Cats have one of the widest patterns of behaviour in the animal kingdom. They are complicated creatures with a language all their own. In the wild cats largely use body language to communicate with each other (around 90%), with much less vocabulary used than people expect (around 10%)However, upon domestication cats have used their intelligence to realise that communication by body language alone was not enough. They have, over centuries, developed a whole range of vocalisations specifically for human interaction – to actually try to communicate with usDo we not then owe them the courtesy of a little effort in return?
Most behavioural patterns we consider to be problematic in the home can be traced back to a cat’s wild ancestry. Hunting, clawing, scratching, marking – none of these are ‘behavioural problems’ but natural instincts to their wild survival. It would be wrong to try and take these instincts away as they are part of what makes a cat a cat. Indeed this would more than likely cause them severe confusion and instil deeper set behaviour problems for the future. Whilst some actions, like bringing in the occasional mouse or dead bird, is behaviour we have to accept as their natural instinctual right rather than an actual ‘problem’, it is understandable that some more negative behaviour does not bide well in our home environment. We can do something about this. As well as making the effort to adapt our environment, we can use our knowledge of their intelligence to help them adapt too. It is all about communication and seeing things from a ‘cat’s eye’ view
Behavioural changes can also be the result of certain stresses (like moving home, a new baby or pet arriving in the home, etc) or can result from illness of any kind. It is therefore equally important to consider all possibilities for reasons your cat may be exerting out of character behaviour.