Solitary behaviour in the Cats Protection environment

Solitary behaviour in the Cats Protection environment


Hi, I’m Nicky Trevorrow, Behaviour Manager
for Cats Protection Cats still have that inherent solitary nature.
And although when they come into Cats Protection – from the same source – we do house them
separately from other cats from other sources, they are still very much aware of all the
other cats around them. They are aware of the sights, scents and sounds from other cats,
and this can be stressful for them. Particularly when cats first arrive in Cats
Protection, it can be very stressful for them having a change in environment, so it’s
very important that every cat in Cats Protection is given a place to hide to help reduce their
stress levels and improve their welfare. This can be something simple, like with this cat
– we have given him a plastic stool; or we could use an igloo bed, or something as simple
as a cardboard box on its side with a small blanket inside. Sometimes, in the home situation, many owners
may think that their cats are friends, or are in the same social group – but this
can often be very difficult to tell. Some cats, for example, may be living upstairs
in the home, while the other cat tends to prefer to live downstairs, and they are generally
avoiding each other. We call this ‘active avoidance’: so they are really not coming
into close contact with each other – almost like ‘ships passing in the night’. This can be problematic when they come into
Cats Protection, and they’re put in close proximity in the pen environment. It’s then
that we can find that they are not actually getting on very well, and they actually may
need to be separated, and homed separately.

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