9 Videos of Big Cats Acting Like House Cats

Sometimes big cats just want to be little cats. (Photo: Tambako the Jaguar/flickr)


I love cats, you love cats, we all love cats. Empires have been built upon humanity's collective love of the family Felidae. From Keyboard Cat to Grumpy Cat — if it has a tail, little pointy ears, and purrs, we probably love it.

And it doesn't matter how big or small the cat is. Some of the more popular exhibits at zoos are the lairs of the big cats like lions and tigers. Half of the animals featured on my list of 6 animals beloved by crazy drug lords are big cats — jaguars, lions and tigers.

I think one of the reasons why our love for cuddly little house cats extends to the largest members of the cat family is how similar big cats and small cats are.

All of the videos below come from Big Cat Rescue, a well-respected Tampa, Florida-based organization that currently cares for around 100 large cats rescued from bad owners, shady circuses, and nefarious furriers. Someone over there understands that people love videos of cats and has done a great job developing a library of big cat content. Thanks to them for their work and their videos.

Like many of her species, my cat Paigeview is crazy for boxes. If there is a box in the room, she's going to sit in it (or on it, if the box is closed). There's an entire industry on the Internet dedicated to disseminating new pictures of cats sitting in boxes. I don't know what it is, but we humans flip for boxed-up felines. So the question has to be asked, do the big cats like boxes too?

Watch this one for the answer.

And what about catnip? Do lions, mountain lions, cougars, and tigers lose their minds when hitting the nip stuff?

Catnip. Not even once.

Let's keep rolling with this. How about laser pointers?

And toilet paper?

Behold, the strong and graceful derpy great cat. How the lioness fumbles climbing the shed; how majestic the tiger runs into the tree with a box upon its magnificent head.

If you've ever laughed at your own cat for wiping out trying to jump from the couch to the windowsill, you'll love this one.

It’s pretty clear that there's not a whole lot of functional difference between your average house cat and the kind of cats being taken care of at Big Cat Rescue; it's mostly a matter of size. In form, function, and as we've seen already, behavior, big cats and little cats are just cats. How about purring?

I used to have a downstairs neighbor who told me that she thought it was adorable whenever my cats would chase each other across the length of my apartment (I should have gotten kitten mittens). They would exhaust the full footprint of our living space engaging in epic battles of chase.

We've all seen videos of lion siblings or tiger parents and cubs playing with one another, but does the universal pull of play extend across the lines of speciation? In other words, will lions and tigers play together?

My cat Chairman Maow is well-known around our house to have a fetish-level obsession with the pull tabs from shipping envelopes. Drop a fresh one in front of him and he’s lost for the day playing with it. Little cats love their toys, and by now, no one should be surprised that big cats do too.

The laws of logic say that if big cat = small cat, big (baby) cat = small (baby) cat. A kitten is a kitten. Check out this aww-soaked video of bobcat kittens tumbling around with a group of house cat kittens.