Culturally, Americans spend a lot of time observing cats.
Not always on purpose, either. Not only are there millions of videos online about cats and their funny, annoying, bizarre behaviors, but they have billions of views.
It's nearly impossible to scroll through any social media site without seeing at least one video or photo of a cat. Felines are undoubtedly funny, but those actions that make us chuckle aren't purely for our entertainment.
The main question many are left with after watching various cat antics is simply, why? Why do cats behave so strangely? While the logic behind some of these actions may not make sense to us, it makes perfect sense to our feline companions.
Cats are unique since in the wild they were both predator and prey. They preyed on smaller animals, while avoiding the larger ones. These survival skills are still present in domestic house cats today. Their survival was dependent on these very behaviors that we sometimes view as "strange."
Cats and Heights
Take your cat's preference to view any room from the highest point, for example. In the wild, this gave cats a distinct advantage. They could see any of the larger predators coming from any direction.
While it is no longer necessary to their survival that they have the perfect vantage point of any of possible predators, they haven't entirely forgotten this behavior. This explains why you might constantly find your cat on top of your bookshelf, fridge, or trying to scale the curtains.
Cats and Hiding
Another behavior that is reminiscent from their time in the wild is how cats hide. Cats will make themselves fit in dresser drawers, the linen closet, trash cans, and cardboard boxes. These odd hiding places are reminiscent of tight places cats used to be able to hide from any large predators in the wild.
Not only did these hiding places have to be of a prime location, they also had to vary. If your cat hid in the same spot every time they took their afternoon nap, eventually they might get discovered. They have to change up the location to make it more difficult for predators, or us, to find them.
While we perceive feline behaviors as odd or funny, in the wild these behaviors are what kept them alive.