Understanding cats is easy, we just need to know how they live in their natural environment, and then make sure we meet their needs.
Outdoors, cats hunt for food, hide from predators (often by climbing), and defend their home territories. Indoors, these behaviors may look hostile (biting and scratching) or spiteful (climbing and marking), and we may not like them.
The keys to enjoying cats in our lives are to:
1. Provide acceptable outlets for them to “do what they need to do”, and
2. Protect them from threats.
Cats have a different social structure from that of dogs and most other domestic Social predators like dogs and humans are commonly group hunters of large prey, whereas the prey species, cattle and horses for example, developed social groups for self-protection.
In contrast, cats are solitary hunters of small prey. This strategy cats acting differently than many other species, which can be frustrating for owners who don’t understand why they do what they do.
We can use our understanding of cat behavior to improve the environment of the indoor cats that share our lives.