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  • (Why do cats do that?)

  • They're cute, they're lovable.

  • And judging by the 26 billions views of over 2 million YouTube videos of them.

  • Pouncing, bouncing, climbing, cramming, stalking, clawing, chattering, and purring.

  • One thing is certain: cats are very entertaining.

  • These somewhat strange feline behaviors, both amusing and baffling.

  • Leave many of us asking, "Why do cats do that?"

  • Throughout time, cats were simultaneously solitary predators of smaller animals, and prey for larger carnivores.

  • As both predator and prey, survival of their species depended on crucial instinctual behaviors.

  • Which we still observe in wild and domestic cats today.

  • While the feline actions of your house cat Grizmo might seem perplexing.

  • In the wild, these same behaviors, naturally bred into cats for millions of years, would make Grizmo a super cat.

  • Enabled by their unique muscular structure and keen balancing abilities.

  • Cats climbed to high vantage points to survey their territory and spot prey in the wild.

  • Grizmo doesn't need these particular skills to find and hunt down dinner in her food bowl today.

  • But instinctually, viewing the living room from the top of the bookcase is exactly what she has evolved to do.

  • As wild predators, cats are opportunistic and hunt whenever prey is available.

  • Since most cat prey are small.

  • Cats in the wild needed to eat many times each day, and use a stalk, pounce, kill, eat strategy to stay fed.

  • This is why Grizmo prefers to chase and pounce on little toys, and eat small meals over the course of the day and night.

  • Also, small prey tend to hide in tiny spaces in their natural environments.

  • So one explanation for Grizmo's propensity to reach into containers and openings, is that she is compelled by the same curiosity.

  • That helped ensure the continuation of her species for millions of years before.

  • In the wild, cats needed sharp claws for climbing, hunting, and self-defense.

  • Sharpening their claws on nearby surfaces kept them conditioned and ready, helped stretch their back and leg muscles, and relieve some stress, too.

  • So, it's not that Grizmo hates your couch, chair, ottoman, pillows, curtains, and everything else you put in her environment.

  • She's ripping these things to shreds and keeping her claws in tip-top shape.

  • Because this is exactly what her ancestors did in order to survive.

  • As animals that were preyed upon, cats evolved to not get caught.

  • And in the wild, the cats that were the best at avoiding predators thrived.

  • So at your house today.

  • Grizmo is an expert at squeezing into small spaces and seeking out and hiding in unconventional spots.

  • It also explains why she prefers a clean and odor-free litter box.

  • That's less likely to give away her location to any predators that may be sniffing around nearby.

  • Considering everything we do know about cats.

  • It seems that one of their most predominant behaviors is still one of the most mysterious.

  • Cats may purr for any number of reasons, such as happiness, stress, and hunger.

  • But curiously, the frequency of their purrs, between 25 and 150 hertz, is within a range that can promote tissue regeneration.

  • So while her purring makes Grizmo an excellent nap companion.

  • It is also possible that her purr is healing her muscles and bones, and maybe even yours, too.

  • They developed through time as both solitary predators that hunted and killed to eat.

  • And stealthy prey that hid and escaped to survive.

  • So cats today retain many of the same instincts that allowed them to thrive in the wild for millions of years.

  • This explains some of their seemingly strange behaviors.

  • To them, our homes are their jungles.

  • But if this is the case, in our own cat's eyes.

  • Who are we?

  • Big, dumb, hairless cats competing with them for resources?

  • Terribly stupid predators they're able to outsmart everyday?

  • Or maybe they think we're the prey.

(Why do cats do that?)

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B2 US TED-Ed prey wild feline purr purring

【TED-Ed】Why do cats act so weird? - Tony Buffington

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    郁儒 戴 posted on 2020/09/05
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