Understanding Cat Social Behaviour
Cats are known for their independent take on life, but are they actually more sociable than we think? In the feline world, mutual grooming seems to help cats develop relationships with one another. So next time you see her grooming her friend from next door, it's not just about getting clean. They're also making friends. Either that, or they're making up after a recent fight. Which leads onto something else cats are sometimes known for: aggression.
What if my cat's being aggressive?
Sometimes cats can start attacking their owners or even blocking access to certain parts of the house. This could be down to any number of things. She might have lots of pent up energy from being stuck in the house, or she might have been watching a bird through the window and grown frustrated at not being able to chase it. If you happen to walk by while she's staring down her prey, a switch can sometimes flick in her mind, sending her into hunter mode.
The best thing you can do to help her release some of her tension is to give her toys to play with or objects to climb on. You can also play hunting games with her, using toys attached to the end of a piece of string.
As well as mutual grooming, cats also like to rub their foreheads, cheeks, flanks and sometimes tails together. This is called rubbing, and it seems to be a great way for them to mix their scents and exchange tactile signals. Research continues, but it might be that rubbing is associated with cat hierarchy. To us humans, though, it's just nice of our cats to show affection!