As the proud owner of a new kitten, you’ll want to make your home as welcoming a place for them as possible. The best way to do this is to understand why your feline friend behaves the way they do.
Just like their big cat cousins, your kitten is by nature a solitary hunter. They believe that they're responsible for their own survival, and that they don’t need a pack to get them out of trouble. Once you understand this basic fact, you’ll see it reflected in all kinds of natural instincts and behaviours.
Running in and out
In the wild, big cats are always on the lookout for potential danger. That’s why you might see your kitten running in and out of a room – by doing so, they're quickly assessing the situation and spotting possible dangers. If your kitten likes to do this, make sure that their cat flap is unlocked, or that there’s an open door for them to run through easily.
Your kitten’s big cat cousins use scratches, smells and sounds to sniff out rivals and mark their territory. Because these markings act as signposts to other big cats, they get renewed regularly.
At home, you’ll find your kitten doing exactly the same thing, so it’s up to you to make sure your feline friend can express these natural behaviours without causing too much damage. Try giving them a scratching post or a piece of old carpet – they’re a great distraction from the furniture!
In the natural world, cats use high places to watch for intruders and predators, as well as to spot good hunting and resting places. At home, make sure there are a few spots where your little kitten can sit up high.
Most big cats in the wild have their own favourite hiding places, which they use to scope out their territory. They'll also retreat to these places when they need a rest, or are frightened or ill. Your kitten will probably find their own spots to hide in your home, but they'll love you all the more if you can provide them with some nice, uncluttered high places.
You'll have to get the balance right - fuel their natural instincts, but make sure they don't cause too much damage!
Your cat is a solitary animal and don't need a pack to have their back. Sometimes you'll want their attention more than they'll want yours - it's just their natural instincts kicking in...