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If you have ever owned a cat you will know that these are domestic animals that have strong natural instincts and will continue to mimic some of the behaviours of their wild counter parts.  Some of these instincts are fine but many can be problematic when placed alongside modern day human lifestyles.  Support your cat to live their best life, by understanding their instincts and why cats do what they do.

Cat’s like to be clean and pristine

When it comes to grooming, cats keep themselves in pretty good nick. As you all know your feline friends can groom themselves for hours and hours. They do this for a number of reasons including removing loose hair, removing parasites and simply because it’s soothing. During grooming they ingest a lot of hair, most of which will pass through their digestive tract without any issues. Some hair accumulates in the stomach, forming hairballs. Cats will naturally bring up these hairballs to ease the discomfort on their stomach.  While this can be managed easily for many cats, others require a special high fibre diet to assist with digestion or to reduce fur shedding. Regularly brushing your cat can also help to reduce excess hair from accumulating on your cat’s body and around the house. The kitty corner comb can help your cat to groom herself with the added advantage of reaching that pesky itch.

Another area that Cats can be quiet particular about is their litter box. Basically, it shouldn’t have poop or pee in it, especially if it belongs to another cat!  If your cat is soiling outside of their litter box, it’s likely that they feel that the litter box on offer is not clean enough, so it’s probably an indicator that you need to increase the cleaning.  If you have multiple cats, it might even be necessary to have multiple litter boxes.

Cats natural instincts – Out on the Prowl

natural instincts

Cats have a natural instinct to go on the prowl, especially at night, after all cats are nocturnal.  This nocturnal prowling instinct aids their instinct to hunt.  Hunting at night reduces the ability for prey to sense that a cat is approaching.  This is an instinct that you should restrict by keeping your cat indoors overnight. In many states you may find there are legal responsibilities you must uphold regarding your cats whereabouts after dark.

Keeping your cat indoors overnight will help to keep both your cat and our wildlife safe from harm.  It might also mean that you can control your cats natural instincts and stop your cat bringing you a few unwanted gifts.  When your cat brings you her captured prey it is because she wants to provide for her beloved family and she knows that you don’t have sufficient hunting skill yourself.

At times, you may discover your cat hiding in random spots around the house, such as in a box. This secretive behaviour mimics behaviours exhibited when stalking and hunting prey. Stimulate your cat to explore her stalking, prowling and hunting instincts in a safe manner with interactive toys.  An automated toy such as flutter bug interactive cat teasing toy  will engage your cat and keep her body and mind active.  You should aim to play with you cat for at least 30 minutes per day and the laser mouse toy is a fun way to do this. Playing together is a great way to bond and a time that you will both enjoy. As you know though, your cat may not always be up for playing as cats do like to play by their own rules.

Cats like their own space

Cats are very independent animals and at times can become very moody, especially when they don’t get their alone time.  Their natural instincts will happily keep them to themselves without human interaction.  Territory is very important to cats and they mark their space though scratching and leaving their scent.  This lets other cats know that this territory is taken and to enter with caution. If you have multiple cats you may notice that they like to sleep in different spaces and have their own territory both inside and outside the home.  The cats might come together to eat in the same space but, only out of convenience, not preference. Each cat may even like to have their own scratcher as their own territorial scratching space.  A tall scratcher will help to entertain your cat’s instinct to be up high and hopefully prevent them from exploring off limits high spots such as the top of the refrigerator.

Its always important that we remember all our pets are close relatives to their native cousins and thus their natural instincts are ever present. With this in mind there are many ways we can assist our cats to play out their native hunting instincts in a safe and controllable manner. These games will cement your bond and help to maintain our native wildlife for us all to enjoy.

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