The Fennec Cat

I bet you’ve never seen a FENNEC CAT before! Here it is courtesy TikTok. This is what a fennec tabby cat would look like if such a species of animal existed. But they don’t. The video is evidence of the amazingly accurate ‘filter’ video editing technology developed by TikTok. Yes, to be clear to those who have never used that social media platform, you can video edit your stuff on your phone using their filters.

Fennec cat
Fennec cat. Screenshot.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Filters normally add fun things like cat ears to the user’s head or floating hearts. Pink and cheerful stuff to brighten up what might be a dull video. In this instance TikTok tech has made the normal ears of a random bred, grey tabby kitten enormous so that they look somewhat like the ears of a fennec fox. They are not real! But they look it.

The videos are courtesy julia66682.

Kitten’s behavior

Incidentally, the kitten is ‘role playing’ a defensive action. Kittens enjoy doing this when growing up. It is practice for when the real thing will be required as an adult. The kitten bounces around sideways on with the tail fluffed to present to the imaginary ‘hostile’ creature in front of them a larger cat than they are to maximise the impression that they are dangerous. The idea? To scare away the invading animal.

Another video

Here is the kitten even behaving a little bit like a fennec fox might behave.


Sometimes you see kittens doing this in front of their own shadow on the wall of their home or in front of a mirror. They think their mirror image is a different cat. They can’t recognise themselves in a mirror which indicates that cats are not self-aware. That’s the theory. It is called the mirror test.

Fennec fox’s ears

The fennec fox has huge ears for the obvious reason that they need super hearing to detect prey in arid, sandy conditions. And they help to cool the fox as the blood vessels are very near the surface of the ear flaps. The heat in the blood is dissipated through the blood vessel wall and then through the skin to the outside.

Fennec fox as a pet?

Fennec foxes don’t make good pets despite their cute, pet-like appearance as they’ve not been domesticated for many thousands of years as is the case with the dog or cat. It takes millennia of domestication to partially remove the wild character. You’ll have to be a fennec fox afficionado to happily live with a fennec fox and accept their wild and sometimes destructive behaviors.

Domestication of the cat

That said the domestic cat’s wild nature is just below the surface as all cat caregivers know all too well. It is said that the domestic cat is barely domesticated. The dog is more profoundly domesticated because they’ve been domesticated for about twice the time domestic cats have. Also, they follow their leader – their owner – whereas the cat is essentially solitary.

“Non-traditional companion animal” should replace “exotic pet”

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