Picture of 12 domestic or feral cats in a tree

This is not a recent photograph. I remember seeing it years ago. However, it is very, very unusual and perhaps unique to see a dozen domestic or feral cats in a tree like this. I don’t know, as you can tell, whether they are domestic or feral cats. It is likely that they are feral cats in a colony. Perhaps they are semi-domesticated and cared for by somebody. I have to guess what is going on because it is weird. It is difficult to think of a good answer but I think that these cats are fed by somebody and the area where they live is perhaps dangerous so they climb to high ground where they feel safer. There may be a dispute amoung the humans about feeding them.

Picture of domestic or feral cats in a tree
Picture of domestic or feral cats in a tree. Photo in the public domain.
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They are waiting to be fed in my view. It is probable that the same person or persons arrive at a similar time every day to feed them. They wait in the tree, descend to eat and then perhaps disperse until the next day when they once again they congregate in the same tree and wait patiently for that excellent moment when a kind volunteer brings their daily sustenance.

The main reason why cats either domestic or feral climb to high ground like this is to feel safer. Domestic and feral cats are great climbers. We know that. They live in a vertical world as well as horizontal unlike humans. Domestic cats like to rest in high places such as trees or on top of the fridge at their home or something like that. When they feel relaxed they can sleep better. But in this picture they are all alert which is why I think they are waiting for something to happen.

Another reason why they may have taken up a position in this tree is to see more widely in the expectation that a person is coming. The beautiful cheetah likes to take up a high position to survey the surrounding landscape. That’s just another example. Some wild cat species almost live in trees such as the margay. There are a couple of populations of lions in East Africa who like to climb into trees and stay there. One of them is in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Inshasha, Western Uganda. The other group is in the Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park in Seven Tanzania. It is believed that the lions rest in trees to avoid insect bites. The leopard loves to take their large prey animals into trees in an awesome display of strength and agility.

Cats and trees go together and therefore it is not surprising in that sense that we see these domestic or feral cats in a tree. It is the sheer number of them which makes the picture unique.


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