Understanding Cat Behavior

A lot of people think that cats work on their own agenda, not paying much attention to their owner – provided they have clean litter, food, and water. Cats can behave in odd manners at times, which can easily confuse their owners and make it really hard to determine what the cat wants. As much as cat behavior can be confusing, there are some ways that you can solve common cat behavior mysteries.

A common behavior that almost all cats do is press their head and face across into any type of object that will allow them to do it. You’ve probably seen your cat do this before. Your cat will rub against table legs, TV stands, or another object. In fact, you may have noticed your cat rubbing against any visitors (cats have a knack for knowing anyone who might be allergic to them). Your cat may rub against all the packages you bring home from shopping.

Why does your cat do this? What your cat is doing is putting trace amounts of saliva on anything the cat rubs against. In a cat’s mind this is a method of claiming an object or person. Once a cat rubs all over something, it becomes part of that cat’s territory. By putting his/her saliva on something, that object or person will have a familiar scent to the cat. Although this can be very annoying to some visitors, you have to understand that other people in your home are seen as odd or weird to your cat. In a sense your cat is really helping your visitors belong.

understanding cats Although this marking of possession or territory by saliva is beneficial to the cat, it is cat saliva that is one of the most common forms of pet allergies. If a person manages to wipe off a cat’s saliva so the scent is gone, this will not go unnoticed by your cat. Your cat will simply go back and attempt to rub against the person again. After all, a cat knows he or she isn’t going to run out of saliva. Generally, people who are allergic to cats are ‘unmarked’ or unclaimed’ in a cat’s mind. People who are allergic to cat’s of course have no cat scent on them, which makes such a person such an attractive target for your cat. You also now also know why your cat is so attracted to the fresh washed and dried laundry basket of clothes. Not only is it warm, it is ready to be claimed.

No doubt you have observed your cat grooming. Most people think that cat’s are simply very cleanly. That is true, cat’s do like to be clean, but cat’s also want to cover themselves in their scent so they can be ready to mark anything at any time. In the wild, this trait can come in very handy. If a cat needs to dart through the brush and over the fence into strange territory, the cat has left a very faint scent as a trail he or she can follow back home. You know cats hate baths, now you know why. You also know why after a bath a cat will often re-groom themselves with their tongue.

Those of you who have an indoor cat should expect the cat to spend quite a bit of time lying near windows. During this time, you may hear your cat make very strange noises or weird movements. Cats instinctively practice their hunting instincts. Whether it’s another cat or object outside moving about, the cat will see it and simply go into his native hunting instinct. We often see this as ‘cat play’. To the cat, no doubt it is fun, but practicing hunting and survival skills as play is very serious to a cat. This is why cats love to play. It is not uncommon for a cat to just ‘go off’ and begin running crazy around the house as if being chased or chasing something. If a cat gets too little play all the need to practice survival skills just builds up and they ‘go nuts’ until that hunting/survival drive leaves them physically exhausted. You may not be able to completely prevent this behavior, but by giving your cat some play time everyday, you can minimize it. Good cat toys can also be very helpful.

Understanding that cats MUST play, especially when they are younger, is very important. If you try to prevent this type of behavior, or do not give your cat adequate toys and play time, do not be surprised if you cat seriously misbehaves … especially when you are not looking. Another way a cat marks territory is through urine. Cat’s have been known to also use urine marking as a method of showing displeasure with a home or situation. The same goes for cats clawing at furniture. Cats mark territory by clawing up posts, trees and so forth. Yes, part of this activity to sharpen their claws and keep their claws healthy. It is important for a cat to have places to clawing and stretch. Cat clawing posts are one answer to this. But unhappy cats or cats that are ignored often start establishing their own rules about what is or is not a scratching post.

The ‘disappearing cat’ is an important cat behavior to understand. It is not uncommon for cats to disappear for a time. They love to explore and hunt. Sometimes they enjoy having a hidden place to hang out alone. Even indoor cats have been known, from time to time, to hide out for awhile. If your cat disappears for too long, however, it is important to investigate. Cats that are sick or injured will often hide and remain hidden in an effort to heal themselves. Often a better course of action is find your cat and get him or her to a veterinarian, no matter how much a cat may object. Also, sometimes cats have a knack for going where they should not. It may be necessary to check the neighborhood and see if your cat has gotten trapped somewhere or perhaps wandered a bit to far away and is unable to find his or her way home.

The longer you own your cat, the more odd behavior you’ll see your cat exhibit. It is part of the charm and mystery about cats. Cats behave in strange ways, although they always have a reason for behaving the way they do. If you can understand why your cat behaves like he does, you’ll have no problems keeping him healthy and happy. If you simply pay attention to your cat and the way he behaves at times – you’ll be able to understand him better than ever before. It is a way for you and your cat to bond and understand one another.

For more details on cat behavior and getting along with your cat (you already know cat training is nearly impossible), go investigate Cat Secrets.

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