Lisa D. (chaoticidealism) wrote,
Lisa D.

It's OK to be an Indoor Cat

It is my belief that when we domesticated cats, we actually accentuated their tendency to hunt small animals. After all, their primary function was to keep mice and rats out of food stores--they probably enabled our early civilizations to exist and saved many human lives by protecting the food from vermin. We would have preferred cats who were good hunters, who would hunt even when they were well-fed (and thus strong and healthy and even more effective at hunting), and this is the trait that we see in our domestic cats today. When we keep them as pets and they no longer need to hunt, we need to provide them hunting-style play to keep them engaged and occupied, or they will very likely get into trouble, stalking our feet or climbing our curtains!

Cats which live indoors, like mine do, can only hunt the small insects and occasional mouse that makes its way indoors, so they need toys and a human willing to play with them. And I certainly don't mind! If anything, playing with my cats is one of the high points of being a cat owner. It's a lot better than letting them out and worrying that a car (or a drunk frat boy) will result in an early death. Certainly their natural environment is outdoor and semi-outdoor environments like barns and warehouses, but they can live indoors just like humans can--our natural environment is outdoors, as hunter-gatherers, and we're fine sitting in offices. They may be adapted to the outdoors, but they're not adapted to the way we've changed the outdoors--they're not adapted to poisons, cars, and sadistic cat-haters. So the best place for a cat, if you're not in a peaceful, cat-loving neighborhood with little traffic, is probably indoors with a lot of toys, a window seat, and a human to play with.
Tags: cats
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