Video: How To Decode Cat Tags?
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
Cats are very organized creatures, they love stability and order. In your home, a cat creates its own territory, dividing it with tags into areas that have different purposes. Ethologists call these areas fields of activity. This is why wallpaper scratches and urine specks appear - they mark the boundaries of different fields. By changing the space of your apartment, you will also change the behavior of the cat.
The cat divides its territory (dacha, for example) into areas for catching small rodents, hunting birds, games, amorous meetings. There are constant crossings between these sections, as stable as our roads. The owner of these grounds may have different attitudes towards the presence of other cats on his territory: he can tolerate them, drive them away, or even look for them. To a large extent, this depends on his past experience and, especially, on whether his mother lived alone when she was feeding the kittens, or in the company of other cats. But it also depends on the sex of the cat: cats often unite in a kind of "brotherhood", cats often cooperate during pregnancy and feeding kittens, mixed sexual groups are rare, and only if they are forced to do this by external circumstances (common warm basement in winter, for example).
This unification is facilitated by urban conditions, where territories of different cats overlap each other. Country cats live more isolated.
The availability of food plays an important role. If there is little game, territorial bans become stricter. During estrus in cats, contact between animals of the same sex is also difficult, especially between cats.
The fields of activity are fenced off with urine droplet marks, thus a permanent inhabitant of these places declares their presence in this territory. These tags are not prohibitive, they are chemical messages called "pheromones" that will inform the person who sniffs them about the sex of the person who left them, and possibly about the search for a partner. They can also report the host's tolerance for contacts. These marks are left by both cats and cats.
Sterilization reduces the frequency and severity of the odor marks, but does not eliminate them altogether, especially if the animal was castrated as an adult.
Feline territory includes not only activity zones, but also resting places where they are reluctant to admit other cats. Ethologists call this area the "field of isolation" or "the field of solitude." They are usually located on a dais. The borders of this field are marked with claws and scratches. Such marks are usually applied to vertical objects visible from all sides; as a rule, these are trees.
Visual and olfactory alarms. In this case, we are talking about a visual signaling, supplemented by odors, a secret secreted by small glands; located on the pads of the paws. These marks have, apparently, a warning - prohibitive meaning, since cats, having sniffed these scratches, change the direction of their path, bypassing the marked territory. This does not mean that cats do not let anyone into their "bedroom", the cat sometimes sleeps in the company of another cat, and cats living in "fraternities" also have companions for sleeping.
In addition to tags intended to one degree or another to secure ownership of the territory, cats use tags that mean their self-expression and self-affirmation in the environment. These are called "identification tags" and serve as the cat's identity. This is a discharge of small glands located in the thickness of the skin on the cat's face from the chin to the ears, including the corners of the lips. This secret stands out when a cat rubs its head against objects, about other animals, about people.… The cat leaves these marks only on those objects that she has previously studied and made sure that they do not pose a danger to her. They can be found at the corners of transitions from one zone to another, on all noticeable objects of the cat's territory, as well as on new objects that have recently appeared in these places. The role of these marks is reduced to self-affirmation, complacency, as opposed to marking with urine or claws.
Organized space should be respected. The more self-affirming marks on the cat's territory, the less the cat marks in two other ways undesirable for the inhabitants of the apartment. Conversely, if the calming marks are rudely destroyed, the activity of applying the “bad” marks is sharply increased. This situation often arises when moving to a new apartment, changing furniture or applying new wallpaper.
This complex of labeling systems is coordinated with a behavioral system, a mandatory element of which is "territorial aggression". This refers to aggressive behavior when intruding into the feline territory of another animal, especially into the sleeping compartment. Events develop according to the same pattern.
It begins with a terrifying phase, a very spectacular one, which ethologists call a “cross path”. The cat stands perpendicular to the course of the enemy, the fur is on end, the tail fluffs up like a bottle brush and sticks up. She hisses, snorts and moves forward in small leaps, sideways, like a crab. Approaching at a distance of less than a meter, she arches her back in an arc and intimidatingly shows her fangs. Cats sometimes release a stream of urine at the enemy.
In most cases, this performance is enough, but sometimes it is followed by a fight, ending with the escape of the enemy. The winner pursues him for several meters, biting at the base of his tail and scratching his thighs. Veterinarians are well aware of these characteristic wounds.
Thus, we see that cats have a complex system of organizing space, which is very fragile and can easily be destroyed by a person if he does not know the principles of its organization. This is one of the most studied areas of veterinary medicine today. About 55% of the behavioral problems faced by doctors treating cats are territorial problems.
Source: H. Nepomniachtchi "What's on a cat's mind"
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