What is a group of cats called? A clowder is a term that refers to a group of three or more cats, though it is rarely used. Even more uncommon is a glaring of cats, a term that refers to a group of cats that are warier than one another. A group of kittens may be called a kindle or, more commonly, a litter. However, the list of unusual names does not end there! Male cats, particularly those who have not been neutered, are frequently referred to as Toms, whereas female cats are referred to as queens.
We are aware that this is pretty illogical, aren’t we? That’s not all; you can also refer to a group of cats as clutter (which makes a little more sense, we suppose) or glaring (which we have no idea what it means). Apart from that, there are two similarly unusual terms for groups of wild or feral cats: dowt (or dout) and destruction. That is correct.
Odd Names for Individual Cats
Individual cats also have some rather specific and obscure names, almost as strange as the plural nouns. A male cat, for example, is referred to as a tom, which you may have heard before, but a neutered male cat is referred to as a gib, which we recommend you try out for Jeopardy if you are familiar with. Similarly, a female cat is a molly, regardless of whether you have named her. Each day, you acquire new knowledge.
Etymology of Cat
The etymology of a word is the study of its history and origin. Along with its origin, a word’s etymology reveals how its meaning has evolved and, in some cases, the context in which it was first used. That means that an excellent place to begin is with the etymologies of each of these terms.
If we examine the etymology of the word cat, we discover that it has a long history. This should come as no surprise, as cats have provided companionship to humanity for millennia. Cat is derived from the Old English word catt, derived from the Late Latin word catus, which means “domestic cat.” There is evidence that Latin originated from the Afro-Asian word kaddiska, which means “wild cat.” This makes sense, given that the first domesticated cat had to have been wild, correct?
The etymology of the Word Clowder
According to Wiktionary, the term “clowder” first appeared in the English language in 1801 and is considered a variant of the term “clutter.” The term “clutter” comes from the Old English word “clott.” Before that, it is most likely descended from the early German and Dutch languages. Historically, the term “clowder” and related terms referred to lumps or balls.
Suppose you’ve ever seen a group of cats congregating, particularly around a food bowl. In that case, it’s unsurprising that terms like a ball, clump, or even lump are eventually used to describe them! The term “clutter” is also pertinent, as cats are not exactly known for their organizational abilities. Additionally, some sources use the term “clutter” to refer to a group of cats.
The etymology of the Word Glaring
The majority of sources indicate that a glaring of cats refers to a group of somewhat unfamiliar cats, and Sheldon’s cats appear to be quite at ease with one another.
However, obtaining additional information about the history of the term glaring (at least when applied to cats) is quite tricky. Additionally, some sources make no distinction between how well the cats know one another, while others appear to imply that it takes at least four cats to create a glaring.
What is a group of kittens called?
When kittens are in a group, do they have a different name? Indeed, they do! The majority of us are probably familiar with the term “litter,” which dates back to several hundred years ago. Indeed, this term was first used in 1602 in Aesop’s Fables. However, litter is not exclusive to cats; all mammals use it. Additionally, it is unique to animals that share a mother. In other words, kittens born in the same litter are related and are occasionally referred to as littermates.
Apart from the commonly used term “litter,” there are several other collective nouns that can be used to describe a group of kittens:
- Kindle: believed to be a combination of the German word for children, “kinder,” and an old English term for giving birth, “kindelen,” which became associated with kittens!
- Intrigue: given because kittens are curious
- Entanglement: a term that is rarely used, but you will frequently see a group of kittens wrapped around one another.
What About Big Cats?
However, what about large cats? They have their own distinct set of terms, owing partly to the fact that they live pretty differently than the housecat. While your house cat lives alone in the wild, lions live in large groups with distinct hierarchies. These groups are referred to as pride. A pride may contain up to 40 lions! That is an impressive clowder.
Is it possible for a group of cats to live together?
It is a well-known fact that dogs are social animals capable of living in packs, being interdependent, and hunting in packs. However, can a clowder of cats coexist in the same manner? Cats, large and small, are solitary predators that do not form social groups. Lions, on the other hand, live in pride and cooperate to hunt their prey.
While a cat’s lifestyle varies depending on whether it is domesticated or feral, they remain solitary hunters capable of adapting to a clowder in various situations.
Feral group of cats
Feral cats are undomesticated and unaccustomed to humans. They frequently congregate in clowders around food sources, such as a fishing port, and coexist peacefully. While feral cats exhibit wild behavior, the majority rely on humans for food, whether fed by a cat lady or finding scraps in the garbage. Few individuals survive solely through hunting.
A feral cat group that coexists is typically composed of females who assist one another in raising their kittens and defending their territory. They may also congregate in areas with other female cat clowders. A queen cat assumes the role of clowder leader. Typically, this is the female who has been sexually active the longest. She is entitled to the best sleeping quarters, the first claim on food, and the right to choose the location of her kittens. A male cat, or tom, spends most of his life roaming territories searching for a mate and frequently engages in combat.
Domestic group of cats
Domestic felines are forced to live in a clowder in multi-cat households, but many adapt quickly depending on their personalities. These clowders are distinct from feral groups. There are no gender preferences, and many cats are neutered, eliminating the desire to reproduce, the responsibility of raising kittens, and the need to hunt for food. Particular cats thrive in the presence of other cats, and many pairs develop strong bonds. Other cats prefer to live alone.
Within the clowder, each cat establishes their territory and submits to the alpha cat. This ranking is determined by how frequently other cats rub against them, with lower-ranked cats performing most of the rubbing. Cats rub against one another to spread their scent and establish their group affiliation. You may notice that your cat rubs affectionately against your legs as a way of communicating with you that you are the chief kitty.
Managing your clowder
Each cat in a multi-cat household should be fed in a separate area away from the others, as cats feel vulnerable when they eat. This trait originated during their hunting days when they hunted and ate alone. Additionally, multiple cat trees and scratching posts, as well as cat trays, should be spread out.
Frequently, a dominant cat will not bury their eliminations, effectively marking its territory and preventing it from being used by a more submissive cat. The introduction of a new kitty should be gradual, beginning with the alpha cat. Once they accept the newcomer, the other clowder members will follow suit.
Can cats live in a clowder?
While living in a group is not natural for cats compared to other animals, they can do so in certain circumstances, with some close forming bonds. They will, however, always be solitary predators, even if they are part of a clowder. Do you have a cat colony in your home? Do they get along?
Facts about cats
- Cats are incredibly resilient and can survive falls from virtually any height. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 132 cats falling from an average of 5.5 stories to as high as 32 stories, the latter of which is more than enough to reach their terminal velocity, have a survival rate of about 90%, assuming they are brought in to be treated for the various injuries caused by the impact with the groin. Continue reading here
- Cats are unable to detect sweetness. This is because their taste buds contain a mutant chemoreceptor. As a result, cats generally avoid sweet-tasting foods such as fruit.
- Cats purr at a rate of approximately 26 cycles per second, which is comparable to an idling diesel engine. Additionally, cats are not the only animal that purrs. Purring animals include squirrels, guinea pigs, lemurs, and elephants.
- Domestic cats are capable of running at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
- These cats were long believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt. Domestic cats, however, predate Ancient Egypt and date back to 8000-9000 BC, with the first direct evidence being a cat buried alongside a human in Cyprus around 7500 BC.
- Additionally, it was once widely believed that humans domesticated cats to serve as rodent control. On the other hand, domestic cats are now considered self-domesticated, having spent sufficient time around humans hunting rodents and other vermin in towns and gradually adapting to domesticated life. Fast forward to today, and cats are the world’s most popular pet.
Other Facts about cats
- The clavicle bone in a cat’s forelimbs is free-floating. Unless they are highly obese, this allows them to fit through any space large enough for their head.
- The record for the heaviest cat is 46 pounds 15.2 ounces. The smallest adult cat ever recorded weighed only three pounds.
- The average body temperature is approximately 101.5° F. Unlike humans; they can tolerate external temperatures of up to 126° F to 133° F without showing any signs of discomfort. This is thought to be a relic of their former existence as desert animals. Additionally, their feces is typically dehydrated, and their urine is highly concentrated to avoid wasting water. Indeed, cats require so little water that they can survive entirely on raw meat, with no additional water source needed.
- Cats can see quite well in light levels as low as 1/6 of what humans require. They accomplish this mainly by using a tapetum lucidum, which reflects light into the eye after it passes through the retina. Additionally, they have enormous pupils for their body size.
- Additionally, cats have some of the best hearing abilities of any animal. They are capable of hearing frequencies ranging from 79 kHz to 55 Hz. For comparison, a human’s hearing range is typically between 31 Hz and 18 kHz, while that of a dog is typically between 67 Hz and 44 kHz. This exceptional hearing aids cats in their hunt for rodents because rodents frequently communicate using ultrasonic frequencies that cats can hear.
Additionally, a cat’s sense of smell is approximately double that of an average human.
- Cats are attracted to catnip largely due to the chemical nepetalactone, which mimics the smell of a cat-specific pheromone. Silver Vine and the herb Valerian are two other plants that have the same effect on cats. Nepetalactone, on the other hand, has the opposite effect on cockroaches and mosquitoes, repelling them.
- Domestic cats typically live between 12 and 14 years. However, the current world record holder for the oldest cat is 38 years old. Creme Puff was the cat’s name.
- Human foods that can be toxic to cats include chocolate due to the theobromine content, onions in large quantities, and garlic in large amounts again. Tylenol is also highly poisonous to cats.
- The male cat’s penis is covered in approximately 120-150 barbs that point backward. When the female’s penis is withdrawn, it scrapes her vagina, triggering ovulation and attempting to clean out any sperm from other cats.
- While a female cat is in heat, she will frequently mate with several male cats. This often results in different fathers for cats within the same litter.
- While domestic cats are considered pets in most of the world, cats have also been considered a food source in certain parts of Asia, mainly southern China’s Guangdong province. Around 10,000 cats are consumed daily in that province alone. Each year, it is estimated that approximately 4 million cats are eaten throughout Asia.
Your cats will form a complex hierarchy in a multi-cat household. According to studies, cats develop preferred buddies and can form strong bonds with them. This is why some animal rescue organizations specify that two cats must be adopted together.
Cats will rub against one another to establish their hierarchy – and you –to mix their scent with yours. When a cat rubs up against another, it demonstrates that the other cat is superior in the hierarchy. The more frequently a cat is rubbed against by another cat, the higher that cat ranks in the hierarchy. This behavior can help you determine who is in charge in your household.
When new cats are introduced to the group, the established hierarchy is disrupted. This is when fights can break out, and cats may exhibit a variety of behavioral patterns. When a cat dies, the hierarchy is disrupted, and another cat will typically adopt that cat’s behavior patterns. See also warning signs when introducing cats