What Makes A Cat, A Cat?

Every cat owner would agree that cats can exhibit some rather odd behaviour from time to time. It’s what makes cats, cats. When trying to rationalise such behaviour, you might think that your cat is just having another ‘mad half hour’ but the reality is that cats have evolved over millions of years and domestication is a relatively recent event. Cats are a stunning success story for evolution but numerous natural behaviours have been baked into their DNA along the way. So, whenever you experience that ‘mad half hour’, that is just mother nature having her say. Let’s explore some examples.

On The Prowl – Hunting

We have all been in the situation where we are minding our own business when the cat, like a ninja, pops out of nowhere and attacks our feet. This can be a startling experience for you, whereas your cat is just satisfying their instinct to hunt. Stalking and hunting are the most primitive of cat behaviours and their skill at doing so is one of the key reasons why the evolutionary tree has seen them rise to become the ‘Kings and Queens of the Jungle’.

Put simply, living within the creature comforts of a twenty-first-century home cannot dull a cats’ evolutionary need to hunt. It’s practically what they are born to do.

Solitary Life – Being Left Alone

You might be surprised to learn that under the aloof facade, cats are social animals. Most cats appreciate love and attention but generally like this on their own terms. If you’ve ever tried to stroke a cat who is either eating or hunting, you have perhaps learned the hard way that your approach was not wanted. Evolution has dictated that cats prefer to be alone for much of the time and it’s best to let them come to you for affection rather than the other way around. 

Sleeping In the Sky & Being Up High

Having a vantage point to sit and survey the surrounding area comes high up on most cats’ evolutionary list. This is why you will often find your cat sitting on top of the fridge, the bookshelf, or anywhere else they can find that is accessible. Cats are usually agile and able to navigate vases, picture frames and the like; but not always and this is when we find such things scattered across the floor in a million pieces. Sigh.

Being up high provides a cat with a sense of security and allows them to observe and stalk at a safe distance. This is another instinct that is built into every cat and comes to the fore whenever they are planning the next attack on your feet! 

Cat behind wall

Being Clean & In Pristine Condition

Cats are paranoid about keeping themselves clean and in pristine condition. The time spent on bathing is as much as 10% of their day, every day. Keeping their claws sharp and in tip-top condition is equally important and part of their everyday grooming routine. Most cats are also paranoid about keeping their muscles toned and their agility high.

Again, we can thank evolution for these obsessive behaviours. Cleanliness enables a cat to feel safe from predators and to rid themselves of tiny parasites. Sharp claws are essential for successful hunting and efficient climbing, while toned muscles promote a sense of well-being and allow cats to enjoy active lives.  

Two cats

Sleep Is Life

Here’s an instinctive behaviour that is familiar to all cat owners. At their evolutionary core, cats are nocturnal hunters and spend most of their time roaming around at night. What’s more, hunting prey in the wild is hard work that requires a high degree of skill, energy, persistence and cunning. You just need to see David Attenborough’s beautiful documentaries to see this for yourself in the African savannah. The intense burst of concentration (observing, stalking) and action (pouncing, sprinting, fighting) required to land prey is tiring, both physically and mentally. There is also no guarantee of success, so a cat might need to rest up before doing it all over again.

In light of this, evolution has taught cats to expend energy in short bursts but then to spend long periods of time re-charging the batteries. This is why cats spend so much time resting, sleeping and lounging in the day. The pampered world that many cats live in today is in contrast to millions of years of evolutionary development that is baked into their DNA. In short, long afternoons in the sun are here to stay.

So much of cats’ quirky behaviour is a part of their evolutionary story. They are a wildly successful species that the world has come to love, including everyone in the Catipilla team. This is why all of Catipilla’s products are designed to cater for their natural, instinctive and evolutionary behaviours so every cat can live their best life. You can find out more about our range here.

Our Core Values

Why Catipilla? Every product and idea we have is built around these core values.

Cat health and well-being.
Cats deserve the best. They deserve to be active, to be entertained, to stretch, to climb and to rest. To play out all of their natural instincts where they feel safest – at home. Our range has been designed to cater for these instincts and provide the most enjoyment possible.

High-quality, space-saving additions to your home.
Every unit we design is built to last. We want you to have the confidence that our products will stand the test of time. We also want to ensure that cats feel secure on our units and have the freedom to roam wherever they please.

Sustainable products that last a lifetime.
All of our Catipilla products are made from 85% recycled material and we actively work to reduce our energy footprint by sourcing materials close to home.