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Old 05-10-2003, 06:20 PM
DarrenS DarrenS is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Domestic cats - how similar to big cats?

How much genetic material does a domestic house-cat have in common with the larger felines? Which of the big cats does a house-cat most resemble? (Lion, tiger, puma, panther...?) And how does this difference compare with the one between our nearest simian relatives (chimpanzees?) and us?
Old 05-10-2003, 06:43 PM
ParentalAdvisory ParentalAdvisory is offline
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Location: The Chicago Area
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My cat attacked and killed a full size deer and dragged it back home to share with the neighbors, it was a saimese if that's any help.
Old 05-10-2003, 07:04 PM
Dread Pirate Jimbo Dread Pirate Jimbo is offline
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Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
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My understanding is that the common house cat (felis silvestris catus) is a direct descendant of the African wild cat (Felis silvestris libyca), which is slightly larger than the average house cat. Other members of the felis family include cougars (felis concolor), bobcats (felis rufus), and the sand cat (felis margarita). Generally, the big cats (lions, leopards, tigers) are members of the pantera family and more genetically distant.

Much more detail, including a chart showing the evolutionary relationship between cats can be found here.
Old 05-10-2003, 10:18 PM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Watching some of the cats I've owned or known, they look/act just like a lion when they are stalking something, regardless if it is a mouse of a bug.

A tour guide at the zoo once stated that large cats like lions are just as affected by catnip as house cats are. Interesting.
Old 05-10-2003, 11:18 PM
HPL HPL is offline
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Location: Somewhere non-euclidian.
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I've heard that act rather similar, but the size and weight makes quite a difference in that regard. Sure, a housecat giving you a little scratch is painful, but not much more than annoyance. Now imagine a Tiger giving you a little scratch.

I've heard that Tiger Trainers make sure never to turn their back while in the cage, because tigers like to sneak up and jump on people. I've seen housecats do the same things to each other.
Old 05-11-2003, 01:38 AM
Una Persson Una Persson is offline
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I've seen at least two specials on PBS that claim that, behaviour-wise, domestic cats are closest to tigers.


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