Virbac India

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Cat behaviour: is my cat stressed?

Develop his territory

Cats are territorial animals. Their well-being is directly linked to the organization of their territory. In order to ensure the welfare of your cat, his territory should ideally be well organized in clearly defined areas called fields of activity.

A cat needs to have a defined zone for each of his activities: eating, sleeping, hiding, relieving itself, playing and observing.

The cat moves from one activity area to another by using a precise path that he marks with pheromones. Pheromones are chemical substances that are secreted in very small quantities by certain parts of the body, that help cats manage their territory and communicate.

Differentiate the two types of marking

Cats use different types of marking:

  • Facial markings (secreted by calm cats)

When a cat feels soothed in his environment, he rubs his head against corners of furniture, doors or walls to deposit calming pheromones. This is called facial marking. Cats can do this type of tagging on people or animals as a sign of trust.


  • Alarm markings (secreted by stressed cats)

When a cat is subjected to a stressor, or if his environment is modified, he can manifest his stress through urinal marking, scratches on vertical surfaces or drops of contents of his anal glands. The pheromones released during these events can cause a state of stress in other cats approaching these markings