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FAB Feline Facts

Becky one of our qualfied nurses has now completed her course in cat behaviour gaining a distinction. Following her success she has come up with these 'Fab Feline Facts'! If you have any cat behaviour queries please do not hesitate to contact Becky on 01934 622022.

 
  • Cats are obligate carnivores which means they cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.
  • Territory is the most important thing in a cat's life and if something disrupts their territory they will feel extremely threatened which will often present itself in unwanted behaviour traits.
  • When cats are relaxed and secure they leave themselves happy scent messages for self assurance by rubbing their face on the edges of furniture all round the home.
  • Cats have no biological requirement for companionship like dogs or humans they are quite happy on their own.
  • Cats do not form structured packs like dogs and there is no dominance hierarchy among a group of cats.
  • Sharing territory with another cat can be extremely stressful.
  • The cat is the ultimate survivor! If their territory is not providing what is necessary then they will often move on to another.
  • Cats respond well to routine and predictability. This reduces stress and improves the cats quality of life.
  • If two kittens are purchased then one of each sex from the same family is probably the ideal combination. It is a good idea to choose a pair that appears to show a bond to each other.
  • Often owners are keen to purchase a kitten rather than a adult cat because they believe they can mould a kitten into the type of cat they would like to own, however a kitten will always possess the genetic traits of it's parents no matter how much social exposure it receives during its first year.
  • An adult cats personality can be assessed even on the first meeting and owners can get a pretty good idea of what sort of personality there new cat will have.
  • Cats have evolved from the African wild cat which was a largely territorial and solitary creature meaning it rarely came into contact with other cats. It therefore had no need to develop complex facial expressions to communicate with others of it's species. This means that cats today have difficulty communicating their feelings to other cats which can sometimes lead to disputes.
  • When a kitten kneads it is a behaviour that is intended to stimulate the release of milk when feeding from the queen and as the kitten is weaned off the mother the kneading action would naturally disappear. However owners encourage kneading by stroking and talking to the kitten which is why the kitten will continue to knead their front paws when stroked all the way through their adult life .
  • When a owner offers their cat a large bowl of food its natural reaction would be to eat a few mouthfuls then walk away, the owner often believes that the cat does not like its food so offers the cat something new and although it may initially eat a few mouthfuls more it will soon settle back into displaying the same behaviour and so the process begins again.
  • A house with lots of cats needs lots of feeding stations as cats prefer to eat alone.
  • Site water bowls away from feeding stations.
  • Do not use plastic or metal bowls as this can taint the water always use wide ceramic bowls filled to the brim so that cats can lap from the top.
  • In the wild cats would be vulnerable when drinking so placing their head inside a bowl would be deemed as dangerous leaving them open to attack.
  • Cats prefer flowing water as in the wild they would be unlikely to drink from still water in case it was stagnant.
  • Keep litter trays separate from feeding and water stations.
  • There are thirteen essential components to keeping a cat happy and secure at home:
    1. Food
    2. Water
    3. Vegetation
    4. Litter Trays
    5. Social contact
    6. High resting places 
    7. Private areas
    8. Multiple beds
    9. Scratching posts
    10. Predatory play
    11. Toys
    12. Novel items
    13. Fresh Air
  • Cats enjoy eating 10 - 16 times a day the equivalent of 23 calories a time.
  • Cats are lactose intolerant so should never be given human dairy products.
  • Choose compatible individuals when first acquiring cats, such as litter mates, one male and one female.
  • Do not add cats to a stable social group.
  • Avoid extreme characters, e.g. extremely nervous or confident, when choosing new kittens or adding to an existing group.
  • Queens and kittens do not automatically show compatibility after weaning so caution is advised when deciding to keep offspring.
  • Keep the appropriate number of cats to suit the environment.
  • Avoid multiple cats in a household in densely cat populated areas
  • Cats must scratch to maintain their claws and mark their territory; if provisions are not provided then they will scratch furniture. Tall scratching stations are best so they can stretch up high.
  • Cats are driven to keep their coats in tip top condition; this can mean that they will groom off poisonous substances which they would normally avoid.
  • Prolonged eye contact with your cat is a threatening and assertive signal so should be avoided.
  • Being a small creature without a pack or group to help protect it or simply alert it to dangers, the cat also has to be highly reactive. While they may sleep for two thirds of the day, when it is awake it is highly aware of its environment.
  • Like all mammals, cats are fast learners
  • One of the miraculous aspects of cat ownership is that when we watch a kitten growing up we are witnessing the development of a genuinely 'wild' animal in a domestic setting.
  • Cats, unlike dogs, are not domesticated, in the sense that selective breeding has had very little impact on the basic patterns of the cat's behaviour.
  • Allowing a cat to come to you rather than vice versa, is a good way to ensure you will be viewed in a positive light.
  • There are 8-9 million cats in the UK and this number is growing.
  • Cats are becoming Britain's most popular pet.

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