Surprisingly, only one species of cat lives in a well-ordered and organized group, and that species is the lion. Groups of lions are called prides, and they usually consist of one or two males together with several lionesses and their cubs.
The organization of lions is seen to good effects during a hunt. They co-operate closely to drive herds of antelope or zebra towards other members of the pride, which then single out old or weak individuals to attack. Although the lionesses often do most of the work, the lions also take part in the hunt.
Lion hunts often end in failure, but when kills are made, all the pride gorge themselves on the meal and then spend several days sleeping off. A lion may eat over 30 kg (66 lb) of meat at one sitting.
Lionesses leave the pride to give birth to their cubs. At first, the cubs have spotted coats. This helps to camouflage them. Even so, when the lionesses and their cubs rejoin the pride, more than half of the original number of cubs may have died through starvation, diseases or predation by animals such as hyenas. It takes about 18 months for cubs to become useful hunters for the pride.