What you need to know about your cat's behaviour
In order to give your cat a happy life, it's important to understand him. What makes your cat tick, and what does he need? The following information about the nature and behaviour of cats will help you to better understand your pet.
The hunting cat
The cat's hunting instinct is as old 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. Indeed, there lurks a hunter within even the sweetest of lap cats and those with an outdoor cat will know that their greatest token of appreciation is a freshly caught bird or mouse. Perhaps not the nicest of 'gifts', but you should never punish your cat for bringing it, because he does so out of 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. If you're considering keeping your cat in at night you should bear in mind: he would much rather hunt, run and play at night, and sleep during the day.
The sleeping cat
Whereas cats typically go hunting at night, they predominantly sleep during the day. In fact, your cat will happily slumber for hour upon hour. He'll also enjoy a brief cat nap after eating or playing. After a short snooze he'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 never wake him. Cats prefer to sleep in warm, comfortable and sheltered spots. In total they spend around 60% of their time sleeping. What a life, huh?
The wild roaming tom cat
Cats boast well-developed 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!& 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. This can be worrying, but it's natural cat behaviour. Put your cat's favourite food out and he'll 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 for example. They can practice their cat skills on each other, groom each other and thus enjoy 'being real cats'. 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 castrated / sterilised. Not only to prevent future offspring (shelters are overflowing with cats), but also to avoid hormonal excitement and the undesirable behaviour that comes with it.
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