Pause and review

Now that you’ve made good progress in starting to understand the origins of today’s domestic cat, why not ‘paws’ for a break?

Just to recap some of the main concepts so far:

  • Domestic cats share a common ancestry with the African wildcat, which is a solitary, territorial species
  • Many of the biological needs and behaviours seen in African wildcats can still be seen in our pet cats today
  • Hunting behaviour is not hunger driven
  • Domestic cats need to be able to use scent to communicate
  • Cats prefer meals and play sessions to be little and often
Paw prints in the snow Image author - Cats Protection/L&D Team, licence - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Fun things to try while you are on your break:

1) Try blinking or half closing your eyes, very slowly at your cat to show him that you are relaxed in his presence. If your cat slow blinks back at you, they are communicating that they are relaxed in your presence too! For the ultimate in cat etiquette, turn your head away from your cat slowly after you have slow blinked at them.

2) Get a fishing rod toy or you could make one using a garden cane, some parcel string and some feathers tied to the end. Give your cat an endorphin or ‘happy hormone’ rush by engage in a few minutes of interactive play with your cat and enjoy watching your cat’s playful antics. Remember to store your fishing rod toy safely away from your cat once the play session has ended.