Domestic Cats & Their Territory

ByRebecca Foxley

Domestic Cats & Their Territory

Here at Pet Nursing we provide pet sitting services for small animals and cats. We advocate leaving cats in their own environment at home, whilst you are away, here’s why.

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A cat’s space can be defined by two areas. Firstly, their “home space” which is where they eat and sleep. The home space is a cat’s safety zone. Your home is usually defined as this space. ┬áThe other area is their “territory”. This is where a cat will roam, hunt and mate (should they be un-neutered). If food is plentiful, which it usually is for domestic cats, this space will be smaller than if food was scarce. Cats will establish territories in the neighbourhood, sometimes challenging other local cats for this space, particularly if they are male.

These spaces will take a cat time to build when they are new to an area. But once established, a cat will routinely patrol their area and mark their space.

Cats mark their space using scent, by ways of spraying, rubbing and urine and faeces deposits. These marks which are unique to each cat will allow them to let others know that this area is already “owned”.

Naturally, domestic cats are solitary predators. They will however usually adapt well to living amongst other cats in the same home space. But even then, being solitary hunters, cats require their own territory, particularly when they are allowed to venture outdoors. Territories may overlap in more densely feline populated areas and some cats may be tolerant and have neutral spaces. However, should a strange cat encroach on a claimed territory, fighting and injury may occur.

When you remove a cat from it’s home space and territory, other neighbouring cats may take the opportunity to occupy this space during their absence. Once a cat returns, they will then have to take the time to reestablish this space, especially when you have a densely populated area or particularly dominant cats in the surrounding area. This can lead to stress as well as fighting and potential injury upon their return.

Inevitably, there will times when you will need to be away from home. Be it for a holiday, work or another reason. You may wonder which is the best option for your cat during your absence.

At Pet Nursing we offer home visits for cats (as well as other small animals and chickens) which will allow your cat to be able to maintain their routine as closely as possible during a typical day.

Even when a cat isn’t allowed outside to roam freely, their scent marking behaviour remains much the same. Cats will feel safe in their home space which they have already marked.

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Of course, there are certain situations when a cattery is the only option for a cat when you are away from home. But for most cats, keeping their routine as similar as possible with home pet sitting visits is the better option.

Sometimes, we find our clients are concerned that their cat will become lonely if left at home alone. For this reason, we offer as many visits a day as you feel your cat needs (we also offer a discount for multiple visits in the same day). We find the most popular option tends to be 2 visits (1 in the morning and 1 in the evening) Cats are independent creatures and are usually happy to go about their day as they usually would.

After the first one or two visits we find the cats we visit warm to us quickly. Especially when they realise that we are there to provide food as well as human attention and affection.

What about Dogs?

Behaviourally, dogs are quite different and so are their requirements. They are pack animals and most prefer to be amongst humans if this is what they are used to. For this reason, we offer home boarding in our own homes for dogs to allow them to as feel safe and secure as possible during your absence.

Cats on Medication

If your cat is medicated regularly for any health concerns they may have, we are happy to assist you with our pet sitting services. Our visits are always carried out by Qualified Veterinary Nurses who are trained and have plenty of experience in administering all types of medication to cats and other animals, including insulin injections for diabetics.

Pet Sitting in Saltdean and Surrounding Areas

Our pet sitting cat services cover the areas of Saltdean, Rottingdean Peacehaven, Newhaven, Woodingdean or Ovingdean in East Sussex. Feel free to contact us here.

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