You are here:

Zoology/Cat Domestication

Advertisement


Question
It's said that housecats have not been fully domesticated. How would a "fully domesticated" cat be different from the housecats we have today, physically, behaviorally, etc.? Are there any breeds that most resemble a "fully domesticated" cat?

Thank you for your help!
-Ayla

Answer
Hi Ayla
 Most domesticated animals today are not the result of natural Selection but are the result of Artificial selection. They are as they are due to selective breeding, and they are  fully domesticated My guess is that when the animal cannot not survive on it's own it is not domesticated. There a lot of feral cats in my neighborhood who are getting along fine so I guess they are not fully domesticated. Many of the "designer" cats and dogs are fully domesticated. These small breeds of animals (like a shitszu) would not survive unless cared for.
 Breeds on animals are the closet thing to being fully domesticated. Cats and dogs were bred from the wolf and the wildcat

Perhaps my explanation needs clarifying.  The term "fully domesticated" is not a condition but the word "fully " makes it arbitrary.  Perhaps I should have left dogs out of the discussion. Dogs are quite different from cats  Cats have retained their behaviorial aspects. They are all carnivorous hunters whether they are lions or housecats.
I have had all kinds of animals as pets and I like to think that cats have come to tolerate human beings as long as we feed them. I mentioned artificial selection because there are various breeds of animals that fit into the "fully domesticated " category. The cat however seems to basically remain a "cat" no matter what.
 I am sorry that you did not accept my explanation Ayla I will be happy to discuss your question further if you so desire

Zoology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Walter Hintz

Expertise

I can answer questions about both vertebrate and invertebrate zoology. I am an expert in animal behavior, especially birds.

Experience

I have taught for over 50 years. I teach college biology courses and I have led tours to the Galapagos Islands and the Belize rain forest

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.