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Why Doesn’t a Cat Park Exist?

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by Alexander Thompson
Jun 08, 2022
3 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • The Differences Between Cats and Dogs
  • Just a Bit of Privacy, Thanks!
  • Living a Solitary Lifestyle
  • The Social Constructs of Cats
  • How Felines Behave
  • Final Words
Public parks, for humans and dogs alike, have existed as a recreational place where families to enjoy for a long time. Initially, the design behind a park devoted solely to pets and their parents was created with the intent of getting families involved with their four-legged friends. This would enable them to connect with other pet-oriented individuals, while also increasing time spent outside.
The beauty behind a dog park is that pet parents can take their canine to make new friends, for a quick run, and extra activities. Over the years, people have come to view dog parks as not only a well-received outdoor arena but a necessity to the daily life of (mostly) house-bound dogs. Unfortunately, while dog parks enable pet parents to ensure their puppy is getting plenty of outdoor time, it leaves cats out of the loop – but why?

The Differences Between Cats and Dogs

We all know the major differences that exist between felines and canines, especially in their body movements, mannerisms, preferences, and more. For example, while a Golden Retriever may greet newcomers with a tail wag and happy bark, a cat is more inclined to rub against your leg, or run for cover.
When met with a happy reception, it’s easy to tell when dogs are pleased to meet you. This comes at a stark contrast to cats, who often prefer to be left alone. There is, of course, the odd exception of feline that is happy to greet guests into their space.

Just a Bit of Privacy, Thanks!

The differences between cats and dogs don’t stop at greetings, but exist within every facet of their life. Even the toilet habits of cats differ greatly from dogs. Although your canine may be perfectly happy taking a stroll outside to do his business, a cat would typically prefer to utilize a litter box in the corner away from prying eyes. For this reason, a cat park may cause a lot of issues we wouldn’t expect out of dogs.

Living a Solitary Lifestyle

Generally speaking, most cats will ignore their owners as they attempt to grab their attention. For example, you may have tried playing with your cat, only to be left dangling a piece of string without an audience. This is because felines choose to spend time alone, and are actually very territorial. Cats are also into marking spaces in order to deter other felines from invading their space, which often leads to fights between cats and even dogs when they feel boundaries have been crossed.
four cats on a table

The Social Constructs of Cats

You may find that your cat behaves perfectly well around other felines. It is important to note, however, that this is completely dependent upon how your cat grew up, as well as it’s environment during younger years. Well socialized kitties were probably taught how to behave when they were a mere 2 weeks old and beyond.
The more time they spend with their mother cat, the more manners will be developed, helping them learn to control scratching, biting, meowing, pouncing, and more. Body language plays such a vital role in the communication between cats, which is where cues coming from their mother are rather helpful during younger years.

How Felines Behave

Considering how solitary these little predators are, it’s easy to understand why they don’t live within a structured group, or pack (as with wolves). It’s important to understand, though, wildcats, were solitary as well. When it comes to domestic cats, we see a wider variety of behavior in terms of solidarity, groups, etc. Basically, the density of cats and the available food sources goes great lengths in determining how many cats hang around a particular area.

Colonized Living

When felines survive away from the aid of mankind, they are capable of forming smaller colonies. This is dependent upon available of food sources, which means felines will be drawn to living in the same general region. Regardless of the existence of cat colonies, you will also continue to find cats living in solitude by choice. Females and kittens are more likely to participate in a group living situation, with a rather loose hierarchy structure.
a photo of a cat

Male VS Female Cats

As previously mentioned, females make up the majority of colony living situations. Generally, male cats choose to live in solitude, which has a direct connection to territories and marking instincts. Female groups tend to maintain a territory up to 10 times smaller than those comprised of a dominant male.

Spreading Out Aggression

Female cat colonies tend to have low occurrences of aggression, which is a far contrast of male cats as a whole. During the sexual maturity of a male kitten aggression may begin to take hold, causing exclusion a group living situation. This doesn’t mean they are uncommonly mean, as males will rarely be aggressive toward female cats. Females, on the other hand, are commonly aggressive to males who get too close or violate territories.

Cats Don’t Run Often

We understand how much joy dogs get from running around the yard – they sure love zoomies. Cats are very different from dogs, though, which means they may not get the same enjoyment out of a run around a track. Dog park are often accentuated by activities, tracks, and other dogs to play with. This type of environment would place a large amount of stress on cats.

Final Words

While it sounds like an interesting idea, a cat park would impose a great deal of stress upon cats and pet parents alike. While dogs are always up for a new adventure, cats would clearly prefer to stay at home.
Hopefully, we have shown many reasons why a cat park wouldn’t work as well as a dog park. That’s not to say that a cat park has never happened, or would never happen within the future, but it’s a big improbability. If you are interested in basking within the company of felines, consider visiting a cat café, instead.
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