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Instinctively Close Part 1 - The Explorer

Intro Text
Foreword by Dr Sam Taylor – vet and specialist in feline medicine

“People often ask me what drives their cats’ more curious behaviours.”

• Why do they sleep in such strange places?
• What are they trying to tell me when they meow so much?
• Why do they go missing, only to emerge hours later with a ‘present’ left ceremoniously on the doormat?

This report offers guidance on getting ‘instinctively closer’ to your pet – understanding why they do the things they do and why they’re not as far removed from their big cat cousins as we might think.
It also explores why wilder natural instincts can sometimes leave them vulnerable and how a little preventative care can help them roam the suburban jungle and the great indoors in safety.
Each section in this guide focuses on a different behaviour, alongside advice to help your family and your cat live together harmoniously.
cat sat in tree

‘Why cats wander and where do they go?

Cats are expert energy savers, spending around 90% of their time either asleep or lounging around, but for the other 10%, they can transform into vagabond adventurers.1

42% of cat owners have no idea what their cat gets up to when they are out.2

Instinct drives cats outside for a variety of reasons – to let off steam, hunt or patrol the borders of their territory. Most will limit their excursions to within sight of their home turf, but those with a more adventurous character may wander for miles.

However, these adventures aren’t without their dangers, not least in exposure to other cats, wildlife and parasites (e.g. fleas and worms) through hunting or from the environment.

Explorer cats will usually return home for food, warmth, safety and a affection after a short spell. However, owners can experience prolonged periods of absence which can lead to a perceived ‘disloyalty’. Some cats will quite happily make themselves comfortable in a second or even third home if food, shelter and affection is offered!

Alongside this, the risk of contracting fleas and intestinal worms increases if your cat spends time in other pet-owning gardens and households. The only way to ensure your cat is protected from harmful parasites is with a regular preventative treatment plan.

Make sure they are traceable too. Unlike for dogs, it isn’t currently compulsory to microchip cats, but this is best practice and will give you the greatest chance
of being reunited with them if they go missing.

“Half of cat owners (49%) incorrectly assume their cat always lands on its feet.”3

Did you know...
A group of cats is referred to as a clowder or a glaring, an unneutered male cat is called a tom or tomcat (or a gib, if neutered), an unneutered female is called a queen.4


2 Nationally representative survey of 2,000 British cat owners by 3gem research on behalf of Bayer