People love cats for their playfulness, their independence and their curiosity. Understanding your cat’s natural behaviour can help you better cater for its needs and make for a deeper and more fulfilling relationship for both of you.
Every cat has its own unique character and domestic cats broadly fall into two recognised groups: feral (wild) and non-feral (pets). This has a huge bearing on their interaction with people and is shaped by their early experiences. Cats who have not had positive exposure to humans at a young age will become fearful of humans and the domestic environment.
Cats are solitary animals in the sense that they prefer not to share territory. However, they may live well together if the cats perceive each other to be of the same social standing. Sleeping touching or grooming each other is a sign of this.
Introducing a new cat should be done slowly and with great care. If they do not perceive themselves as in the same social standing, they may require separate food and toilet resources to avoid conflict. Just because a cat has successfully lived with a cat before, it may still be opposed to a newcomer.
Your cat’s mood
Many cats love interacting with people and enjoy rubbing up against and getting a fuss from humans. However it’s important to remember that they enjoy short, frequent interactions, so learning when your cat has had enough can save you a nasty scratch! Taking time to learn your cat’s body language is fascinating and will improve your relationship. Their body position, eye, ears and tail are all indicators of their current mood.
It’s a natural habit, but it doesn’t have to be a destructive one. A good quality scratch post can help protect your furniture. It should be placed near where they sleep, have a sturdy base and have a vertical thread so they can scratch downwards.
It’s a good idea to provide one litter tray per cat, plus an extra one. Cats don’t like to using dirty or soiled trays, so it needs emptying regularly and washing well at least once a week.