More About Cat Behavior

Cats are territorial animals

Territorial animals (like cats) have a very strong link with their territory, much stronger than the link they have with the other occupants.

Cats don’t necessarily need a large territory, but in all cases, they will organise their space in the same way, dividing it into at least 3 parts:

  • Isolation areas, where cats can rest: These areas are often high places where the cat won't be disturbed and are rarely shared with other cats.
  • Activity areas, where cats will play, hunt, eat, eliminate: Depending on the resources, the cat may be forced to share these areas.
  • Passageways between all the areas (defined during various exploration activities): These paths will only change if there is a modification in the environment.
As long as these areas and passageways don't change, cats feel secure. Any changes in the environment will disrupt the harmony of the territory, thus leading to stress.

Cats are solitary animals

Solitary animals (like cats) need privacy and independence. They don’t like to share their territory with other individuals, be these other cats, other pets or people.

Owners of two or more cats often treat their pets as one 'group' able to share resources equally. However, in reality it is far more likely their cats live independently of each other, with very little or no interaction. In this case any interaction that must occur (e.g. while sharing a feeding station or litter tray) is a potential source of stress. The more cats in the house the worse this situation can become.

Cohabitation with other cats can be highly stressful for a cat, increasing the potential for medical and behavioural problems.

Feline Marking Behaviour

To help them feel more secure, cats mark out their territory using a variety of visual and scent signals. This is a normal behaviour for cats and is necessary for their well-being.

-Urine Marking

Feline urine spraying is one of the primary methods used by cats to mark out their territory. Whether male or female, neutered or not, it is exhibited in some way by almost every cat.

-Scratch marking

There are several kinds of scratching, not all of which are scratch marking. For example: Scratching horizontal surfaces when waking up, during play or sexual excitation Scratching on vertical surfaces to keep claws in trim Scratching on vertical surfaces to send a signal (Only this can be qualified as marking behaviour)

-Facial Marking

The placing of facial pheromones is a behaviour which is well known to all cat owners.