It’s commonly thought that cats were first domesticated about 8,000 years ago, so these beautiful creatures have been enhancing human life for a very long time. But housecats are probably the most misunderstood of the domesticated animals. Felis catus, domestic
cats, have their own characteristics and behaviors that are unique to their species.
I know cats sometimes do things we don’t like. With kittens there is often a concern about rough play or fearfulness. With adult cats the problems are usually aggression to other cats, fear of humans, and not using the litter box or scratching something that people consider inap-
propriate. For adults, these problems may overlap.
I will talk about behavior problems in this chapter. But first, let’s go over the behavior basics. When we understand our cats’ behavior and why they do the things they do, we can see that it all makes sense to them. And then we can learn how to change their behavior in ways they
will understand and appreciate.
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