As the proud owner of a new kitten, you’ll want to make your home as welcoming a place for her as possible. The best way to do this is to understand why your feline friend behaves the way she does.
Just like her big cat cousins, your kitten is by nature a solitary hunter. She believes that she’s responsible for her own survival, and that she doesn’t need a pack to get her 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, she’s quickly assessing the situation and spotting possible dangers. If your kitten likes to do this, make sure that her cat flap is unlocked, or that there’s an open door for her 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 her 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 her own spots to hide in your home, but she’ll love you all the more if you can provide her with some nice, uncluttered high places.