Before visiting the Feliway® website, were you already aware of Feliway®?

Glossary


Aggression

A general term which describes a range of behavioral responses involved in the emotional contexts of threat, defense, and attack.

Excessive Grooming

An exaggerated form of grooming behavior in which the cat may remove large quantities of hair and even cause damage to the skin. The reason for this behavior needs to be established on a case by case basis, but emotional disturbances, such as anxiety or fear, are often implicated.

Greeting Behavior

The majority of greetings between cats do not involve physical contact in the first instance. A typical greeting might include a short vocal trill with mouth closed, slow eye blinking and an approach with the tail held vertically. After greeting, cats may then sit near each other for a short period before parting.

Hunting

The behavior sequence associated with detecting, catching, and killing prey.
.

Marking Behavior

The use of chemical signals to communicate to other members of the species and to increase the confidence of the individual. Marking may be used in the context of territorial identification as well as in situations of emotional challenge.

Metacommunication

Cats use special signals to alter the meaning of what they are doing. Play might be interpreted as aggression if it were not for this ‘metacommunication’. Body posture and facial expression are important, for example, a cat may hold its mouth open with teeth shielded and head cocked to one side as a signal of playfulness.

Middening

The deposition of feces onto horizontal surfaces as a marker. The cat makes no attempt to cover the feces and will usually do this in prominent locations.

Pheromonatherapy

The use of synthetic analogues of the chemical signals, produced by animals for the purpose of interspecies communication, prophylactically or for the management of behavioral problems.

Pheromones

Chemical signals produced by animals for the purpose of interspecies communication.

Play

Cats who have a good relationship [demonstrated by allogrooming, allorubbing and greeting behavior] may play frequently. Playful activity may appear quite physical and aggressive to owners, but the cats will use additional ‘metacommunication’ to signify that this is actually play.

Puddling

The deposition of urine onto horizontal surfaces as a marker. The cat usually adopts a squatting posture and deposits small quantities of urine onto the surface.

Scratching

The act of scratching with front claws on vertical or horizontal surfaces. The behavior may be purely functional in nature and lead to a shedding of blunted outer claw sheaths and exercising of claw related apparatus. It can also be carried out as a marking behavior and lead to the deposition of visual and olfactory signals on the scratched surface. Scratch marking is always on a vertical surface.

Stretching

Cats frequently stretch after sleeping. They may dig their claws into a horizontal or vertical surface to do this, and for this reason it can be confused with claw-marking or scratching.

Territory

A geographical area which is of value to an individual because it houses important resources such as food, shelter and social interaction.

Urine Spraying

The deposition of urine onto vertical surfaces as a marker. The cat usually adopts a characteristic standing posture and directs urine onto the surface so that it is deposited at nose height for other cats attempting to read the signal.

Vocalization

The use of vocal signals in order to communicate with other cats and members of other species. In cats, vocal signals can be divided into three categories depending on the way in which they are produced. For example, purring and trills are produced with the mouth open; meows are produced with the mouth gradually closing. Defensive vocalizations, such as hisses and spits, are produced with the mouth held in a fixed position.

Vomeronasal organ (VNO)

Two blind ending sacs situated between the oral and nasal cavities which are accessed via two small apertures between the incisor teeth.

What is allogrooming?

The act of grooming, which is directed toward another individual. Cats use allogrooming as an affiliated behavior, which confirms relationships between cats in the same social group. In a social context, allogrooming is a reciprocated behavior with both individuals contributing equally to the behavioral interaction.

What is allorubbing?

The act of allorubbing is directed toward another individual. In a social context, allorubbing is an unbalanced behavior and there is a directional nature to the behavior with one individual acting as the instigator and the other as the recipient of the behavior.

What is Anxiety?

A physiological and behavioral response to the anticipation of a danger (real or perceived).

What is the Flehmen response?

The act of detecting and processing olfactory information through the vomeronasal organ.