Domestic Cat Behavior

"Domestic cat behavior is based on how your cat was socialized when young and behaviors that are genetic or inherited from the parent. Cats are social by nature with preference toward the familiar. Behavior can be changed through rewards and through understanding the underlying cause."

Domestic cat behavior helps owners understand what to expect and not to expect from their cat. Usually an aggressive act is just reacting to an environment which goes against their genetic or inherited personality traits. Once you understand these, the behavior can be changed for the better.

Are Cats Good Companions for People and Other Pets?

Contrary to popular belief, cats actually like interacting with familiar others. In the wild cats are only seen alone when their isn't enough food to support a colony (group of cats). Domestic cats do not have this problem, and will be very social with other animals, cats or people that are familiar. They will also be social with new people or pets if they are gradually introduced into the family.

How Do Cats Communicate?

Cats relate to others based on the situation and familiarity. For example, if a cat has kittens, other cats will help raise them. Others that are accepted members of the cat colony are treated with warmth while strangers may be met with aggression.

Domestic cat behavior can be communicated in many different ways:

Body Language
* Posture
* Tail movement
* Ears
* Head
* Eye contact

* Rubbing against objects or others
* Grooming behavior
* Nose touching

* Purring (when in contact with a person or another animal)
* trilling
* Meow sound (greeting)

Cats have an excellent sense of smell.* Urine marking (using smell to communicate)
* Feces marking

How do you deal with Aggressive Cat Behavior?

The key to aggression is familiarity. For example, if you get a new cat, keep the new and old cat apart. Don't let them get near each other for several weeks. As the old cat gets use to the smell and presence of the new cat, the colony will be expanded and you'll see friendlier behavior.

Cat aggressive behavior comes in many forms. Follow the link to read more about the different types.

If aggressive cat behavior cannot be modified through treats, your veterinarian could recommend a prescription medication. Another approach is to try a natural herbal remedy that contain ingredients known to calm domestic cat behavior.

How Do You Get Two Domestic Cats to Behave?

Cats try and establish a hierarchy with each other where one cat is dominant. They may hiss, chase or swat each other until some type of relationship is established.

Cat Social Behavior - When do Cats Learn to React to People?

It is helpful for cats to be socialized when young. Specifically between the ages of 3 to 9 weeks. If a young cat is exposed to people and other cats at this age, they are more likely to accept both into their set of what is familiar.

Even if you cat is older, you can improve the way they socialize through the gradual introduction of others.

What is normal cat elimination behavior, cat pooping behavior, cat feces and cat urnination behavior?

Most owners are concerned with their cats bathroom or elimination behavior. This starts with the use of litter boxes.

Cats eliminate waste in three ways:

* Squat urination - most common way to urinate. Most cat's urinate 2x per day.
* Defecation - this is how the cats eliminates solids. Most cat's do this 1x per day
* Spraying urine

Most cats prefer to go to the bathroom within their set territory. The litter box should be easy to access with most preferring litter that is fine-grained. Indoor cats prefer a clean litter box particularly since most cats dig into the litter before defecating. Cats without problems dig longer 4 seconds vs. cats with problems that dig less than 4 seconds. Short digging time could indicate that your cat does not like your choice of litter. Research also shows that you should select a litter box that is 1.5x the length of your cat's body. Many litter boxes are too short.

Some cats spray urine which is a normal behavior and is a way cats communicate. Both male and female cats spray. Sometimes this behavior indicates that a male is marking territory, particularly in homes where their is more than one cat.

Defecation and urination outside of the litter box is not part of a cat getting revenge on the owner. It could mean your cat has a medical problem that requires treatment.

Is Scratching a Normal Domestic Cat Behavior?

The desire to scratch is normal for cats. The key is provide places for your catch to do this. Most cats like to scratch wood, rope or a rough fabric.

A cat scratching post should be located in an area where the cat lets to be such as near where it sleeps. Cats can be trained to use a scratching post when young by rubbing cat nip on the post or providing treats on the way to and then up on the post by holding them higher and higher.

If your cat is scratching where it shouldn't then try and provide a post made of the same material. Double sided tape on surfaces that you don't want scratched could help prevent the behavior.

Cat nails should be trimmed or you can use plastic nail caps such as Soft Claws® Cat Nail Caps (Medium; Clear)

Domestic Cat Behavior - Eating

Cats prefer to eat small meals throughout the day. This could be as many as 10 to 20 eating occasions for the typical cat. Cat obesity or cat weight gains are due to the elimination of hunting time.

In the wild cats would eat a bit, then hunt, then eat a bit. In domestic cat behavior there is no hunting so the energy is never burned off. Many veterinarians recommend that you provide a reason for your cat to hunt for food such as hiding dry food in the house, or using a puzzle cube that contains food. You can even toss a piece of food that your cat needs to run toward.

If you have more than one cat you should have one bowl for each to avoid any aggressive behaviors where one cat tries to prevent another from eating.


American Association of Feline Practitioners