do cats live in packs?

luvdogsJanuary 28, 2010

i'm confused about cat behavior. They say that cats don't live in groups but we've all heard about cat colonies.

How can people have 50 cats or so? Don't they have a lot of problems with that? Marking and timidity?

Dogs are pack animals and live in groups but is that the same thing as cat colonies/ I feel that i can have a large group of dogs but not so with cats. For example, you never (or rarely) hear of a dog that hides constantly due to timidity but that's pretty common in cats.

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Cats can live in packs. My feral barn cat came from a local rescue .. they trapped her and a few other ferals that were living in what they called a feral cat colony, of 50 or more cats. They were unable to tame her or socialize her, so they asked for barn owners who would care for a feral cat after she was fixed and given her shots.

She always finds a companion cat, there are many farms around with plenty of barn cats. So I am usually feeding more than one barn cat at a time, but this is her home, others come and go.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Cats live in groups more than in packs, such as dogs. They often have a prefered associate, that is a cat they get along with. As a person with six cats they change assocates quite often. Two cats will love each other groom and sleep together one day and fight to the abcess the next. That is where you wind up with the marking, it is making a point to the kitties.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 2:06PM
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It all depends on the cats. Jaguars live mostly solitary lives while lions live in prides. Same with feral and domestic cats.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 5:52PM
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Years ago, there was a wonderful special on PBS about cats, & they came up with the same question.

"Back then", people thought domestic cats were solitary because the only ones that had bene studied were housepets.

so some bright researcher decided to study barn cats/farm cats.

It turns out that they do live in social groups, with their own system of greetings & ways of showing affection & so forth.

If anyone remembers the name of the special, & if PBS has it online, I'd recommend it.

seems like the title had "Tiger" in it, as in "Clan of the Tiger" or some such.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Absolutely, cats form friendships and have dislikes.
In my multicat household, I observe it quite often: a cat would love to sleep one particular cat or cats, but does not want anything to do with some other cat...
Some will busk in the sun together and groom each other - they certainly have their preferences...most insist on laying in the vicinity of one another...

When waiting for food, Tiger boy is always rubbing his head on either Pixel or Alvin...
Silly Honey follows Alvin around the house and wants to sleep in bed next to him...but she is certainly is not interested in hanging around Pixel...

Little foster kids hanging out in a "pack"

From [Kittens September 2009](

Couch is always a good place to hang out all together...

From [Kitties December 2009](
    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 1:50PM
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Very cute kitties! I have two, and they are inseparable.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 3:46PM
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Them is some cuties, olya!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 5:00PM
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I have several clients who have MANY cats, all of whom get along just fine. OTOH, I know many cats who have been the only cat for a long time and do not adjust to newcomers at all.

Just like dogs, people, and every other species, each individual is different. I have a Lab who loves people but hates other dogs; he tolerates my other 4 as long as they don't get too close to him. So you never know...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 8:24PM
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Thanks all.

I am down to 5 cats now and boy, did i see a difference in marking behavior. One of my cats would defecate a lot in a bedroom i have. Now this does not happen.

With cats, it seems it's best to have just a few. (imho)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 10:53PM
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Seems to me cats form more of a family unit, rather than a pack. Might be just semantics, but to me the word pack means a structured social group, with a definate single leader, underlings, and other subordinate members.The members are also not alof the same family necessariyl.

Cats, usually do not have that singularity, but rather a looser knit group with several dominant individuals.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2010 at 1:08PM
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