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Cat Behaviour

Cat Spraying

Cats rely on scent far more than most people realise. Their territories - and that includes your home - are constantly scent-marked with the glands in their cheeks. That’s why they rub with apparent affection against your legs.

For similar scent-related reasons cats spray urine at the edges of their territory. This sometimes includes spraying a doorway; but they usually (thankfully) reserve the behavior for outdoors./p>

The spraying is very subtle. To the casual observer it looks nothing more than a small quiver of the hind-quarters, with back slightly arched and tail raised.

With new odours brought into the house every day, and with our human habit of wiping and cleaning things, we sometimes remove the reassuring smells that tell the cat where she is, who else is there, and how safe the environment is. If she seems restless and needy on housework day, that’s why!
A curious tabby cat hiding inside a cardboard box
A curious tabby cat hiding inside a cardboard box

Sleeping Cats

Our feline friends put the average teenager to shame, getting in a good 16 hours of sleep every day. They will often sleep in several different places during the course of the day.

Sometimes this will be in your lap. It’s a good idea to stop stroking the cat once she has stopped purring and is clearly asleep. If she wakes up suddenly and senses your hands, a flighty cat may instinctively take fright, and might even lash out. You will soon know your pet’s temperament well enough to judge if she’s laid back or flighty.

Friends in High Places

Cats like a safe, high perch to retreat to after play, or when they need some downtime (or uptime?) This could be up on top of a cupboard, shelf or wardrobe, or on a windowsill. Providing them with a cushion up there should prevent them finding a perch of their own – up on an ajar door, perhaps, or on that shelf full of fragile ornaments!

Cats like high vantage points
Cats like high vantage points. This isn't one of the most practical, though...


Cats hate being dirty. Ironically, they usually hate water too. Their way around this dilemma is to groom. In fact, they spend lots of time every day grooming – that is, licking themselves, or licking a paw to wash the bits they can’t reach with tongue alone. They only do it when they’re feeling happy and relaxed, so take it as a good sign when your cat begins her hygiene routine!

A long-haired breed should be groomed with a brush, too. In fact many cats like the sensation of brushing, so you can include it as part of their play routine. A cat that doesn’t like being brushed will simply run away, so you don’t have to worry about whether she’s in the right mood or not!

Cats are scrupulously clean
Cats are scrupulously clean i it's amazing what can be achieved with just a tongue, a paw, and a lot of stretching!

Fur Balls

The natural result of all this licking is a stomach full of fur. Cats get round this problem by throwing up fur balls. Not the most appealing thing to behold, if you’ve not seen it happen before it may look as if your cat is ill. Her chest and throat go into spasm, until she regurgitates the ball of fur. Empty stomach, happy cat. If it distresses you, just look away…

Eating grass

Cats often eat grass to help them regurgitate fur balls. If you have an indoor cat, it’s worth growing grass from seed. Many pet stores stock Kitty Grass kits for this purpose, to avoid them munching on houseplants.

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