If there was a house cat as big as a tiger, would she be just as dangerous as a tiger?

Not as big as a tiger but huge nonetheless
Not as big as a tiger but huge nonetheless. A Maine Coon.
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If there was a house cat as big as a tiger, would she be just as dangerous as a tiger? The answer must be No. This is because there would be at least a couple of major differences.

Socialisation

Firstly ‘house cats’ are socialised to humans and dogs (and ideally other companion animals). This means they are friendly towards humans and other companion animals. In other words they are domesticated cats. That’s the whole point of socialisation and without it there would be no domestic cats.

Tigers are almost always wild and totally unsocialised. They are not friendly towards humans and see humans as prey or another potential prey ‘item’ or indeed a hostile animal to be feared.

Therefore a domestic cat the size of a tiger would be a very friendly but an incredibly impractical pet. Play sessions would have to be conducted with the greatest of care because in play domestic cats swipe and bite for fun (play hunting). It would be painful to say the least if your cat bit you in play if she was as large as a tiger.

Strength

Tigers are incredibly strong due to great muscle mass. Domestic cats have less muscle mass. If you enlarged a domestic cat to the size of a tiger she would not be as strong as tiger. The bite force, foreleg and hind leg strength would not be the same.

This is because the domestic cat comes form the N. African wildcat which is slighter in frame than the tiger (ignoring for a moment the size difference). Also I would argue that 10,000 years of domestic cat evolution has made the animal weaker as they are fed and protected by humans.

Intelligence

It could also be argued that domestic cats are less intelligent than wild cats and therefore less intelligent than tigers. This is because of 10,000 years of not having to fend for themselves. Wild living breeds intelligence. Also cat breeds are inbreed at least potentially. This can create a lack of intelligence sometimes.

A domestic cat such as a Ragdoll cat as large as a tiger would be an enormous, soppy, longhaired fluff ball. She’d flop down on you and pin you down. She’d try and sleep on your lap which would be damned uncomfortable. She’d eat you out of house and home. She’d poop in a gigantic litter tray and pee gallons of pee. Your house would probably smell of cat. You’d have a ton of hair on furniture and the hair strands would be very long. Think Saint Bernard dog times four or five.

You’d have to have a gigantic cat scratching post! Those claws would be awesome and some irresponsible owners would declaw her. Shame! But she would not be as dangerous as a tiger. No way.

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10 thoughts on “If there was a house cat as big as a tiger, would she be just as dangerous as a tiger?”

  1. While I tend to agree with most of your points, I’m not so sure about wildcats being more intelligent.

    Sure, wild animals have to constantly contest for food and shelter, which keeps their mind sharp. But I would argue that city “biomes” have their very own trepidations and challenges that tend to reward the smartest of animals. It is for that reason that the most prevalent animals, the ones that don’t just survive but thrive in these areas, are often proven to be generally pretty smart (rats and ravens are the 2 shining examples of this).
    And common housecats definitely thrive in this environment. So much so, that when a cat ends up lost and turns feral as a result, it becomes such an efficient hunter, that it can negatively impact the small bird/rodent population within the territory it has claimed as its own – to the point where it can be labeled as a pest itself.

    Now, that’s not to say that tigers aren’t hyper-efficient killing machines themselves.
    But they probably have to quarrel with less intelligent prey and predators, since none of them have to contest with man’s highly unnatural and sometimes quite frankly dangerous infrastructure.
    Sure, a lot of cats tend to end up as roadkill – as unfortunate as that is – but I believe that is due to their general exposure to this kind of hazard. If tigers were exposed to just as much traffic as common housecats were, they would probably fall victim to it just as much, if not even more so, than their domesticated counterpart (at least relatively speaking – the absolute number of dead cats might still be way higher, because at the end of the day there’re a lot more common housecats on the planet, than tigers).

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    • Thanks for commenting. I take your point but the fundamental issue for domestic cat cognitive sharpness is that they are generally pampered. It is all done for them. There are no survival issues and it is those challenges that create a sharp brain.

      Reply
  2. I thought that domestication took place over thousands of years, and socialization during one animal’s formative years or months. I’m not arguing, just thinking out loud and participating in our shared interest in cats. If someone doesn’t want my comments anymore (as it has seemed) then send me an email and say so. I’d be glad to stop voluntarily. Happy holidays…

    Reply
  3. Ofcourse, no domesticated cat would be as much of a threat as any big cat brought in from the wild. Man spent years domesticating cats in order to make them pets.
    However, true ferals come as close to being wild cats as can be. They lack the size and strength of tigers, but they have the temperament and have the potential to do harm to those who don’t have experience.

    Reply
  4. They’d be sentient too Michael! Or, even supersentient! Imagine the size of the mirrors one would need! 😹

    Happy Christmas & thank you for all the great, entertaining articles and hard work you & Elisa do.

    Reply
  5. They’d be sentient too Michael! Or, even supersentient! Imagine the size of the mirrors one would need! 😹

    Happy Christmas & thank you for all the great, entertaining articles and hard work you & Elisa do.

    Reply

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