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Psychology of the cats

Discover everything you need to know about the Maine Coon, an affectionate and playful cat breed.

Psychology of the cats


Perhaps it is worth starting with the fact that a cat is a socialized animal. A cat should not be seen as "walking by itself". Domestication began in antiquity and is associated with the divine ascension of cats and the desire of humans to get closer to God. Contributed to the same socialization, the concentration of food in towns and rural areas. Cats gathered in packs and settled in some kind of limited (for example, a port) space.
Let's consider the unitary reactions (or behavioral acts) that make up any feline act:
• Motivation - linking memory with the search for a goal. The most important element of any action.
• Interaction with the goal - the direct execution of an urge caused by motivation.
• Calm after reaching the goal - the animal calms down having achieved what it wanted. Let us now turn to a more general consideration of cat behavior.
All actions can be divided into three large groups:
1) Unconditioned reflexes (instincts). This type of reaction is referred to as a hereditary program (species memory). This memory is laid down at birth and is present throughout life. In turn, instincts can be divided into vital (pain, hunger, thirst, temperature perception, etc.), zoo-social (sexual, parental, emotional resonance, etc.), and self-development (research, play, manipulation actions, the instinct of freedom, etc.)
2) Conditioned reflexes. Reflexes are acquired in the process of life. With their help of them, the animal brings its instincts to perfection. As a result, the individual memory of the animal is developed, although the reaction to certain actions (events) may fade with time.
Three types of cat learning are based on conditioned reflexes:
• Instrumental learning. This learning is both positive and negative reinforcement. Those. the animal must be encouraged to succeed and scolded for misconduct. It is important not to confuse negative reinforcement with punishment. These are completely different concepts. In addition, you should never punish a cat for an offense in the past, it still does not remember it and may not adequately perceive your claims.
• Latent learning. This is the training of a cat without visible reinforcement (actually self-learning). For example, you brought a cat to a new home and gave her the opportunity to examine it. This will be latent learning.
• Insight training. This is the self-learning of a cat, in which it finds a solution to a task set for itself by trial and error. For example, a cat learns to open a door. She pushes with her paws away from her, but the door does not open (FAILURE), then she hooks it with her paws and pulls it towards herself (SUCCESS). Now she immediately remembered this method as successful and would certainly use it in another case.
3) Reasoning activity. It has been scientifically proven that cats have logical thinking, but are devoid of creativity. Our scientists have proven that some cats can solve individual non-repetitive tasks in specific ways. This can serve as proof of reasonable thinking. As a result of the experiments, it was found that cats are capable of extrapolation (the ability to predict the trajectory of an object after its abrupt disappearance from the field of view) and they are able to understand that the bait cannot be hidden in a plane, this requires a three-dimensional body.
Stages of development of a kitten:
1) Prenatal (prenatal). This period occurs approximately two weeks after mating. The cat starts to take care of itself. From now on, she needs more attention, because. the more affectionate you treat the cat from now on, the more stress-resistant the kittens will be.
2) Neonatal (up to 2 weeks of life). During this period, there is active physical growth and improvement of instincts.
3) Transitional period (from 2 to 3 weeks). There is a development and manifestation of social signs and behavioral acts. Imprinting (learning by the mother) is associated with this period.
4) Socialization (from 3 to 10 weeks). Leaders in the litter are being formed, and a number of social aspects are being formed. After 45 days of play, kittens become "subjects".
5) Juvenile (after 10 weeks). There is a formation of conditioned reflexes, based on personal experience.
6) Puberty. Important moments when growing a kitten:

• Handling (picking up) - the more often you take a newborn kitten in your hands, the more stress-resistant it is.
• Enriched environment - the more diverse the environment (interior, events, atmosphere) of growth, the more developed the kitten grows.
• Socialization Here are some things that are very important to know about pregnancy:
• False pregnancy is a normal mechanism for feeding other people's kittens. Most often, it manifests itself in high-milk cats living in a pride (flock).
• Superfetation - cats are in heat for 3-6 weeks. pregnancy. In the event that a re-mating is carried out, then one of the litters may be mummified, or a miscarriage will occur. In the latent phase, the embryo may rest for a long time and then begin its development again. Animal language. It is worth noting that cats cannot communicate like humans, however, they are able to transmit certain signals. With the help of these signals, cats identify individuals or groups and predict the behavior of others. There are three types of signals:
• Chemo-communication (Smell): Urine, glands on the body.
• Visual communication: look, scratching, posture, etc.
• Sound communication: background sounds, signal sounds, etc.
It is worth noting that cats and dogs (for example) have different symbolic interaction languages, however, both cats and dogs. It is like a foreign language for a person.
Dominance and territoriality.
A cat is dominant in its areas, however, dominance decreases with distance from its areas.
Types of dominance:
• Dominants (easily enter and exit stress).
• Subdominants (able to take the place of dominants).
• Low-ranking (the lowest rank in the pride). At the same time, aggression is the way to resolve conflicts between these species. The mated cat loses dominance and the one who gave birth gains.
A Human is a Supercat!
Must always stand above all cats in the family and must keep order.
There are four types of aggression: territorial, hierarchical, sexual, and parental.
It is necessary to distinguish very clearly between all types of aggression in order to know what to take action against.
Territories (urine). Most often, "incoming" objects or things of a Supercat (human) are subjected to labels. For example, a bed. The reason may be fear or the dominant position of the male or female cat.
There are many ways out, but not all may be suitable:
• Castration
• Arranging noisy or rattling objects in places of marks
• If he goes to bed, then it is necessary to explain that this is unsafe (for example, with a wet rag)
• Installing more litter boxes
• Using aromatic oils with citrus aroma.
• Set your own tags on things animal Social. If there is a question about damage to furniture by a kitten, then you can try to provide him with a scratching post with marks of another cat. If a cat spoils things (socks, flowers, etc.), then she sorely lacks your attention.
The introduction of a new animal.
• Animal must be immature
• It is better to hook up with a female cat in a heat
• In case of aggression, keep one (alternately) in a cage
• Release only in your presence.
• It is possible to apply a meeting on neutral territory.
• You can try to transfer the smell of "watchdog" to the beginner with the wet towel method (wiping both cats with the same towel to mix the scents).

In the future, we will try to delve further into the psychology and sociology of feline life. Thank you for your attention!

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