Brazilian biologist Andre Costa, who works with the environmental education group Buriki, has an unusual pair of pets: Cleo the cat and a tiny owl named Forbi. The two have become an unlikely duo since living together and seem surprisingly at ease with one another considering the typical predator-prey dynamic between cats and birds.
Cleo gives Forbi a good sniff just to see what he's all about.
Forbi edges a bit closer to appease Cleo, who is seemingly overwhelmed by the cuteness of this tiny owl. Like any good friend, Cleo gives Forbi some affectionate pats, which he shyly accepts. After a successful petting, Forbi gives some head-bobs of ... approval?
While these two make an adorable pairing, feline behavior expert Mikel Delgado tells The Dodo that relationships between cats and birds are typically not so affectionate. "Cats are natural predators, and while how predatory an individual cat may be can vary, in general, those instincts cannot be suppressed, so there is always a risk when you place a natural prey species with its natural predator," says Delgado. "I'd say in general, if you want a buddy for your cat, look toward some more appropriate species, such as another cat, a dog, or even a rabbit." Above all, Delgado stresses the importance of supervising cats when they are near small pets such as birds or rodents. You can watch Forbi and Cleo's full interaction below.