Some animal groupings are easy to remember because they are used often. A pack of wolves, or a flock of sheep for example. These are easy, they are used often and are very well established, often synonymous with a common behaviour of the animal. Wolves live in packs. Sheep or birds flock together. Some collective nouns for animal groupings on the other hand are not so obvious, and their roots not easy to establish. That is the case for cats.
So what is a group of cats called? Are there more than one collective noun used? And is it the same for all cats?
What Is A Group Of Cats Called?
A group of cats is typically called a “clowder” or a “glaring“. However, the right term to use largely depends on the context and situation in which the cats are found. There are also exceptions with big cats that are known by their own set of collective nouns.
In general, a clowder refers to a group of cats that are all relatively close in age, and very familiar with each other. A glaring usually refers to a group of cats that are not all related, tense or wary of each other. A litter, meanwhile, is typically used when referring to newborn kittens.
Clowder – A clowder is made up of at least 3 cats, with no upper limit. It is common to see feral cats form a clowder, and it is not unusual for their to be a hierarchy within the group. There are many benefits to cats living in a clowder, we will get to this later. In domestic settings, it may be 3 or more cats living in the same house, or neighbor cats that come together outside to play, hunt and socialize.
Glaring – A Glaring is not necessarily a group of cats that live together, but have come together for one reason or another. It may involve two clowders from overlapping territories checking each other out. It might be a tense environment, where new cats are trying to enter a group and this may result in fighting and challenging. In domestic settings, it may be unfamiliar cats that live in different streets checking out the same food bin for example.
What Are A Group Of Baby Cats Called?
A group of baby cats is called a “litter”. This is the term that is typically used to refer to newborn kittens. It is thought that the term “litter” comes from the fact that kittens are often born in a litter of straw or other materials.
Kittens can also be described by the noun kindle. This is sometimes used to describe a litter of kittens. It comes from the old English kindelen, meaning to give birth to or offspring.
What Are Groups of Big Cats Called?
While clowder and glaring are used to describe small and domestic cats and wild cats, the big cats have their own specific collective nouns. Here are some of the most common terms used for the big cats.
What Is A Group Of Lions Called?
A group of lions is called a pride, and sometimes called a coalition. A pride of lions typically consists of 10-15 members, but can have as few as 4 up to 40 individuals. The pride is a family unit that includes several related females, their cubs, and one or two adult males, sometimes up to four.
When male cubs reach maturity they leave the pride and head off to find females to start their own pride. When they do this, the males, which are often related, head off in groups and these groups of males only, are known as a coalition of lions.
What Is A Group Of Tigers Called?
A group of tigers is called a streak, or sometimes an ambush. A streak of tigers typically consists of 3-4 members, but can have up to 10 individuals. The streak is a family unit that includes the mother and her cubs. The father is usually not a part of the streak, as he will only mate with the females and then move on.
An ambush of tigers on the other hand, is a group of adults that do not live together, but have come together to hunt. This bonding comes in particularly handy for taking on larger prey. They are very quiet, stealthy hunters and when organized in a group, the collective noun ‘ambush’ is very apt indeed.
What Is A Group Of Jaguars Called?
There are a few collective nouns for a group of Jaguars. The most common ones are a leap, a prowl, a parade or a shadow. In Mayan mythology, the jaguar was a symbol of the night sun and darkness. It was portrayed as the ruler of the underworld, and this may be where the roots of the collective noun ‘shadow’ of jaguar comes from.
When hunting and ambushing, jaguars are known to leap onto prey, and this again may be where the roots of that collective noun – a ‘leap’ of jaguar comes from. As for ‘prowl’ and ‘parade’, these reference appearance of the group behaviour. Groups of jaguar only usually consist of the mother and her cubs. They are relatively solitary beasts other than that.
What Is A Group Of Leopards Called?
A group of leopards is most commonly called a leap of leopards. Other collective nouns include a Lepe of leopards, a prowl of leopards and a snarl of leopards. A group of leopards usually consists of a mother, and 3-4 cubs. It is a small family unit. Males usually only hang around for a short time while mating. Leopards in general are very solitary cats.
What Is A Group Of Cheetahs Called?
A group of cheetahs is called a coalition. A coalition of cheetahs typically consists of 2-3 members, but can have up to 6 individuals. The coalition are male cheetahs, usually made up of brothers who stay together to increase their chances of survival and success in the wild. There is no collective noun for a female and her cubs. Females are solitary animals once their cubs move on.
Other Collective Nouns For Cats
- Colony – Often used to describe a large clowder of feral cats that live together.
- Destruction – This refers to a group of territorial or aggressive wild cats.
- Dowt – Only used to describe a group of feral or wild cats.
- Pounce – A rare term used to describe a group of cats. Often young, adolescent and playful cats.
Why Do Cats Live In Groups?
There are a number of reasons why cats live in groups, but some of the most important ones include safety, security, and socialization.
Cats have a natural instinct to live in groups, and there are a number of benefits that come with doing so. For one, living in a group provides safety and security – cats are less likely to be preyed upon when they are in a group. Additionally, cats need socialization in order to be healthy and happy, and living in a group allows them to engage in social activities and interact with other cats.
Finally, living together allows cats to share resources such as food, water, and shelter.
In domestic situations cats will fit into a family very well, as individuals or in groups. However, in a group you can notice more of the socializing, bonding and care that exist within a clowder. Perhaps even jealousy or intolerance that can also exist. Kittens in a litter will play together, and mimic or learn some of the skills and instincts that they would in the wild.
Do All Cats Like To Live In Groups?
While most cats, especially domestic breeds (even when stray or feral) do enjoy living in groups, there are some cats who prefer to live alone, especially big cats like female cheetahs and leopards. Cats are individuals and they each have different personalities, so some cats may not be as social as others and may prefer to live by themselves. However, in general, cats do enjoy the company of other cats and benefit from living in groups.
Facts About Groups Of Cats
- Even solitary cats can come together at a common food source. This will often be a glaring rather than a clowder of cats.
- There are evidence of cats and humans living together for more than 10,000 years.
- Lions are the only big cats that live together in large family groups of males and females.
- With the exception of Lions, other big cats that live together are usually only mothers with cubs. Males will come together in small groups for specific reasons like hunting.
- Domestic cats display less destructive behaviour when living in a pair or small group than as a solitary cat.