Understanding your Cats Behaviour

aspen Domestic cats as a rule are not social creatures, unlike humans or dogs that rely on their social groups and interact constantly.
Feline behaviour is a complex mixture of vocalizations, body language and scent marking, but with a few basic insights you can better understand what it is your cat is trying to communicate and create a better bond between you and your feline friend.


Scratching furniture

This is a complex behavior with a multitude of uses.

1.To condition the front claws by removing the old outer sheath to reveal new sharp claws.scratch

2.To exercise the apparatus used to protract and retract the claws, this is vital for climbing, hunting and fighting.

3. To mark territory, scratch posts are a visual and scent marker indoors and out. There are scent glands on the underside of the cat’s paw, the act of scratching activates these glands along with the sweat glands on the pads. The cocktail of secretions from these glands results in a scent mark unique to each individual cat. Indoor cats frequently mark window frames or furniture in front of windows to tell other cats that their territory starts there.





aspen1Many cat owners are surprised by the way their normally aloof cat can be so welcoming when they return home, often rolling on their back or rubbing their face and body against your legs and making a distinctive trill noise. The exposing of their stomach indicates trust, however as many owners know, this is not an invitation to rub said stomach. To do so usually invites an angry paw! Not even owners are usually worthy of such a privilege.

  • The usual greeting most owners receive involves the cat repeatedly rubbing the side of its face and body along the owner’s legs before wrapping its tail around them.
  • Then as the owner’s leans down to pet the cat, the cat will increase the rubbing and usually forcefully nudge the hand with the corners of their mouth and cheeks. Then wander off to sit down and clean itself thoroughly.
  • This behavior is an adaptation of a feline to feline greeting which involves face to face contact. Rubbing up against another cat’s face or an owner’s hand or legs is an exchange of scents.
  • For scent orientated animals such as the cat, it is important that all members of the household have a familiar scent. They do this by marking you with their own scent using special glands, located at the temples, the base of the tail and in the corners of their mouth.
  • After they have marked us they then must read our scent, they do this by licking the side of their bodies, which they have just rubbed up against us, there-by tasting our scent. This mixture of vocalization, body language and scent communication is designed to make the cat feel secure and also makes us as owners feel wanted.unnamed

Look out for our next feline behavior blog, when we will talk about hunting and litter tray behavior.

You can call us on 01 6237044 if you have any queries or if you would like to book an appointment with us.

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