When Apes Adopt Cats as Cuddly Pets

Image: Alfred Benway

Stories of unusual inter-species friendships are certainly not rare in the animal kingdom, but what if such a relationship takes on the hierarchical pet-owner dynamic? Monkeys, especially, seem to have a real affinity for feline friends. We’ve found some amazing images of macaques, gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees that were rather fond of cats they seemed to take on as companions for their own pleasure. The cats, in turn, had nothing against the special attention.

In this photo, the chimpanzee cradles the tiger cub like a doll. The little tiger seems to enjoy it and is nuzzling the chimpanzee’s neck. Surprisingly, the adoption didn’t happen in a zoo setting, but in the wild (more on this story later in the post).

Image: Monkey hugging cat image from Bigstock

Here, we witness what seems to be a moment of sheer bliss between this unlikely pair – if the cat’s closed eyes are anything to go by. While the macaque is busy eating what looks like a juicy fruit, the cat’s head is nestled comfortably on the monkey’s cradling arm. Aww!

As we will see, friendships between macaques and cats occur quite frequently. Macaques are known for their complex social structures and hierarchies – but what’s less known is that this seems to occasionally include keeping a pet as well.