3 Wild Instincts The Domestic Cat Still Has

Cats act like mini panthers a lot of the time, and sometimes they do crazy things you think are done for no reason. While some of those weird things are done for no reason (Or no good reason), there are very interesting cases in which you might like to find out about. Let’s get started!

Instinct #1:

Have you ever noticed your cat rolling around on the floor? This movement is called the ‘Dirt Roll’. In the wild, cats use this as a form to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands on the pads of their paws, on top of their heads and in the cheeks. So when they roll around, they’re spreading their scent. Of course, that may not be the case. How do you know what they have in mind? Examine your cat closely. Where are they doing the dirt roll? If it’s on a new piece of furniture, then the cat is probably marking it. Or, your cat may be rubbing their cheek on the floor. Since a cat’s cheeks have scent glands, they also can be marking their territory.

Another reason your cat may do the dirt roll is that they’re just playing with a toy. More specifically, a catnip toy. Or anything else that has to do with catnip. I’ve noticed my cats rolling around after sniffing a catnip leaf. It’s pretty cute, to be honest.

Instinct #2

This one’s common, all cats do it. Scratching! When a cat scratches their nails on a rough surface, like a scratching post or even your couch, there can be many reasons behind this. First, your cat might want to mark their territory. Cats have scent glands on their pads, so that suggests that when a cat scratches their nails, they’re telling all of the nearby cats to stay away!

They also might be trying to relieve stress. Just like you might start doing a hobby to soothe yourself, cats can also work on their “scratching” hobby.

The last reason is that cats are cleaning their nails. Sometimes they get dirt and grime in between their claws. Cats can also loosen a nail layer, eventually making it fall off, and this allows a sharper, newer, and cleaner layer to appear. This would be something very useful in the wild because they need their claws for almost everything, from catching their prey to defending themselves. Although this instinct can get very annoying sometimes (as in, your kitty deciding to use your couch as a scratching post), it reminds you that cats can be just as wild as a tiger! 

Instinct #3

This last instinct is all about cats hiding their pain, even if they know you could help. In the wild, cats have enemies. If they were to meow in pain, the cat’s enemies would hear and try to attack the vulnerable feline. The cat instead covers their hurt and keeps on going with their life. So when a cat realizes they’re in pain, they don’t let you know straight away. But good cat owners know the signs of a sick cat, so you should be able to tell if your cat is sick or not. In case you need a reminder, here are some signs you should watch out for if you suspect your cat is in pain:

  • Sneezing or coughing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bigger appetite
  • More skittish than usual
  • Diarrhea
  • Other behavioral problems

Unless there has been a change in the household, you should bring your cat to the vet if you think your cat is acting strangely. 

I hope this was helpful to all the cat owners out there!

The Feline Queen ❤️

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