Watch This Lion Instantly Regret Waking This Lioness up From Her Nap

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Written by Trey Fox

Published: November 13, 2023

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Continue reading for our analysis...

Lion Displays Teeth

Key Points:

  • Lions are naturally playful with each other from an early age as cubs.
  • Lions form close-knit social groups called prides.
  • Lion cubs practice social behaviors on each other and other pride members to form bonds.
  • Spending most of their energy pursuing and hunting large prey, lions rest up to 20 hours per day.

It turns out that playtime isn’t reserved for just humans. The above footage shows a mischievous male lion slowly approaching a lioness. One paw at a time, he creeps up quietly, careful not to wake her up before he launches his playful attack. Unfortunately, as he inches closer, she foils his silly plan. The lioness shows off her incredible reflexes, timing, and awareness, unleashing a series of sharp but controlled strikes that send him backpedaling. This grumpy lioness leaves this male lion feeling disappointed after a failed mission. Read on to learn more about the typical behaviors shown in this incredible big cat species.

Are Lions Naturally Playful With Each Other?

Lions in Love. A lion and a lioness cuddle.

Lionesses often initiate play with their cubs.

©Wicker Imaging/

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You have more time for play when you are at the top of the ecological food chain. Lions (Panthera leo) are highly social creatures who form small, tight-knit groups called prides. These African big cats are sociable from an early age. Lion cubs spend much of their time engaging in playful behavior with the youngest members of the pride, their mothers and aunts, and their father — when he’s not feeling grumpy.

Lionesses are much more receptive to their energetic cubs, often initiating play to keep them busy. Additionally, lion cubs engage in many “peaceful tactile actions,” such as head rubbing, licking, and other social greetings. In the early stages, cubs also “hunt” smaller prey like insects or birds, and they will pounce on each other to practice their fighting skills. This will surely come in handy as they physically mature.

Do Lions Usually Nap During the Day?

pride of lions

Lion cubs engage in social greetings known as “peaceful tactile actions” that include head-rubbing and licking.

©Teresa Moore/

Lions expend a bunch of energy, taking on large prey like buffalo, zebra, and wildebeest. From carefully stalking their target to launching an ambush and taking it down, that’s bound to zap a lot of energy. As a result, lions spend the majority of their time resting. In fact, lions can sleep up to 20 hours per day. They take their cat naps seriously!

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About the Author

Trey Fox is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily covering mammals, marine life, and geography. Trey has been writing professionally for 5 years and holds a Master’s Degree from Temple University, which he earned in 2021. A resident of New Jersey, Trey spends his free time watching Philadelphia sports, consuming animal documentaries, and covering independent music.

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