supply stores for them.

So, as your cute kitty is somewhat a tiger in miniature, a wild tiger can act just like your pet feline. They are not only the powerful and aggressive hunters we think they are, they can also be extremely playful when interacting with each other,  will roll around on the ground, sleep in the same silly positions as your cat and do some of the same comical things.

Bengal cat on white backgroundAmur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) Rolls in the Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiger mothers teach their cubs what is acceptable behavior and what is not. No matter if you are a man, woman or child, being a better "mother" to your cat can make a big difference for living happily together.  Next blog – Find out how.

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