What is a cat?


The domestic cat is a complex creature and unfortunately problems can arise for cats because sometimes we do not understand their natural drives and reactions. Understanding what kind of environment they prefer to occupy, their social structure, feeding patterns and even toilet habits can influence decisions made about their care that have a significant benefit to their quality of life. Here are nine characteristics common to all companion cats, together with some examples of the impact they may have on your relationship with your cat.


The cat has evolved physically and behaviourally to be a specialist hunter and top of the food chain predator; motivated and driven by the sight and sound of prey. In order to be a successful hunter the cat’s natural rhythms will fit the time when its main prey of small creatures are active and vulnerable – usually at dawn and dusk.

Obligate carnivore

The cat has been such a successful hunter that it never needed to revert to vegetable matter to bolster its diet, thereby evolving as an obligate carnivore, unable to survive or thrive without nutritional components found in meat.



Territory is the space that a cat would normally defend and which envelops the resources the cat needs to survive, thrive and carry out its normal behavioural repertoire.

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