Cats are independent, territorial animals. Because of this they like to have direct access to their own resources. Providing for their natural behaviour can go a long way in reducing the likelihood of problems developing.
Some of these provisions include:
- If your area is safe and your cats are healthy and vaccinated, allow them to venture outside. This will enable them to perform most of their natural behaviours, which includes hunting small prey animals. Cats will do this regardless of being fed, because the instinct to hunt is not related to hunger.
- Although some cats will live with others, they are not always willing to share their resources. Each cat should have their own food and water in separate locations to avoid competition and guarding of these areas.
- Not all cats want to share their sleeping area with other cats, so provide a choice of resting areas in a variety of different areas.
- Cats do not like to share litter trays, particularly if they are not kept clean. Provide at least 1 per cat in quiet locations that are not overlooked by other cats. This includes cat flaps and patio doors where neighbourhood cats can look in.
- Neighbourhood cats can cause a great deal of stress. To prevent them gaining access into the home, either install an Infra Red cat flap or a Pet Porte (microchip activated cat flap).
Some behaviour problems in cats include:
- Urine spraying around the home
- Toiletting outside the litter tray
- Aggression/attacking humans and/or other animals.
- Under attachment (not wanting to be handled or held)
- Over attachment (always wanting contact with the owner)
- Fears and/or phobias
- Wool chewing
- Over grooming
All cases are individual. A thorough examination and diagnosis is necessary in every case.
Dexter (left) and Scottie were integrated together over a period of a few weeks using scent profiling. Cats that are friendly will rest close together and will groom and greet one another by a gentle head rub (known as bunting). However not all cats will tolerate others and this depends entirely on the individual, how they are introduced and their availability of resources.