Cat behavior

Cat behavior generally refers to the behaviors and habits of domestic cats, including body language and communication. Cat behavior may vary among breeds and individual cats. Many common behaviors include hunting techniques and reactions to certain events as well as interactions with humans and other animals, such as dogs. Communication can vary greatly depending on a cat's temperament. In a family with multiple cats, social position can also affect behavior patterns with others. A cat's eating patterns can also vary depending on the owner's choice of food or eating times/quantities. In the case of a family having two or more cats, one cat may become dominant over the other cats. Usually the case being a female. Body language Cats rely strongly on body language to communicate. A cat may rub against an object, lick a person, and purr to show affection. Through purring a cat can show extremes of any emotion, and may do so when hurt. For example, a cat in pain purrs to show humans it is ready to be helped. Kittens are able to purr shortly after they are born, and purr while nursing. A cat's main use of body language is through its tail. Cats will flick their tails in a relaxed manner or abruptly from side to side to express those respective feelings. If spoken to, a cat will start fluttering its tail to acknowledge the interaction.[citation needed] [edit]Scent rubbing and spraying See also: Cat communication#Scent This behavior is used primarily to claim ownership of something, each cat releases a different pheromone combination from scent glands found in the cheeks next to their mouths. They also have scent glands towards the base of the tail. Unlike intact male cats, female and neutered male cats usually do not spray. Neutered males may still spray after neutering, if neutered late. Female cats often spray while in heat, so males can find them. Spaying may cause female cats to spray through loss of female hor

ones, also making them act more like males, which is why some female cats start spraying after being spayed, but if they started spraying before being spayed, it is most likely caused by female hormones, and they may stop after getting spayed. [edit]Kneading A cat kneading a soft blanket Kneading is an activity common to all domestic cats whereby, when in a state of ease, they alternately push out and pull in their front paws, often alternating between right and left limbs. Some cats actually appear to "nurse" or suck on clothing or bedding during kneading. As with most domestic animals but especially cats and dogs they retain juvenile characteristics and behavioural traits. Kneading is something a kitten does to the nursing queen to help massage the mammary glands to produce more milk. As they are weaned they no longer need to do this and tend to do it when very content. This releases pleasurable endorphins for the cat, as it was once an instinctive thing to do. [edit]History Multiple theories exist that explain why cats knead. Kneading may have an origin going back to cats' wild ancestors who had to tread down grass or foliage to make a temporary nest in which to rest. Alternatively, the behavior may be a remnant of a newborn's kneading of the mother's teat to stimulate milk secretion. Since most of the preferred "domestic traits" are neotenous or juvenile traits that persist in the adult, kneading may be a relic juvenile behavior that is not lost in modern adult domestic cats. Kneading is often a precursor to sleeping. Many cats purr while kneading. They also purr mostly when newborn, when feeding, or when trying to feed on their mother's teat. The common association between the two behaviors may corroborate the evidence in favor of the origin of kneading as a remnant instinct. Some experts[who?] consider kneading to "stimulate" the cat and make it feel good, in the same manner as a human stretching.