Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, and their behavior has fascinated humans for centuries. While we may think we know a lot about cats, there is still much to learn about their behavior. In this article, I will discuss some of the latest scientific research on cat behavior, and how it helps us understand our feline friends.
One of the most interesting aspects of cat behavior is their hunting behavior. Cats are natural hunters, and even domesticated cats will display hunting behavior. A study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery found that domestic cats spend an average of 87% of their waking hours engaged in some form of hunting behavior, such as stalking, pouncing, and biting. The study also found that cats were more likely to display hunting behavior when they were hungry or when they were in environments that resembled their natural habitats.
Another fascinating aspect of cat behavior is their social behavior. Cats are often thought of as solitary animals, but research has shown that they actually have complex social lives. A study published in the journal Animal Cognition found that cats are capable of recognizing their owner's voice, and that they can distinguish their owner's voice from the voice of a stranger. The study also found that cats can recognize the voice of a person they know well, even if that person is not present in the room.
Cats also have a unique form of communication that is different from other animals. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that cats use a variety of vocalizations, body postures, and facial expressions to communicate with humans and other cats. The study found that cats use different vocalizations to communicate different messages, such as a low-pitched growl to express anger or a high-pitched meow to express affection.
Cats also have a reputation for being independent and aloof, but research has shown that they actually form strong bonds with their owners. A study published in the journal Behavioural Processes found that cats display similar attachment behavior to dogs and humans, such as seeking comfort and security from their owners. The study also found that cats were more likely to display attachment behavior when their owners were attentive and responsive to their needs.
One of the most puzzling aspects of cat behavior is their tendency to knead or "make biscuits" with their paws. While it is not entirely clear why cats do this, there are several theories. One theory is that kneading is a form of communication, as cats have scent glands in their paws that they use to mark their territory. Another theory is that kneading is a leftover behavior from when cats were kittens, as kittens knead their mother's nipples to stimulate milk production.
Cats also have a unique relationship with their environment. A study published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science found that cats display a wide range of environmental preferences, such as preferring certain types of food, litter, toys, and sleeping locations. The study also found that cats were more likely to use a litter box if it was located in a quiet and private location, and that cats preferred to sleep in elevated locations, such as on top of furniture or in cat trees.
In conclusion, cats are fascinating animals with complex behavior and social lives. While there is still much to learn about cat behavior, the latest scientific research has given us valuable insights into the lives of our feline friends. Understanding cat behavior can help us provide better care for our pets and strengthen our bond with them.
Dr Muneera Aljeeran, PETCO KUWAIT CEO, I.S.A.P Active Member.