Puma hissing - photo by MacJewell
Why do cats hiss? The answer comes from Desmond Morris, a well known British zoologist. The cat's hiss sounds very like a snake's hiss. It is meant to. The intention of the hissing cat is to cause his or her attacker to hesitate because of a predator's instinctive fear of snakes. The evolution of the cat hiss happened over many years. The cat's hiss is accompanied by:
- snake like tail wagging and twitching
- snake like spitting
- snake like appearance of a curled up cat with the right markings (tabby the most common coat)!
Ocelot looking like a snake - photo by guppiecat
Mimicking a snake is an effective defense for the cat. In an unusual twist to this, some individual cats are not fearful of snakes. See Motzie caught a snake. Motzie is perhaps the most famous individual cat on the planet. He is a F2 Savannah cat.