How to live in tomcat’s shadow
Posted On July 19, 2021
A new study has found that cats living in tomcats’ shadow actually benefit from the species’ habitat.
Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, analyzed a number of studies on tomcats in southern California, including the one that found they were more social than wildcats.
Tomcats have a unique ability to adapt to their environments, said lead author Dr. Steven R. Jones.
“They’re like a super-hydraulic plant that’s going to grow into whatever you need them to grow in,” Jones said.
“If you have a desert, they grow there.
If you have mountains, they’ll grow there too.
But they’ll adapt to any situation they’re placed in.”
Tomcats are known for being stealthy hunters and often move into a cat’s shadow to hide from predators, Jones said, and in this case, the study found tomcats were actually more social in their shadow.
They moved closer to each other, sat in groups and were more vocal.
“When you have cats living close to each another, they’re more likely to interact,” Jones added.
“It might be that they’re trying to avoid predators or something.”
In fact, the researchers believe that the social interactions in tom cats’ shadow could be important for survival.
“In areas with more cats, you might see fewer cat fights and more people walking around,” Jones explained.
“A lot of cats that live in a high-density area, like the San Francisco Bay Area, have more cats living there.
So it’s likely that cats are more social there.”
Jones said that the study could be used to help scientists develop better ways to study tomcats.
“I would love to see more studies on the social behavior of cats, because it’s so important for cats,” he said.
Jones is now working on a follow-up study to look at how tomcats can be better able to communicate and collaborate with one another, so that they can help protect endangered species.