In the past and until now, many humans have welcomed cats into their homes, primarily because of their ability to keep rodents away. Though they are called house pets, these modern-day cats are still known to be semi-domesticated unlike dogs that are fully domesticated and have been considered as such since their existence.

A kitten that cuddles up to its owner by the fireplace may be very different from a lion that stalks the African planes but people may be surprised by the similarities they have.

Differences Between Domestic and Wild Cats

Based on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study published in 2014, most of the differences between domestic and wild cats lie in the genes that dominate their personality traits, one of which is aggression. Pet cats have the tendency to retain memories, learn by means of reward system, enjoy interacting and having contact with humans or even living with other pets like dogs while wild cats are naturally more aggressive.

Here are the other differences:

Brain size

When it comes to structure, the brain size of a domesticated and wildcat is almost identical, with the latter having a bit larger brain for its size as compared to a domestic cat.

Pupil shape

Domesticated cats have vertical, slit pupils while large cats have round ones. A study in the journal Science Advances reveal that the difference in pupil shape has something to do with lifestyle.


Domesticated felines purr but they do not roar while lions roar and do not purr. This is because of the differences in their throat anatomy.

Similarities Between Domestic and Wild Cats

Based on genome sequencing, tigers and domesticated cats have 95% of the same DNA. There is a close relationship between tigers and other large cats therefore it is quite obvious that the domesticated cat is similar to its wild counterpart in lots of ways

A number of the attributes they share are the following:


Domestic and wild cats sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day.


Both kinds of cats are obligatory carnivores. They feed, primarily, on meat and digest meat proteins better than plant based food.


Domesticated and wild cats groom themselves always, such as 30% to 50% of the time they are awake.


All kinds of cats like to stalk their prey and do their hunting mostly during dawn, dusk or at nighttime.


All cats love to play a lot, whether inside boxes, untangling a toilet paper/string roll or chasing a laser pointer.

Territory Marking

Cats, small and big alike, are similar in the ways they mark their territories such as rubbing their face to distribute their scent using their facial glands, spraying and also, scratching a couch if it is a cat or the trunk of a tree if it is a lion.

Food Games

Usually, house cats play with their food or hide it, when it is a mouse. On the other hand, wild cats hide their catch at some other place or bury it, so they can eat it later.

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