Knowing your cat's behaviour

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Efreya Waitecker

Inquiring into this aspect of the cat's life is not easy.

The behavior of cats is less studied, in some fields, if we compare it with that of the dog, also the time of domestication by man is also less and from the point of view of people, on many occasions, is a great unknown.

One of the main errors when choosing a cat as apet, is the belief on the part of the future owners, that it needs less attention or that their needs are less. We should not acquire a cat, either purchased or adopted, by the mere fact that, we would like to have a dog, but we do not have time to take it out in spite of, fact that is repeated, more often than a priori we can think.

While it is true that thesmaller size of cats (compared to some breeds of dog), the fact that they generally do not spend time walking, the fact that the size of current homes tends to be smaller (people live more in flats) and the increased docility of feline individuals, has meant that the cat, in most countries, currently surpasses the dog as a companion animal.

For all these reasons it is interesting thatlet's know different behaviors and particular reactions of this new individual that will be part of our home.

  1. Activity patterns

The famous fame, earned by our feline companions, of little active, in many occasions is true, but we must know that they also have needs to perform active behaviors, such as games, caresses, etc., that do notwe must overlook, this neglect can lead to animals, very excitable for handling or obese cats, due to the little exercise they perform.There appears a very high population of animals with serious physical disorders, associated with obesity.

2. Trophic behavior

We will understand as such, the system of choice, selection and intake of food.The cat is an animalstrictly carnivorous, with which, must eat their species-specific feed, ie, a dog food does not contain all the nutrients necessary for our cat and even there are amino acids such as arachidonic acid and taurine, the cat does not synthesize by itself and must extract them from the diet.

Due to the low intake of water by felines in general, facilitate a.small spoonful of wet food, in the daily diet, will facilitate a diet higher in this component.

We also have to know that the cat, comes to ingest food up to 12 or 14 times throughout the day, that causes that must have feed "ad libitum" (always at your disposal), except for a medical recommendation.

The drinkers full to overflowing or circulating water, are the.preferred by our cats and always away from food and the place of rest or elimination.

3. Elimination behavior

An alteration in this behavior will cause, almost immediately, a visit to a behavioral specialist, as it is very annoying for an owner to find feces or urine scattered around the home.The factors may be many and we will always rule outorganic problems before thinking about a behavioral problem. But if the animal is healthy, we could think, in marking behaviors, influenced by hormones, aversion to the tray, usually by the location of this or even problems associated with stress, among other causes.

4. Game (see "what games to play with my cat")

The time allotted.The lack or excess of this can cause alterations that are difficult to control if they become chronic over time.

5. Social behaviour

Understanding our cat's social behaviour will help us to maintain a balance of interaction with him, this being of vital importance for a healthy and pleasant relationship for both.

If we were to base our cat's social behaviour on his behaviour, it would be very important for a healthy and pleasant relationship.behavior of the cat, only in that of its ancestor, the African wild cat, we should say, that lives in a solitary social structure, but the domestication causes more and more, that our current cat, depends more, socially speaking, contact with man and other congeners.

In this case arise large genetic differences and the most important role originates, the.previous experience.

The assessment that a cat lives better alone than with another cat, or the fact of leaving home and not taking it with me is better for him, is a somewhat simplistic thought.

An animal that has lived alone almost all his life, may prefer to continue to do so, but animals accustomed to having contact with other conspecifics, may show signs of apathy after the departure of

And in turn, leave the cat at home, if we go away for the weekend, is usually the best option, provided we have a trusted person who is responsible for him in our absence, but that does not imply that it is not, sometimes something traumatic for the animal, but it is preferable to do so to transport it in the carrier, which usually never sees, ride it in acar that scares him and appear in a place he does not know.

The introduction of a new individual, in the home can also cause behavioral alterations in our pet, in this case and in those named above, the best of the options is to advise us with a specialist, before making decisions.

The feline stress can appear easily and sometimes it is difficult toidentify it on a daily basis, causing this if it becomes chronic, it is much more difficult to eliminate and the consequences are more serious.

6. Communication

On many occasions the lack of knowledge of the communication systems of our pets in general, cause misunderstandings that can end the balance of the relationship that we had created.

The cat uses different.communication systems, such as:

Postural communication , through the placement of its paws, tail, ears, mouth..., and complete position in general, may be indicating the state of mind in which it is. The misinterpretation of this language can cause accidents, ie, sometimes we see our cat wagging its tail from one side to another and it is interpreted asThis attack would be due to miscommunication, since the cat, with its tail movement, was indicating to us that it did not want to be touched, something that we ignore. Another example would be the posture of the ears, if they are straight and looking to the sides, be careful, it is getting angry and if they arehorizontal facing the ground, it is in aggressive mode.

The tactile communication is also very present in our cats, lying down next to us or rubbing on our legs, are affiliative signals that our cat performs for us.

Olfactory communication , as we have said before the cat comes from a solitary social structure and has a tendency toactively defend their territory, therefore olfactory communication is very important in their daily life.

Marks with urine, rubbing the cheeks or the base of the tails and many other glands scattered throughout their anatomy, are one more facet within feline communication.

Auditory communication, the relationship of the cat with man has increasingly caused, animals more and more.vocal and communicative by sounds, without overlooking the large racial differences. Sounds such as purring, meowing, snorting and many others are almost always present in our domestic cats.

Grooming: Grooming behavior, a term translated from English "Grooming", is very common in many animals and quite clearly in our cats.

The presence of this is important for the control of ectoparasites, control of body temperature and even to stabilize the social relationships of animals living in groups.

We must always keep in mind that, an alteration in this behavior, either by increasing it (psychogenic alopecia) or by decreasing it, causing a coat in poor condition,may be indicating health problems or situations of lack of animal welfare. Namely:

Stress : The cats that usually live in our homes, are easily stressed animals, that does not mean that all should suffer stress in any situation, but we must know how to identify these situations as soon as possible.

Behaviors such as, the decrease of theactivity in general or grooming, hiding more than usual, loss of contact with the inhabitants of the home, irritability or excitability, can indicate alarm situations in our beloved pet.

The presence of a new individual, works in the home, organic pathologies and an endless number of other causes can provoke the appearance of the symptoms.

In anycase early identification and treatment by a specialist in feline behavior, will be the best option to alleviate this problem.

Do not hesitate to request this attention, since not solve them in time can aggravate the situation much more coming to cause in many owners, the need for a new home for our great feline companion or in the worst case,to consider euthanasia.

The author of this blog is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for writing. She has years of experience working with animals, both in zoos and in private homes, and she brings that knowledge to her writing. Whether she's writing about training your dog or the best way to care for your cat, her goal is always to provide accurate and helpful information.