HOW A CAT’S DNA AFFECTS BEHAVIOR

When it comes to the topic of how a cat’s DNA affects behavior, I don’t know a single person who is more knowledgeable. Who am I referring to? None other than the amazing Jackson Galaxy. 

You probably already know him from his enormously successful tv show “My Cat From Hell.” In addition to that, he has authored several best-selling books. And, you may have heard, too, about and his impactful advocacy work across the USA. 

Companion cat’s DNA affects behavior due to inherited wild cat ancestor instincts and skills. Play hunting and chasing provide important physical and mental benefits
Companion cat’s DNA affects behavior due to inherited wild cat ancestor instincts and skills. Enrichment through play hunting and chasing provides important physical and mental benefits

A Jackson Galaxy Term

Jackson Galaxy often uses the term “raw cat,” which describes what all felines are pre-programmed to do. If you haven’t already realized what it actually means, please take note. I can’t stress enough how important this is. After all, if you want to understand what your cat does and why, it really is fundamental. So, let’s take a look at a cat’s usual 24-hour behavior cycle.

First of all NAP

Then WAKE UP

  Next comes HUNT

 Followed by CATCH

Then KILL

And, of course EAT

 After all this is GROOM

Final full circle NAP

Wild And Not So Wild

I wonder if you’ve ever spent time observing wild cats, either in their natural habitat or at a sanctuary somewhere. And, if you’ve also noticed how all domesticated cats have a lot of characteristics in common. There are some striking similarities between the two, aren’t there? That’s because genetics determine how felines act, both in the wild, and in the home.

My point here is that in order to understand why our companion felines act the way they do, we need to look at their ancestors. And, this is the work that zoologists and other animal experts have done in the past and continue to do even today. As a result of their research, we are now able to provide a better quality of life for the animals we care for at home.

Let me give you a brief example. As we already know, wild cats, from the biggest species (Siberian Tiger) down to the smallest (Rusty-Spotted Cat), are hunters. They hunt for survival and spend many hours, every single day, doing precisely that. As for domesticated cats, when given the opportunity, they will behave in a similar fashion. They, too, love to hunt, kill and eat size-appropriate prey, such as lizards and mice. This is instinct. It’s in their DNA. That’s what cats do!

Play Hunting Activity For Indoor Cats

There are a number of ways you can get involved to enrich their life once you figure out how a cat’s DNA affects its behavior. Below are some suggestions and explanations so that your felines can satisfy their prewired hunting instincts and skills. Try to give them several play/workout sessions each day.

The Activities 

What cats love to do. They delight in running, pouncing, jumping,  chasing, searching and batting.

The Tools 

Mostly inexpensive, here are a few ideas to fulfill your cat’s activity needs. There are throw toys that make a noise, and wands with dangling objects. Plus, a laser beam never fails to give enjoyment. 

How about some interactive toys? For example, balls that spin and roll around on a track. Or a play station for pushing, poking and moving objects. Also, if your budget allows, a multi-level cat tower will give Felix and Fluffy multiple options to jump, bat, be on the look out, and even snooze. 

The Benefits

Finally, but most importantly, are the physical and mental benefits of keeping cats occupied and free from boredom. They result from the combination of activities and tools I already mentioned. In just a few words, they include cardiovascular health, agility, reflex acuity, muscle tone, and mental stimulation. 

To Sum Up

The message throughout my blog is that genetics determine how felines act. I now hope that pet parents who didn’t fully realize what all felines are pre-programmed to do, can make some meaningful changes. Love manifests itself in enrichment so that their companions can enjoy active and purposeful lives. 

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

Another must-read article in this category.

What dogs and cats are really telling you: https://petpeevesunmasked.com/how-pets-feel-and-act/

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