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Does your cat sharpen its claws on your lounge?
The cat is performing several functions. It may be marking its territory by rubbing the scent glands on the underside of its front paws against the furniture. This explains why your cat may do this when strangers visit your home and also why one chair seems to receive the most attention!

Many people purchase cat scratching posts believing that the cat scratches the furniture to sharpen its claws. Many people find a claw on the carpet and think that the cat has been injured but in fact the cat is really trying to shed the old worn out sheaths which cover the claw and the old sheath is left lying on the carpet while the cat sports a brand new claw.

Why does an angry cat wag its tail?
Any cat which is uncertain as to what action to take will wag its tail.

Why does an angry cat arch its back?
A cat which is afraid will stand on tiptoe and arch its back and fluff up its tail to make itself appear larger. This gives it an excellent chance of intimidating the enemy, especially if it hisses and spits at the same time

Why do some cats scratch and bite when you rub their belly?
The belly area is the most vulnerable and it is instinctive for the cat to protect this area. Cats which greet owners frequently roll on their backs but still will not allow the belly to be stroked. It is only in the most trusting relationships between cat and owner that it will allow the belly to be touched.

Why does your cat rub around your legs?
The cat has scent glands on the side of the head and the root of the tail. When it rubs around your legs it is exchanging scents with you. It will impart its own scent by rubbing the side of the head against you and will twine its tail around your leg as it twists and turns in and out your legs.

Why does your cat do head stands in your shoes?
We all know that people's feet have an odour and the cat is exchanging your odour with its own. It pushes its head into the shoes to rub its scent glands inside the shoe.

Why does your cat knead you with its front paws?
All cat owners will know that when they sit down to watch television their cat will sometimes jump up on their knee and start purring. When it settles down it will often start kneading the owner with its front paws. The cat will get a far away look in its eyes and may even start to dribble. Eventually its claws may come out of the sheath and the kneading becomes uncomfortable for the owner. Kittens feeding from their mother knead her with their front paws to stimulate the flow of milk and this behaviour is thought to be a pseudo infant - parent behavior.

Why does a cat lick its fur?
When cats have been sleeping in the sun they groom themselves repeatedly. Cats are unable to manufacture vitamin D in the body but the action of sunlight on their coat produces it and they ingest it by licking it off the coat.

Cats use their tongue to regulate their body temperature. In the cold weather they will sleek their coat down to keep warm. Cats do not have sweat glands all over the skin like humans, nor do they usually pant like dogs. Licking the fur places saliva on the coat which evaporates and cools the cat in the hot weather. Grooming also cleans the coat.

Stress can cause cats to over-groom to the stage where they have bare patches of skin. These cats are doing the cat equivalent to human nail-biting. These cats can be helped by your local veterinarian.

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 06/02/07 16:24 Views: 3480

OzPetShop - Pet Products, Supplies and Accessories