Cats Are Cryptic Animals

cat curled up looking like a snake

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Cats like boxes because they are cryptic animals. Cats like to hide. And as the collage about demonstrates cats can use their anatomy to deter predators. “Cryptic” comes from “Crypsis” which is the the use of anatomy and behavior to hide from potential predators or “the ability of an organism to avoid observation or detection by other organisms”1.

The picture says it all really. Some people might argue that the feline tabby coat evolved as a means to protect the cat as (a) it is excellent camouflage and (b) it looks like a snake curled up when the cat is resting. The cat in the collage above it an ocelot, a small wild cat species.

The cat also learned to hiss to sound like a snake. Two separate forms of protection both of which are connected to the snake.

The African wildcat – the domestic cat’s wild ancestor – is a snake catcher. I wonder whether over the millenia the wildcat learned to copy the snake as he knew the snake well.

There are gazillions of cat-in-boxes videos and pictures on the internet. All of them demonstrate the cryptic nature of feline behavior.

You can see Maru’s tail wagging after he gets into the tiny box that is too small. I’d say this is a classic sign of uncertainty about what to do next. Maru wants to be in a box as he is obsessed by boxes but can’t achieve it. Tail wagging is a sign the cat’s mind is in balance just as a tail helps a cat to physically balance.

Every home should have a place for their cat to hide.

Source: 1. Wikipedia

36 thoughts on “Cats Are Cryptic Animals”

  1. Thank you again, for posting your thoughts, Rudolph Furtado. I was just so elated to see your comment, because most folks just don’t get the nuances, and you do.

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  2. This is certainly not staged, and entirely believable. Cats do this! I seems so odd, but it is completely understandable… slows down the heart rate, and theirs is much quicker than ours. I can vouch for this, as I sleep under the quilt/sheet/blanket to slow down my own heartrate, trying to match that of my cat’s. [Sadly, it doesn’t work. don’t try it.]

    Matahari, You are the perfect Angel! And your Momma/Papa is right! Thanks, Rudolph Mr. Fur-tado, for posting this!

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  3. My 7 year old female cat “Matahari” loves hiding in enclosed spaces and on two occasions she got shut in our house cupboard without we realizing the same.We searched the entire house on both occasions and once i thought that she had slipped out of the house door and hence lost somewhere in the building grounds. Any bag kept open makes cat matahari creep into it and sleep peacefully without a sound or movement.I have posted a photo of her sitting inside a bag kept on the table.This was a absolutely “CANDID PHOTO” and not staged.

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  4. oh yes in total agreement there my cats love boxes esp if you just leave one out. They also love baskets or basically anywhere they can sleep. My late cassy loved sleeping in boxes

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  5. Cats and boxes just go together. I have several all around my house, especially on top of cabinets and the entertainment center. But, the most fun of all seems to be with pocketbooks that doesn’t quite accomodate them.
    There’s something about the squeezing in that is intriguing.
    Cats and snakes are a common occurrance here. I’m presented with some, usually not poisonous, a couple times a year.

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