The Cat and its Territory

As you will probably find out if you share your life with a cat, cats are very territorial animals and hostages of habit: they will have a separate area for eating, another for sleeping, etc., and it will be difficult to get them to change this. In fact, changing their territory or where they live can be very stressful for them. If we have a good understanding of how territory allocation works for cats, we will be able to prevent problems and help them become happier.


Three types of territory

Based on the mindset of the cat, we find that there are three types of territory:

  • Isolation area. This is the place where your cat feels most safe and comfortable. For this reason, they set aside this area for rest and solitude for some time of rest. It is also convenient for them to have a seat in this nursing space that humans and other animals cannot access.
  • Activity area. These are the places in the house that your cat allocates for play, hunting and which she shares with humans and other animals. In this space, you should establish demarcated areas for her toilet, her feeding and her water.
  • Area of ​​aggression. This is an extension of the territory that the cat protects, although she does not spend most of her time there. For example, this could be your garden, your terrace, or surrounding areas.
When you take these territorial needs into account when setting up your home, you can ensure that your cat is as comfortable as possible.
Changing a cat’s territory or where it lives can be very stressful for it.

Their connection to their territory

Cats develop an emotional attachment to the space in which they live, so they tag it for the purpose of organizing, self-orientation and signalling to other animals.

While they may be invisible to your eyes and not detectable by your nose, your home is likely to be full of marks in the form of smells (which they leave when they rub their chin, head, sides …) and visual marks (like scratches) that Your cat uses for marking its areas. Other marks may be more visible, such as urine marks: sterilize your cat to prevent this.

It is normal that when faced with a change, such as the arrival of a new family member, the cat will react by leaving more tags. This usually does not last long, and if others continue to respect her spaces, she returns to normal in a few days.

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