If cats were bigger, would they eat you? It’s the source of a lot of online jokes — TikTok videos of cats side-eyeing their owners, displaying apparent resentment. Others would argue that cats aren’t capable of those emotions, defensive about their furbabies. Still, it’s led people to ponder the actual question: would they eat you?
In some circumstances, it is definitely possible that a house cat might take a bite out of you. In most, though, your cat is very unlikely to chow down on your body — even if they were bigger.
Reasons Your Cat Might Eat You If They Were Bigger
There are a few reasons your cat might be tempted to take a bite out of you, if they could. Here are the reasons people argue that it’s true.
Nourishment After Your Death
It’s a situation no one wants to be in: passing away in your home with an animal there, and no one any the wiser. Who would take care of your cat?
The truth is, the cat might take care of themselves!
Although it’s more likely for a dog to take a bite out of you after death, there have been cats who have done the same. It’s hard to blame them. Most of these cats took a bite out of their owner long after they’d died, when they’d gone many days without food. Cats can only survive so long without any nourishment, so their owner’s body was the last option… but still an option nonetheless.
Cats Aren’t As Loving
When it comes to dogs, you can clearly see their love for their people: the wagging tail, the joy when you get home from work, the love of cuddles. Cats, however, aren’t quite the same.
Cats are, in fact, the only asocial animal that humans have really managed to domesticate. Despite the success, some would argue that you can’t really change a cat’s nature. For instance, take a look at a feral cat that’s never met humans. They’re generally much less likely to come around to you than a stray dog who’s never had human contact either.
This lack of natural bond with humans suggests that if they were bigger, it might just not exist.
Cats Do Bite
Friendly dogs don’t generally bite. It’s trained out of them at a young age, and people ensure that their dog isn’t about to sink its teeth into someone.
With cats, however, that’s never really trained out.
You may have noticed that if you’ve been petting your cat for too long or you startle them by coming into their space, they might scratch or even bite you. Dogs seem to have a natural instinct not to hurt you, and it’s even advisable to train a puppy not to bite by yelping when they do.
Yelping won’t help with a cat. They don’t seem to care if they hurt you — in fact, that’s the intention! If house cats were as big as lions, this biting would really hurt, and may even go further than just one bite…
Reasons Your Cat Wouldn’t Eat You
If you’ve been Googling questions like, “Would my cat eat me if it was bigger?” or, “Will my cat eat me in my sleep?” in a panic, don’t worry.
Although there are reasons to suggest a cat might eat you, there’s only one scenario where that could be true — needing nourishment after your death. There are many reasons your cat would never try to actually eat you.
Your Cat Loves You
Yes, it’s true that cats are asocial and don’t have a natural bond with humans, just as it’s true that feral cats can’t really be brought around once they’re adults. But your cat has been domesticated, and it has bonded with you, and that makes all the difference.
Your cat may not show that they love you very often, but science has proven that they do. Think about it. Your cat may not be outwardly affectionate like a dog, but isn’t it funny that they’re always in the same room as you? Do they ever bump their head against you so you’ll reach down and pet them?
The love of a cat is certainly more subtle than that of a dog, but it’s there.
This isn’t influenced by their size — just pure affection! So even if house cats were as big as lions, this wouldn’t change.
Cats Are Smart
Cats have a brain structure that’s similar to other intelligent animals (like humans). Although they obviously still have their limitations, they’re generally smart. Even if they were larger, they could see that people aren’t the most convenient choice of meal when that person is the one giving them food that’s much easier to digest and doesn’t put up a struggle!
Why bite the hand that feeds you?
Even Socialized Lions Don’t Eat Their Keepers
There’s an argument that cats are just small lions, and since lions do eat people, cats would if they were bigger. Right?
Man-eating lions are very rare. There are a number of things that cause a lion to become man-eating, such as starvation and illness, but lions are not naturally inclined to take a bite out of humans. We’re not considered their prey.
There are also plenty of zookeepers and friends of animals around the world that interact with lions without getting eaten, proving that lions don’t just take chunks out of people with their teeth whenever they feel like it — meaning a house cat likely wouldn’t either, even if they were as big as one.
Of course, this is circumstantial. Just like a house cat might, if a starving lion is left in a cage with a dead body then yes, they’re going to eat the meat. Desperate animals act very differently from their normal natures, and the possibilities when it comes to animal nature and behaviors are almost infinite.
You can, however, be rest assured that just like a lion isn’t usually looking at their zookeeper as prey, your domestic cat isn’t side-eyeing you in the hopes that they’ll be one day be big enough to eat you.
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