Is it bizarre that a cat cuddles a rat?
No, it is not because it is entirely normal if the pair have been raised together. We should not be surprised when a domestic cat and a domestic rat get along so well because humans and cats get along well for the same reason: cats are socialised to humans (and vice versa). In the video the rat and the cat are socialised to each other.
People forget that the domestication of cats and dogs are the ultimate interspecies relationships. Any other interspecies relationship is built on the same principles.
This is what bugs me about the news media. They are often ignorant of these finer points. They describe this cat/rat relationship as ‘bizarre’ but no.
The video was made in Indonesia.
Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.
You don’t need to look very far on the internet to see thousands of interspecies relationships that are far stranger than the one we see here. What about a crow and a dog? The possibilities are endless. All turn on the animals being raised together (socialised to each other) which supresses the usual predator instincts that one animal would normally have for the other.
You must have seen cats raising squirrels and dogs raising kittens or cats raising puppies. They are all on the internet.
Interspecies friendships capture the imagination of humans because they go against the grain of the usual hostility of predator and prey. They emanate peace and harmony which is what people crave.
Some people will question whether animals can have friends. But it is a waste of time questioning it because there is ample evidence to show us that animals are capable of making friends with animals of the same and other species. They are sentient beings with feelings, which is going to be enshrined in law in the UK, I hope.
There may be an argument that states that if one animal such a tiger is so strongly programmed to hunt and kill that even when socialised to another animal or the human-animal there is always the possibility that the hunting drive will overcome the friendship arrived at by socialising. Although if a relationship takes root early enough it can, I believe, totally overrules instinct (the instinct to kill prey animals) or later learned behaviour.
Also, when animals are removed from the wild environment and the need to hunt is also removed as they are fed, this must help suppress the hunting instinct. Predator and prey are suited for friendship it has been argued because they understand each other.
It might be interesting to ask why being a different species should be a barrier to friendship? There is no absolute reason for it except that they are both ‘outsiders’ to each other. The real barrier to a rat/cat relationship is not that they are different species but that the cat hunts prey like the rat. Actually, cats are pretty poor at hunting rats. Rats can beat cats. So, this predator/prey barrier is probably very weak or hardly exists in these sorts of friendships. Perhaps there is a mutual respect. You’ll see many cat/rat relationships on the internet. It is not bizarre.
SOME MORE INTERSPECIES RELATIONSHIPS: