Cats have been domesticated for such a long time that humans may be unaware of their innate instincts. When cats were first kept as pets, they roamed freely and had plenty of room to do their “cat” thing. They could eat, sleep, and hunt as they chose, and they could even decide what cat neighbors they wanted to socialize with. They had control of their immediate environment.
Things have changed, and now we keep them confined in our dwellings. Multiple-cat households are common—an unnatural situation for a solitary animal. Cats have “neighbors” that may be dogs, children or other cats, and they may not get along with them. They no longer have control of their immediate environments, and just as importantly, they can no longer escape if they feel threatened.
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Image credit: jonasjovaisis