What do snow leopards do for fun?

If you are a cat guardian and have a domestic cat companion you will know what snow leopard cubs do for fun. Snow leopard kittens and young adults play with each other and objects in exactly the same way that domestic cat’s do. Play is centred around hunting in one form or another but they also play amongst themselves.

Snow leopards larking around
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Snow leopards larking around. These are subadult snow leopard messing around just like domestic kittens. Photo in public domain.

Difference between snow leopard adults and domestic cat adults

There are many videos on the Internet of snow leopard cubs playing with each other. In my opinion, there is a difference between snow leopards and domestic cats in respect of play.

Domestic cats are somewhat kept in a state of perpetual kitten mentality because, in good homes, they are being perpetually cared for by their human companion and guardian. They never become completely independent and therefore don’t have a mindset which lets them behave entirely as adults might. That’s why adult domestic cats play like snow leopard kittens.

However, adults snow leopards don’t play like domestic cat adults, although parents of snow leopard kittens will play with their offspring. You see this often with large wild cat species of all kinds. But it is not the kind of play that you see young snow leopards engaging in.

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

Having fun

The concept of having fun is an interesting one in the context of wild cat species. Humans spend a lot of their time trying to entertain themselves because they become bored. Perhaps life is too easy for the human. Not always, but for a lot of people it probably is.

For adult snow leopards life is pretty tough and I don’t think they go in search of entertainment because they’re too busy surviving which is a serious business. Snow leopard kittens and cubs have time on their hands and are protected by their parents. They therefore look for entertainment and it’s a learning process.

You could also argue that when snow leopard cubs learn how to hunt by watching their mother they are having fun because for them it will be a new experience and they are not dependent upon success for survival.

Playing with tails

Snow leopard cubs often play with their parent's tails

Snow leopard cubs often play with their parent’s tails. Photo in public domain.

There is an article on this website about snow leopards biting their tails. Some people said it is a way to keep their faces warmer but this isn’t true. Like domestic cats they play with their parent’s tails and sometimes their own tails or the tails of siblings. If they put their tail in their mouth it is an extension of this type of play. They are having fun.

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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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