Just just how much do big cats have in usual with the tabby in your home? we asked Susan Bass, manager of public relations at big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida—you know, the location that puts out all those awesome videos—to to walk us v what behaviors huge cats share v their domestic counterparts. (And don’t worry—we’ve placed in a inquiry for “sitting top top computers” and “hanging the end in the sink” videos.)

1. Castle LOVE UNRAVELING rolls OF restroom PAPER…

It"s a scenario familiar to anyone through a kitty: girlfriend come home, head come the toilet ... And also find a toilet file massacre. Once the employee at large Cat Rescue put TP in enclosures the servals, bobcats, lynx, and ocelots, they found that even large cats love come play with white tissue. "They’re going come be an ext curious around anything new in their instant area," base says. Also, it"s just plain fun! (For them. Not for whoever needs to clean the up/reroll the toilet paper.)

2. ...AND playing IN BOXES.

You are watching: Big cats acting like house cats

If you existing a large cat through a box, he"ll hop in it faster than you have the right to say Maru. "Just like domestic cats, big cats prefer to hide in things," bass says. "They prefer to think that they deserve to see out yet you can’t view in—even despite you can!"

The cat at large Cat Rescue are likewise into bags, though probably not in the same way that residential cats are. "We haven’t do the efforts bags that they can acquire into—I don’t recognize where us would find one big enough!" bass says. "But we provide them document bags filled through either seasonings or cologne. Our big cats love Obsession because that Men. They simply start drooling and rolling over."

If the cat were presented with a bag large enough to acquire into, bass says, "they would most likely rip v it."


No feline can resist the "What is the red dot—oh I got it—where did that go?" very nice one of the laser pointer, huge cats included. "I think they like that that moves really fast," bass says. "They have to follow it. You deserve to go up a wall, under things, choose I do with mine cat. They’re just fascinated v it."

4. They GROOM A LOT.

Domestic cats spend in between 30 and also 50 percent of your waking hours grooming; large cats are an in similar way fastidious around cleaning themselves. "It’s to get all of their odor off the them," bass says. "In the wild, if they’re lied in wait somewhere, and also a gazelle gets a noise of a tiger downwind, they’re walk to run the various other way. For this reason cats are constantly space grooming themselves to obtain rid of any smell that they have." Cleaning has actually a number of other benefits, too; it help cats get rid of parasites and keeps castle cool.

5. THEY rub UP versus STUFF.

It"s all around marking your territory. Both large cats and domestic cats "have odor glands every over—in their faces, especially," base says. "So castle rub versus their things, even if it is it’s the next of a couch, the next of the cage, or a tree. Or you!"

Big cats additionally scratch to note their territory. V the exemption of lions, i m sorry roam in prides, big cats are solitary, base says; tiger cubs, because that example, will continue to be with their mothers for simply two years before striking out on your own. "If you space a 2-year-old male tiger and also you’re wandering v the wild, and also you come on this trees whereby there are claw point out in every the trees about 8 come 10 feet up—that’s since a tiger will stand ~ above his earlier legs and put his front paws up as high as possible and scratch appropriate there," base says. "That’s telling every tiger the comes into its territory, ‘This is how big I am, I can scratch means up here. If girlfriend can’t scratch higher, you far better keep moving."”

6. Castle TALK.

Your cat meows, chirps, and also purrs. Huge cats have actually their very own vocalizations, too, and some of them sound kind of similar to the noises her cat makes. "There are four great cats—lions, tigers, leopards, and also jaguars—and castle roar," base says. "They have a various bone in their neck that allows them to do that." The so-called lesser cat (but come on, us all understand there"s no such thing as "lesser cats"), consisting of cougars, lynx, and bobcats, can"t roar. "It"s probably because of whereby they live," bass says. "Lions live ~ above the savannahs in Africa. A lion’s roar deserve to be heard by an additional lion in ~ least five miles away. They have to be able to do that. A Canadian lynx that resides in the eye in Canada doesn"t have to roar to acquire its allude across."

But a roar is just one way large cats converse. "They every talk," bass says. "They all make various noises." The lesser cats can all purr, and also tigers make a chuffing noise, "like a puffing out of your lips," bass says, in greeting. "Like my tabby cats, big cats will talk to your people. Part cats are really talkative and also some don’t make really many sounds. One of our cougars, Reise, is really talkative. If you simply walk through her, all of a sudden she’ll be like "bluh-ruh ruh ruh."" You can watch Reise play soccer here.

Fun fact: The young of the four an excellent cats are referred to as cubs, but the offspring that the lesser cat are dubbed kittens!

7. THEY’RE right into CATNIP.

Or at least some of them are. Responsiveness come catnip is genetic, and fifty percent the residential cats in the human being don"t respond come it at all. "It’s the same thing with big cats," bass says. "Some choose it much an ext than others." In one test, 18 that the sanctuary"s 25 cats had actually a strong reaction come catnip.

8. THEY favor TO SLEEP.

Your cat spends most of her day sleeping, and also so do her huge relatives—between 16 to 20 hrs a day, in fact. "The reason for the is due to the fact that in the wild, castle are chance hunters," base says. "They will certainly sprint to record prey, however they’re not marathon runners. They will certainly sleep to save their power intact. They can go from entirely asleep to completely awake in a split 2nd if they hear a gazelle walk by."

Speaking that hunting: every cats, huge and small, will certainly stalk their prey. "Zabu, our white tiger, is a genuine stalker," base says. "If she sees anyone walk by, or golf carts go across, she"ll stalk them."

9. Castle WEIRD around FOOD.

My kitten, Pearl, refuses to eat she food in her bowl. Instead, she shovels it ~ above the ground and also then eats it, do a large mess. (Thanks, Pearl.) Bass says some captive huge cats will move their food come the ground come eat, too. "Some are an extremely food aggressive," base says. "If there"s more than one cat in an enclosure, we different them prior to we lug the food by. One will begin gobbling that up and then go to the various other one’s food."

Another weird point some residential cats carry out is paw about their food bowls, which likewise has its roots in wild cat behavior. “In the wild, the cats can only capture something as soon as a week or so, and also they won"t eat it all at once," base says. "They want to leave and come ago to eat again, so they will actually shot and bury their kill so others don’t odor it and also eat it.” other cats, prefer leopards, will certainly drag their death high into a tree, where various other not-so-talented mountain climbing (lions in Africa and tigers in Asia) can not go.

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10. Lock KNEAD.

Big cats periodically make biscuits, too! "It"s more than likely for the very same reason home cats carry out it," base says. "It"s natural to perform it together they nurse together babies, and sometimes they continue to carry out it after lock are past nursing when they are happy."