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You are here: Home > Adopt a cat > Cat Behaviour

Cat Behaviour

Some helpful advice on the mystery of why some cats seem to get on with each other and others just do not!  It is all to do with social bonding. Always bare in mind that our domestic moggie (and most wild cats) are not social animals and much prefer their own company then sharing the world with others. Lions of course do have a sort of social structure (a pride) but there is good reason for such large felines to stay together. Usualy because of resources (i,e food, water, prey).

In the domestic cat world cats that are living under the same roof may not be fighting or hissing at each other, it does not necessarily mean that they are friends and like spending time together. Many cats living in the same household do not perceive each other to be in the same social group but under stress will tolerate the presence of others especially for a particularly valued resource e.g. food, having a loving and kind owner, the best hunting ground or sunny spot in the hourse and garden. Cats are in the same social group if they sleep touching each other and spend time rubbing each other and grooming each other, sharing and reinforcing their common scent (just as wild felines do)  Cats in one social group should be provided with separate resources in different areas of the house – e.g. food, water, litter trays, resting areas – from cats which are in a different social group – even if they live in the same house. This is all to reduce confluct of shared resources and hence a more calm household for the felines. An owner with more than two cats, may have more than two social groups and
even sibling cats may not be in the same social group. Although a cat might have lived with another cat in the past, this does not mean that he will necessarily tolerate a new cat immediately or even at all. If a cat’s companion cat has recently died, it isn’t always prudent to get a new ‘friend’. In some cases, cats actually seem to prefer the single life. This can be difficult to comprehend as humans are a social species.

For further information, see the CP Feline Behaviour leaflet or download it at
http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/cat_care_leaflets/EG06-
Felinebehaviour.pdf This is an interactive online training course, which increases an understanding of cats needs includes some fun activities for all to participate in. Great fun for all the family! http://learnonline.cats.org.uk/content/ufo/

Reading list
If you are interested in finding out more about cats. The following books are
recommended by the CP Veterinary Department:
• Cat Care Essentials; Everything you Need to Know at a Glance. Francesca
Riccomini
• Know your Cat. Francesca Riccomini
• The Secret Life of Your Cat: Unlock the Mysteries of Your Cat's Behaviour. Vicky Halls

Feb 2014