BEHAVIOR

Elimination & Sleep Behavior

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Elimination Behavior

The cat usually chooses one or more disposal sites. He usually draws his habits on the example given by his mother. The preference of cats often goes to fairly fine substrates and litter boxes of sufficient size (1.5 times the length of the cat).

Most kittens begin to learn cleanliness as early as 4 weeks old, so they are very keen on digging the bedding substrate. The connection between the substrate and the elimination is gradually established.

Also, keep in mind that the litter box is an important resource in the cat environment, which can be subject to conflict and rivalry between cats in the same house, especially if one of the cats decide to forbid access to others. In general, access to a litter box should be facilitated, providing at least one litter per cat, and as many litters as there are floors, otherwise the cat will choose another place of elimination , often inappropriate in the eyes of its owner.

During the elimination, the cat adopts a particular behavioral sequence: it begins by digging (whether it is the soil or the substrate of its litter, then settles in sitting position and urine or deposits stools in the hole previously created, then it can cover the stool and urine.

Generally, stools issued on the periphery of the cat’s territory are not covered. A possible role of communication by deposit of visible excrement had been evoked. The message thus created would imply a particular reaction of the recipient to whom it is intended, but the meeting of these stools by other cats does not seem to influence their behavior. The fecal recovery in the center of the territory could be used simply to limit odors and parasites.

Concerning urination, there is another behavioral sequence corresponding to urinary marking, and is more similar to a form of communication than to elimination, the urine emitted being in small quantities. It will be discussed later.

Sleep Behavior

The cat sleeps about 13 hours a day, including 3 hours of REM sleep. (For comparison, the average man sleeps 8 hours a day, including 2 hours of REM sleep).

The places of rest chosen by the cat constitute his field of isolation. Depending on the relationship with other cats in the house, a cat may eventually share his resting places or conversely favor those who allow him to escape from his peers. Privileged locations can also be shared over time, with several cats occupying them in succession.


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