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Why Do Cats Like Watching Other Animals? Feline Behavior Explained

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat and bird_Alexas_Fotos_Pixabay

Why Do Cats Like Watching Other Animals? Feline Behavior Explained

Cats spend a good portion of their day observing their environment. Other animals are of particular interest for felines, whether it is a dog or bird they spotted from the window. Although cats may watch other animals because they like it, there are instinctive reasons for this behavior, which we will discuss in this article.

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Is It Normal for Cats to Watch Other Animals?

Cats are observant animals that like to watch other animals or people in their surroundings. This is likely because they are curious and want to gather more information about animals they find intriguing to watch.

Some cats are more observant than others, but it is completely normal behavior for all cats. They usually choose a comfy, high-up area to watch the animals below them, otherwise, they might hide amongst vegetation on the ground to spy on unsuspecting birds or squirrels.

cat hunting birds
Image Credit: Piqsels

Do They Like Doing It?

Yes, cats enjoy watching other animals because it intrigues their natural hunting instincts and curiosity. Cats are intelligent and have excellent observational skills that allow them to gather information from their surroundings. Their enjoyment of watching other animals is linked to their tendencies to hunt other animals, specifically smaller prey like rodents and birds. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that cats only watch other animals for this reason.

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Why Do Cats Watch Other Animals?

Let’s take a look at the several reasons cats like to watch other animals below.

1. To Learn and Understand Their Environment Better

Cats rely on their senses such as sight, smell, and taste to understand their environment better. This is crucial for a cat’s survival since they need to be on the lookout for potential threats. It is also useful for cats during a hunt so they can learn more about their prey.

Cats may also watch other animals to read their behavior and get a better understanding of other animals in the home. This is helpful as it allows them to determine appropriate interactions with other animals or whether they should be approached or left alone.

Jack russell terrier dog and irritated white cat on the bed
Image Credit: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

2. Curiosity or Fascination

A cat that is feeling curious or fascinated about other animals is probably going to watch them before they approach. They could simply want to play with the other animal, especially if it is another kitten or a dog they have bonded with. Furthermore, wildlife that makes its way into your yard or home is going to fascinate a cat.

The wildlife might peak your cat’s curiosity at first, but it could quickly transition to an urge to stalk and hunt them.

3. Hunting Instincts

Aside from the fascination cats get from watching other animals, it is also part of their natural hunting behaviors. Most of a cat’s behavior is influenced by their natural tendencies, and hunting is a strong one.

Cats are predatory animals with exceptional hunting skills. When hunting, cats will detect, watch, stalk, and pounce on their prey. Watching their prey is a crucial part of the hunting process and allows them to gather information for a successful kill.

cat hunting mouse
Image Credit: Stefan_Sutka, Shutterstock

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There are various reasons why cats choose to watch other animals. There is no doubt that many cats like doing it since the behavior is fueled by their curiosity and natural hunting instincts. Furthermore, watching other animals allows cats to acquire information that is helpful when determining an appropriate interaction or reaction.

Some cats have a stronger inclination to watch other animals, especially if they have a strong hunting personality.

Featured Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

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