The behaviors of domestic cats are a combined product of the domestication process and the natural instincts and tendencies of the cats' wild ancestors. Some cat behaviors are easily understood, such as their propensity for killing birds and other small animals, while others, such as purring, still have no universally satisfactory explanation.
Cats are solitary animals that live by themselves in the wild. However, because of thousands of years of selective breeding, most domestic cats enjoy the company of their owners. Some cats even tolerate the presence of other animals, whether they are cats, dogs or other species. Cats, which are the only members of the family that can purr the way they do, probably gained the ability to purr during the process of domestication. Nevertheless, scientists still do not understand the exact mechanism by which the cats produce the purring sound.
Another interesting behavior of cats is their tendency to sleep in very small spaces. While this does not look comfortable to people, cats are often most comfortable in small spaces. This is a relic behavior, left over from the wild ancestors of modern, domestic cats. In the wild, cats are secretive animals that feel safest sleeping in small, hidden locations that provide protection from predators.