A Cat's Natural Instincts
Have you ever wondered why your cat does the things she does? Needless to say, cats can be downright bizarre! But there's an instinctual reason behind most of a cat's actions. Understanding what these instincts are and where they come from can help you become a better cat owner. At the very least, her behaviour should make a lot more sense after you read this article.
Night time is the right time
Let's say you wake up in the middle of the night and fix yourself a snack in the kitchen. You might realise your cat is awake and become concerned. Is she having trouble sleeping? Not getting enough exercise? No! Cats are instinctually nocturnal. Long ago cats hunted at night to avoid predators. Over time, they trained themselves to be night animals capable of detecting motion in minimal lighting.
What's yours is mine
You may also be wondering, what's with all the rubbing? Often a cat will rub her body on furniture, your leg, visitors, etc. This is because a cat is instinctually territorial. She's simply marking her territory by putting her scent on her surroundings. In years past, cats would use their scent to warn other cats to stay clear of their area.
There can be only one
Some cat owners feel unneeded by their cats. You might try to play a game with your cat and get the cold shoulder. This too, is normal. Unlike dogs, cats are independent and can easily entertain themselves for hours. As a cat owner, it's important to understand this fact. You might think you're doing something wrong and overcrowding her, but really, she's just doing what feels instinctually correct, which is to be alone. It all goes back to the hunting habits of early cats. More cats around means more scents, so cats have grown accustomed to going it alone.
Have you ever seen your cat stalk her food? To see your cute kitty walking around like an assassin may be off-putting. But in fact, it's an instinctual behaviour she probably refined watching her mother. Since cats aren't raised in packs like dogs are, cats have to learn everything about survival before she leaves her mum, including hunting techniques like stalking.
Hopefully, some of your cat's odd behaviors make more sense and you have a greater appreciation of everything that makes her unique. Cats have survived a long time, and they have their instincts to thank. One thing's for sure: If you're feeding your cat IAMS, it means YOU have good instincts, too.