Cat Behavior Facts
Everyone enjoys bringing a new kitten home, yet inappropriate cat behavior is the most common reason people give up their pets. With a little help, you can encourage that kitty to behave like a proper house guest.
Why does a cat purr? Kittens purr to let their mother know they are nearby and everything is ok. Adult cats purr to let others know they are friendly and not a treat. A purring cat is not always a content cat, cats also purr when they are in pain or frightened.
The contrary of purring is hissing, something a cat does as a defense sign, as if he's trying to say 'don't mess with me!'. Another sign of an angry cat is the ears held tight against the head. A wagging tail is also a sign that a cat is not at ease.
Why does your cat hunt while it gets enough food and why do you get presents in the form of dead mice and birds? Cats have very strong hunting instincts and they enjoy the thrill of hunting. By bringing you presents the cat shows that he likes you and wants to take care of you.
Spraying can be a problem when it's done inside your house because of the strong smell. Cats spray small amounts of urine to mark their territory and to attract females. A solution is neutering your cat before it reaches sexual maturity (6 months).
Climbing trees is also something a cat does to leave it's mark and mark it's territory.
When a cat is rubbing your legs it is saying hello to you. Another way of greeting is licking your face or lying on its back in total surrender.
A common cat behavior problem is the scratching of furniture and walls. Cats can cause a lot of damage with this habit. A scratching post can be used to discourage scratching the furniture. Cats scratch furniture to sharpen their nails. Some cat owners ask their veterinary to remove their cat's claws, but this is totally barbaric and forbidden in more and more countries.
Why does my cat start threading when it's lying in my lap? Threading is something kittens do with their mother to get the milk-flow going. When an adult cat threads in your lap it means it is totally at ease with you and wants some affection.
Eating grass is something a cat does to get rid of fur balls it gets from washing it's coat. After eating grass, the cat vomits and empties it's stomach that way. When your cat has no access to grass (apartment cats), it's a good idea to give him or her some sardine oil every once in a while. This also causes vomiting.
Some irritating cat behavior problems are those related to cats mating. For instance, the howling, or "caterwauling" cats do in the middle of the night are mating calls. The marking of territory with a spray of urine is also related to mating rituals. The best way to control problems with mating behavior is to have the cat neutered or spayed.
Sometimes a cat licking furniture or walls will irritate the owners. Cats often take to licking items in the house, perhaps from boredom. In addition, cats will rub their sebaceous glands against anything they want to scent, which includes the furniture and you, too! These sebaceous glands are enlarged and located around the mouth and other areas. To scent the object, the cat will rub that part of the body on the item. This cat behavior is different that the scent marking they do with urine, because the sebaceous scent is not perceptible to humans, but is reassuring to the cat.
Cats naturally enjoy exploring outdoors, and sometimes develop captive cat behavior problems. These include boredom, which leads to aggression to other cats and to people. Unfortunately, there are many dangers outdoors, as well as the risk of damage to the beautiful coats of some expensive purebreds. In situations where cats must be kept captive, it is important to look for ways to keep the indoor environment more stimulating. A cat owner can also construct an outdoor pen for it's cat.
Feral cats are cats that have gone wild. On many farms, for instance, kittens have been born, but there was no one who took the time to socialize them. The result is a litter of kittens who are afraid of people and cannot even be caught. Feral cats get into trash cans, dog food, and other sources of food they can find around people's homes. In some locations, these cats can be trapped for free neutering. The wild cat behavior of feral cats make them impossible to be made into pets, so they must be released again after neutering.