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Dr. Rosie DVM


Cats are territorial animals and may mark their territory with scent glands located on their face and paws.

You on my street?!

  • Cats establish their home hunting ranges by scent marking them, using special glands located in their forehead, cheeks, tail base, and paws.
  • Male cats physically defend their ranges from other males, while females usually share or overlap their home range with other females.
  • A cat's home range or territory can be up to 6km2, roughly equivalent to about 20 city blocks.
  • Cats tend to lead solitary lives in the wild to ensure each cat gets enough to eat, but they may live in small groups of 2-25 individuals, mainly consisting of females, if food resources are plentiful.
  • Male cats generally live alone regardless of food source, as they also compete with other males for mates.
  • Cats can be aggressive when defending their territories, fearful when threatened, engage in play behavior (especially as kittens), and groom each other throughout adulthood.
  • Mothers and other females in a group raise the kittens, which start to sample the mother's kill while still nursing and begin hunting alone at 8 to 16 weeks old.
  • Kittens generally rest and groom together with their mothers until they are 6 to 12 months old, after which they establish their own home territory.
  • Adult males patrolling the mother's home range usually evict juvenile males, while juvenile females may leave if food resources are low.
  • Sometimes, cats may play too rough and scratch or bite. You can teach your cat to inhibit this behavior by leaving the area when they are not playing nicely.
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