Understanding Your Cat
Just like her big cat cousins, your feline friend’s behaviour is driven by a wide range of natural instincts. By understanding these, you’ll get a much better idea about why she does the things she does. That way, you won’t fall into the trap of thinking your cat’s being naughty or stubborn … and you’ll realise instead that she’s just being a cat!
By learning these natural behaviours, you’ll better understand the things your cat is trying to communicate – and so your relationship will flourish. Your cat is communicating with you all the time – you just have to watch and listen!
By nature, your cat is a solitary creature. She likes to spend time alone, especially when she’s asleep or on the prowl. Your cat also has a powerful instinct to hunt at night – a natural urge that won't be dampened even if you feed her regularly through the day.
It’s important to let your cat express her natural behaviour. If they want to spend time alone, make sure there are places in your home to which they can retreat. Like most cats, they'll probably like enclosed areas such as cardboard boxes or cat beds.
You’ll find more details in our article on cat's hunting instincts
A born hunter
In the wild, all big cats are natural hunters. Your feline companion is just the same, which is why it’s important to encourage her instinctive desire to go hunting. Don’t worry, that doesn’t have to mean birds or mice – a simple cat toy should do the trick! Fishing rod toys, for example, are a great way for you and your cat to play together, while allowing her to show off her natural hunting skills. Let her win every now and then, and your cat will be brimming with pride!
If your cat exercises her hunting abilities inside the home, there’s less chance of her bringing you any prey she might catch outside. However, if you do find a bird or mouse on the doorstep, remember that your cat’s just finishing her hunt in the place she feels most safe. She’s not being naughty, and it isn’t a gift – she’s simply demonstrating that there’s no place like home!
A nose for communication
Like her cousins in the wild, your cat communicates using scented messages, which she leave by scratching, spraying urine and rubbing. So when your cat rubs herself on walls, furniture or doors, what she's actually doing is marking her territory. And if she rubs against your legs, she's really paying you a compliment by telling you that you belong to her!
Scratching leaves visual messages, so it helps to keep your cat's claws nice and sharp. Make sure your cat has a specific area in the house where she's allowed – even encouraged – to scratch. To stop her from ruining your furniture, give her a special scratching post.