This is an interesting video because it tells us a lot about the relationship between domestic cats and their owners and the relationship between domestic cats and babies and toddlers in the home. When domestic cats are fully integrated into a family home they can have a relationship that we see in the video and which I describe below. The cat has been described as a guardian angel for preventing this toddler from grabbing the balcony handrail. That’s quite clear in the video. It is also clear that the cat is doing that to prevent the child from harm by possibly climbing up the balcony wall and falling over the edge. Read on for my explanation….
Please note: the above embedded tweet may stop working and if it has I apologise but I can’t control this.
One commenter wrote: “I absolutely love this. That cat knew that the balcony was a danger for the toddler.”
I agree and I believe I know why. Cats learn by observation. Domestic cats can also become protective of babies and toddlers as if they are their offspring. And finally, cats treat adult humans as surrogate mothers and learn from them by watching. The cat would have watched the toddler’s human parents prevent their child from grabbing the balcony railing to protect the child from harm (potentially climbing up and failing off the balcony). The cat is copying human behavior. And therefore she is genuinely a guradian angel as she acts as the toddler’s mom or dad.
Aly commented: “Cats are fiercely protective of their Hooman babies…” – She’s correct but not all cats are.
Some commenters complain that the cat is a better parent than the parents! This is wrong because the parents are right there filming it! And the parents have informally trained their cat to do their parenting for them 🙂 .
There is a famous video of a cat protecting the family’s child from an attacking dog (see below). The female cat acts with great ferocity. It is very impressive:
The same mentality and toddler-cat relationship is present in that video as in this one. And a cat attacked a baby-sitter to defend a child. They all demonstrate the same mentality and learning.
Below is another video of a cat protecting a child – the same mentality:
SOME MORE ON OBSERVATIONAL LEARNING OF CATS: