How do cats mark their territory?

The cat is a territorial animal. In this sense, wherever it lives, it needs to delimit a territory where it can feel safe. So even if your cat doesn’t have a garden, it still has a territory. To learn more, it’s here!

A territory that brings together two elements

Your cat distinguishes between its home range, that is to say the area in which it hunts, plays and reproduces, and its refuge, that is to say the area where it sleeps and eats. Generally, the refuge is smaller than the home range. But these two elements form its territory.

For a cat with access to the outside, its refuge is its home and its garden its vital area. For an indoor cat, their favorite bedding is his refuge and the rest of the apartment their vital area.

In the latter case, it can be interesting to give the possibility to the cat to rise in height in order to increase the range of its territory. To do this, simply install a cat tree or wall shelves.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that males have a home range up to 10 times larger than that of females. And they can tolerate a certain number of females there. Similarly, females may sometimes share the same home range.

Objective: to protect its territory

Cats feel the need to protect their territory. Indeed, in the wild, they can only survive if they are good hunters and have a secure territory. Thus, any other living being or inanimate object can be considered invasive to them.

Likewise, if they smell an unfamiliar odor, it is a sign that there has been an intrusion. However, it is unacceptable for a feline not to feel safe on its territory.

In any case, to claim their territory, cats must deposit their odors everywhere. It is for this reason that they rub against the furniture, that they make the claws on the trees or that they urinate in strategic places, like next to the door for example.

These visual and olfactory markings carried out during daily patrols make it possible to give information to other cats in the neighborhood about their sex, their age or their state of health. In addition, it allows them to indicate the date of their last visit.

Thus, several cats can share the resources of the same territory without having to fight. For example, a cat can occupy an area in the morning and give way to another cat in the afternoon.

What to do when you have several cats?

When several cats live in the same space, it is essential that they can still each have their own territory. Indeed, to feel safe, they must have their own resources.

For this, it is essential to ensure that they each have their own litter box, their own water and food bowls, their own toys and their own bedding. And that all these elements are placed in separate places.

If your cats have successfully established two individual territories, there will be very little conflict between them. On the other hand, if the limits are not sufficiently clear, they risk being aggressive towards each other.

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