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Understanding cat behaviour

Understanding cat behaviour
Understanding what is normal and abnormal cat behaviour is essential for raising a happy kitty. Here's how to demystify your cat's strange habits 
Cat behaviour can vary enormously from one animal to another—they can be friendly or aloof, lazy or energetic, vocal or quiet.
They are certainly intriguing creatures with many cute and sometimes strange habits that can leave us wondering what they’re all about.
Here are the answers to common questions about odd cat behaviour.

Why do cats like high places?

Put your cat at ease by giving it somewhere high to sit in your home
Wild cats are hunters, and perching in high places gives them somewhere safe from which to view their territory, watch for danger, and attack prey. Tree branches offer camouflage protection, and being up high provides a sense of security.
Even among domesticated cats, this behaviour appears to be embedded in their DNA. They also enjoy watching the world from above, which provides them with a safe, calm place away from the activity in a house.

Give your cat a place to perch

  • Buy a tall cat tree with platforms for perching and a place to sleep at the top.
  • Add a cat hammock and some shelving that they can climb.
  • Place short shelves in a layered fashion that provide a “ladder.”
  • Lean a ladder or stack boxes against a chest of drawers to allow your cat to climb up and sit on the top.

Why do cats sit in boxes?

Cats prefer enclosed spaces, which makes cardboard boxes perfect places to hide
Both wild and domestic cats are drawn to hiding and sleeping in contained areas. In the wild, this takes the form of trees or caves, but at home, cats often take refuge in the humble cardboard box.
Cats are predators, and a box offers a perfect place to hide while waiting for prey. A box is an ideal place to pounce from, as it has only one entrance.
"A cat’s natural behaviour is to withdraw and hide in stressful situations"
A cat’s natural behaviour is to withdraw and hide in stressful situations, and it’s thought that boxes offer a secure place for them to relax and rest.
Small spaces also provide insulation to help cats retain their body heat and stay warm. In short, cardboard boxes are a cheap way to enrich your cat’s life.

Why does my cat bring me “gifts”?

Cats are well known for leaving us gifts that we may not want, such as birds or mice that they have captured and killed.
Cats will hunt if allowed outdoors, and presenting their catch to you means you are a part of their family and they want to show you their hunting skills.
"Many indoor cats will give their owners toys or items like socks"
Don’t express anger, as they will not understand what you are trying to tell them.
The best way to avoid unwelcome gifts is to keep your cat indoors. Many indoor cats will give their owners toys or items like socks since they have no access to live prey.
Be sure to offer your cat a variety of toys to help them satisfy these natural hunting instincts.

Why do cats like running water?

Make sure your cat's bowl is topped up with clean water if they're drinking from the tap
Many cats appear fascinated with running water and prefer drinking from a running tap to drinking from a water bowl.
It is thought this is because running water is clean and contains more oxygen, and that they also probably prefer the taste. Stale water is more likely to be contaminated with bacteria.
"Running water is clean and contains more oxygen, and cats probably prefer the taste"
Another possible reason for this preference of running water over still water is that their whiskers may hit the sides when drinking from a water bowl, and they find this unpleasant.
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