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Cat Behavior 
Purring   
Rubbing Against the Furniture  
Tips on Preventing Cats from Scratching 
   the Furniture
Urine Spraying: How to Control It
Catnip



Why does my cat purr when I pet her?
According to Dr. Rob Jones, a veterinarian with a keen interest in animal behavior, 
the original function of purring was to enable a kitten to tell his mother that "all is 
well." This often occurs during nursing. A kitten can't meow and nurse at the 
same time, but it can purr and nurse without any problem. The mother often 
purrs back, reassuring the kitten.

Older cats may purr when they play or approach other cats, signaling they are 
friendly and want to come closer. Cats also purr when they are contented, such 
as when they are petted, again giving the signal "all is well."

Strangely enough, cats can also purr when they are distressed. Sick and injured 
cats often purr. It is thought that this is the cat's way of reassuring and calming 
herself.

 


Why Does my Cat Rub Against my Legs and the Furniture?
Smell is an extremely important sense in cats, in some cases more than sight. Cats 
have scent glands on multiple places on their body including their faces and feet. On 
their face, the glands are located around the eyes, below the ears and on the chin. By
rubbing their face on various objects, they are leaving their scent. Other cats passing 
the object will often stop and sniff, maybe even rubbing their faces on the object to 
leave their scent as well.

Scent marks contain molecules called pheromones. Different glands secrete different
pheromones which affect a number of behaviors including reproduction and establishing
territory.

The pheromones that come from the glands on the face generally have a calming effect 
on cats. There are now various on the market that contains these facial pheromones.
When applied to vertical surfaces, it can decrease a cat's tendency to spray (mark the
area with his urine).


Tips on Preventing Cats from Scratching the Furniture 
You can train your cat to stop scratching your furniture. If you have a cat that 
scratches carpeting and furniture, here is what we recommend:

Get a scratching post, or better yet, furniture with scratching areas. Cats scratch 
most frequently right after waking so it's critical that the scratching post is convenient 
to where they spend much of their time.

Try different kinds of scratching posts. Some cats prefer real wood posts and will 
not touch rope sisal posts. Others prefer cardboard, and still others, carpeted posts. 
Find out which kind your cat prefers and then spray with a catnip spray or keep a catnip
toy nearby.

If your cat has already scratched your furniture, clean with an enzyme odor remover 
to eliminate their scent which they will return to. 

Finally, show your cat how to use its Scratching Post and praise and pet your kitty 
when it is using its furniture instead of yours.

Like most training, the earlier you start, the better. Remember, kittens younger than 
six months generally do not respond to catnip as well as adults do.


Urine Spraying: How to Control It
Many cat owners confuse urine spraying with urinating though they are quite different.
Urine spraying is a normal, innate territory marking behavior that has nothing to do with
your cat's sanitation.

Most common in non-neutered males and multi-cat households, the spraying of urine 
on vertical surfaces like drapes and furniture is his way of identifying "his" property or
covering the scent of other cats.

Here are a few suggestions for controlling spraying:

Have your cat neutered when it is 4-6 months old. In addition to the many other good
reasons to have your cat neutered, more than 90% of cats will not start spraying if they
are neutered before the behavior begins.

Restrict the view of the outdoors. If your cat sees another cat, his natural response 
will be to mark his territory- your home. Move furniture away from windows, pull the
drapes, or cover the lower portion of your window.

Foster a positive relationship between your cats. Cats that get along are not
competitive and are far less likely to spray. Play with them together and give each one
equal attention. Have them eat and sleep together. Encourage them to groom each other
by wiping them down with a damp cloth.

Keep to the routine. Change often causes spraying. Feed at the same time each day
and keep its food, litter box, and bed in their respective places. When people visit, put
your cat in a separate room (particularly if your visitors have cats of their own and may
carry in their scent).

Use a pet repellent, If your cat repeatedly sprays in one spot.

Clean up sprayed areas thoroughly. Use products  that use natural enzymes to
actually devour odor-causing bacteria instead of just covering up the scent.

Important note: If your cat urinates outside of its litterbox, you should call your vet
immediately. It may have a urinary tract infection (cystitis) that needs to be treated 
as soon as possible.


Why does one of my cats like catnip and the other one doesn't?
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a plant in the Mint family that grows wild as a weed and 
is found throughout the United States, particularly in the Midwest.

Cats under three months of age usually don't respond to catnip. Most older cats 
typically become excited or aroused as they smell, chew and eat catnip. They will
frequently salivate, roll and rub, and sometimes run and leap in the air when 
responding to the catnip. Not all cats are stimulated by catnip to the same degree, 
and over a third of cats won't respond at all.

Strange as it may seem the different responses are probably due to environmental 
factors, genetics, and the gender of the cat (males are more likely to respond than
females). If a cat who normally reacts to catnip is in a strange environment or is 
anxious, she may not react to the catnip. Cats in certain genetic "lines" do not react 
to catnip. No one really understands the genetic trait, but it can be bred into a line 
through genetic selection. The cat-active ingredient in catnip is "nepatalactone". 
This substance closely resembles a chemical found in the urine of female cats. 
This may be why unneutered males generally have more of a reaction to catnip 
than females and neutered males.

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