Territorial actions of cats

Territorial actions of cats

The young torn cat whose owners move to a new neighbourhood faces problems akin to a new boy at school. He has to fight to prove himself, an exercise which can result in severe injuries if there happens to be a bigger, stronger torn next door who may well challenge him.

The torn, especially if unneutered, sprays urine, thereby leaving a scent on trees, shrubs, even furniture and, particularly so when a queen is in season and his senses are aroused. Territorial marking is, however, not confined to toms; nor is the scent always so strong. Indeed, the friendly ‘marking’ made by a cat when it rubs its head against our leg is just his, or her, harmless way of saying that we are ‘their’ home territory, but it is nonetheless a scent mark made with the scent glands of the tail, head and lips.

Cats will stop and sniff the marking of other cats, and maybe make their mark in return, rather like the presentation of a visiting card. Scientists may yet be able to prove that, from the mark or scent, cats can determine the age, sex and other information about the visitor, but that is as yet in the future.