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Dr. Jeff

For Healthy Pets

Over 150 articles on companion animal health written by authorities including Dr. Jeff Feinman, a qualified vet and leading veterinary homeopath.

In these entertaining and informative pet health articles, Dr. Jeff and quest writers cover important pet health areas.
Sunday, 11 March 2012 00:41

How to Better Understand Your Cat

Written by OSU's indoor pet initiative
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To understand cats, we must first understand how they behave in their natural environment.

Even if your cat lives indoors, its behaviors result from their survival value in the wild. In their natural environment, cats hunt for food, hide from predators (often by climbing), and defend their home territories. Indoors, these behaviors may look hostile (biting and scratching) or spiteful (climbing and marking), and we may not like them.

The keys to enjoying cats in our lives are to:

1. provide acceptable outlets for their natural behaviors, and 

2. reduce their exposure to threats.

We will describe natural behaviors of cats, and how the indoor environment can be modified to permit cats to engage in them in appropriate ways. Cats, unlike dogs and other domestic animals, are not a pack or herd species, which explains a lot about their behavior. Pack species that are predators are mostly group hunters of large prey, whereas the prey species, cattle and horses for example, developed groups for self-protection. In contrast cats are solitary hunters of small prey. This strategy resulted in important differences in cat behavior, which has been carefully studied. We can use our understanding of cat behavior to improve the environment of the indoor cats that share our lives.

Learn more about their natural sleeping, hiding, eating, grooming, hunting and socializing instincts.


Read 6153 times Last modified on Sunday, 11 March 2012 01:06
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