The Wildness Of Cats

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Nature Of Cats

When you wish to adopt a cat remember that it is a territorial animal by nature. You cannot take the wild out of the animal no matter how domesticated it is and you need to realize that certain behavioral traits are innate in it. In the wild, the cats are used to establishing the area where they will sleep and eat. That is termed as its home base. Then comes the mates and the area where it hunts. Such a territory is known as its home range. The territory of a cat is defined by its home base and extends to areas where it goes for food. When it lives in an area where food is plentiful, its home range is a small one. When food is scarce, then its home range widens. The territory of a cat is defined by a network of different paths that are patrolled with regularity and this is done on a fixed schedule.

How They Mark Their Territories

Cats are known to mark their territory. They do so by the following activities:

  • By scratching through which they leave scent or visual marks
  • By spraying
  • By depositing feces or urine
  • By rubbing

Significance Of Spraying

In the wild, all such activities have their significance. When they spray urine or leave their feces behind they are providing information about themselves to other cats. Other cats are able to gain information about a cat’s sex, health and age from the smell of the feces or the urine as well as when was the last time it was there. These different kinds of marking behavior are done in certain places which are known as marking posts. These are read like a newspaper by others. It does not repel them but it results in temporal spacing in the territory of the cats.

Sharing Their Territories

Cats work as solitary predators and they depend on their own skills to catch prey. They thus avoid encounters with other cats as that can lead to fighting and injury. If their hunting skills are impaired, they will not be able to survive.

  • Marking behavior of a cat allows them to share resources with others in a territory without having to directly compete with them. Thus, if a cat marks a post in the morning, they might leave it for others in the evening.
  • Cats will establish their territories in your home as their wild counterparts do. You will find a pattern of where your cats choose to rest in different parts of the day. You can check the pattern and see how consistent it is for a number of days.
  • It is also interesting to see how they time share their space with other cats. Most cats tend to share their space with cats of the same gender.

These are some of the many behavioral traits of cats. You need to understand and anticipate their different hunting and marking behaviors which will help you to clean up after them and even to train them not to spoil the house with their spraying and other marking activities.


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