Mob mentality affects domestic cats in a group

The old adage is that domestic cats are independent-minded, solitary and aloof. Herd mentality, otherwise referred to as mob mentality and pack mentality, occurs when people are emotionally affected by the response of their peers (other people in a group) to certain events resulting in all of them responding in the same way.

Mob mentality affects domestic cats
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Mob mentality affects domestic cats. Screenshot

I can think of a recent incident which might have been exacerbated by mob mentality: the funeral of Colonel Suleiman in Tehran (assassinated by the US). It was reported that about 50 people died in a mob stampede. We don’t know the details but you can guess that a few people panicked and then those around them followed suit despite not knowing why.

In the video there is an unusually large group of domestic cats inside a building following a robotic vacuum cleaner. I wonder if this is a communal room in an animal shelter although the chairs indicate that it might not be unless they are for potential adopters to observe the cats before adoption. Or perhaps it is a Japanese cat cafe. This is the more likely explanation.

They follow the vacuum cleaner. One cat, the slender black-and-white one, leads. Some cats are quite distant from the device. When the device hits the wall it turns and travels in a different direction. The device does something (perhaps it emits a sound) which makes one of the already curious and slightly concerned cats immediately fearful. He jumps up to avoid it and runs. All the other cats follow suit. The ‘leader’ emerges last and runs away but I feel that he or she is more independent-minded than the rest which is why they are the leader.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important

I am convinced that many of them had no idea why they were running away from the vacuum cleaner. All they knew was that some of their peers were running away from it and therefore, at an emotional level, they were satisfied that there was something dangerous there and they had to do the same thing: run.

As one commenter on YouTube says:

I like how these happen due to chain reaction. One cat gets particularly spooked and them getting spooked winds up spooking the rest of them.

Yes, another way if describing mob mentality. One thing I like about the video is the hysterical and infectious laughter of the women watching and I presume videoing the action. Their laugther indicates Japan to me.

Note: videos on this site are often made by third parties and held on YouTube servers. Sometimes YouTube deletes them which stops them working on this site. It that has happened I apologise but I have no control over it.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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