Cat behaviour and what you need to know about it
In order to give your cat a happy, long life, it's important to understand him or her. What makes your cat tick, and what do they need? The following information about the nature and behaviour of cats will help you to better understand and bond with your pet.
The hunting cat
The cat's hunting instinct is as ancient as the cat itself and still very much alive and kicking. Thanks to their athletic bodies, sharp vision and powerful sense of smell, cats make outstanding hunters. There lurks a hunter within even the sweetest of lap cats and those with an outdoor cat will know the habit of being presented with a freshly caught bird, lizard or mouse. Perhaps not the nicest of 'gifts', but you should never punish your cat for this behaviour, because they do so out of instinct (and love)! Although your cat might sometimes want to play during the day, they definitely prefer hunting at night - their exceptional vision allows them to easily locate prey in the dark. In Australia, the RSPCA advises that all cats be kept inside where possible, but if this is impossible you should definitely keep your cat indoors at night. Outdoor cats risk being hit by cars, being injured or contacting cat AIDS during fights with other cats. They also have the unfortunate reputation of killing and injuring native wildlife. Bear in mind that your cat would naturally prefer hunt, run and play at night, and sleep during the day, so evening playtime is a good idea!
The sleeping cat
Whereas cats want to hunt and play at night, they predominantly sleep during the day. In fact, your cat will happily slumber for many, many hours. They will also enjoy a 'cat nap' after eating or playing. After a short snooze they'll be bursting with renewed energy and ready to play or go hunting once more....which of course will be followed up with yet another well-earned forty winks. Always allow your cat to sleep and try to leave them alone and not wake them. Cats prefer to sleep in warm, comfortable and sheltered spots such as a comfy cushion, basket, the end of your bed or a cardboard box. In total they spend around 60% of their time sleeping. It's a tough life!
The roaming tom cat
Cats boast strong primal instincts. Unneutered male and female cats both feel the natural urge to continue their species: they want to mate! A fertile female will make it known that she's ready to mate via scents and sounds that can be picked up from miles around. Tom cats far and wide will heed her call. And once there's a pairing, mating can sometimes take place as many as 10 to 20 times a day! Therefore it's super important to get your cat desexed - there is simply no excuse not to with feral cats being such a problem in Australia, and animal shelters full to the brim. & nbsp; In addition to searching for females on heat, tom cats like to 'roam' in order to mark their territory and hunt for food. Unfortunately a cat sometimes goes missing for short periods, which can be worrying, and is another good reason to consider keeping your cat indoors. Put your cat's favourite food out and they will usually return home after a while. Always ensure that your cat is microchipped and registered. Has your cat been missing for more than 24 hours? Then please contact your local veterinary practice and animal rescue centre with a description of your cat and their microchip ID.
The social cat
Cats are solitary hunters by nature, which means that they are accustomed to being on their own. This also explains why cats can be so stubborn and aloof with their owners or 'staff'. That's not to say that they prefer being alone all of the time: on the contrary! Cats need companionship and enjoy being around people. Most cats also like to live with a fellow companion - two cats will keep each other company when there's no one at home during the day. Not all cats are a good match however, so it's important to allow them time to quietly get to know each other. Above all, it's advisable to have your cat desexed. Not only to prevent future offspring, but also to avoid hormonal excitement and the undesirable behaviour (such as spraying) that comes with it.
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