Katzen – was es zur Hauskatze zu wissen gilt - IREPELL

Cats: What You Need to Know About Domestic Cats

Cats are not only among the most popular pets inGermany, along with dogs. Hundreds of years ago, the cleverwild cats developed into loyal companions of humans. 

Unfortunately, cats are not always just for pleasure. Especially when a freelancer in the neighbourhood is mischief-making and digging up other people's gardens or using them as alitter box.

In this article, we present interesting facts about cats – be it their distribution, social behaviour or diet. We also explain how the special relationship with humans has developed, what problems can arise from free-roaming cats and how to drive away stray cats – in an animal-friendly way. 

Cats – an overview

Cats (Felis catus), also called domestic cats, are mammals; the domesticated predators belong to the Felidae family and are among the most popular pets worldwide. Depending on the cat breed, they are small to medium-sized, have a slim physique and a flexible skeleton that gives them great mobility.

Their excellent hearing and vision make them effective hunters who are especially active at dusk. There are short-haired and long-haired breeds with a wide variety of colors and patterns, from monochrome to striped to spotted.

The social behavior of these carnivores is complex and varies from solitary to gregarious animals living in groups or colonies. They communicate through a combination of postures, sounds such as meows, purrs and growls, and scent marks left behind by rubbing or scratching.

You can keep them both as pets and as a free-range animal. While indoor cats are protected from many dangers compared to outdoor cats, care must always be taken to ensure that they get enough activity and exercise to stay healthy. As a cat lover, you should therefore offer enough cat toys and ascratching post to keep them occupied. 

The relationship between humans and cats is characterised by mutual benefit. Cats provide companionship and emotional support to their owners, while humans provide them with shelter and food. 

Cat distribution and habitat

The domestic cat is now widespread worldwide and is one of the most popular pets. Cats are originally descended from the wild cats of the Middle East and North Africa. With domestication beginning about 9,000 years ago, cats spread through human migration and trade, first in the Middle East and later in Europe, Asia, Africa, and eventually worldwide.

As wild cats, they adapted to a variety of habitats and found a home in both warm and cold climates. In urban areas, cats often live near people, benefit from food sources and shelter, while in rural and wild areas, they hunt assolitaries and roam larger territories.

Cats are inherently territorial animals and mark their territories with fragrance marks to keep other cats away and signal their presence. Despite their adaptability and worldwide distribution as pets, thehouse tigers remain true to their original instincts, making them effective hunters and survivalists.

Social Behaviour and Reproduction of Cats

Cats have complex social behaviors that can vary depending on their environment and individual personality. While they are often considered loners, they also seek social interactions with other cats and people. Young cats that have grown up with humans are usually extremely trusting, as they are dependent on their protection and care. 

Cats communicate through a variety of methods, including postures, vocalizations such as meowing and growling, and scent marks they leave behind by rubbing or scratching.

Reproduction of cats is characterized by seasonal cycles. Female cats (also called kittens) have several estrus cycles a year, which are referred to as curledness.

During this rolliness, kittens show noticeable behavioural changes, such as loud  meowing, restlessness and an increased need for attention. They are particularly susceptible to mating during this time. Male cats, called hangovers, are attracted by the behavior and pheromones of the rolly female cats.

After mating, pregnancy lasts about 63 to 65 days. A female kitten can give birth to several kittens – usually between two and five kittens. The newborns are blind, helpless and therefore heavily dependent on the mother.

They spend the first few weeks sucking and sleeping, but grow quickly and begin to eat solid food after about three to four weeks. The mother takes care of the care and education of her young, teaches them hunting techniques and ensures their protection.

Species-appropriate nutrition – what do cats eat?

As a cat owner, you should always make sure that the food contains enough proteins, minerals and vitamins. Cats are carnivores and hunters, but they also like to be fed by their humans out of convenience. There are variouscat foods on the market in the form of dry food or wet food. 

Furthermore, there is also special cat food that is tailored to differentcat species. This can be particularly relevant forbreeders raising purebred cats. Basically, however, it is important that cat food does not contain excessive amounts of carbohydrates, as cats mainly get their energy from proteins and fats and cannot use carbohydrates efficiently. 

Cats naturally have a low thirst mechanism. In a way, they have this in their genes, because their ancestors lived in dry regions and absorbed most of their fluid via the prey. Therefore, it is important that cats have access to fresh water and, if necessary, wet food.


The special relationship between domestic cats and humans

The special relationship between humans and cats has developed over thousands of years. Originally, cats moved near human settlements because they were attracted to the abundance of prey such as mice and rats near granaries. This natural pest control brought benefits to both sides.

Over time, this community of purpose developed into a deeper bond. Cats have become increasingly valued as pets – not only for their mouse-catching abilities, but also for their graceful appearance and intriguing behavior. They were revered in many cultures, such as ancient Egypt, where they were considered sacred animals. 

Today's relationship between humans and cats is characterized by affection, respect and mutual benefit. Cats provide companionship and emotional support to their owners. They relieve stress and loneliness and play a veryimportant role in many households, which is equivalent to that of a family member. Despite their cuddly nature, cats are usually independent loners with a strong will. This applies to free-roaming cats as well as to pure apartment cats.

Cat owners are obliged to do so

Cat owners are obliged to take several measures to ensure the welfare of the animals as well as their immediate environment. This means, for example, that they must provide adequate nutrition, sufficient water and regular veterinary care. The latter also include certain vaccinations and parasite controls (for example, in fleas) to ensure the health of the cat and the protection of other animals and people. 

In addition, cat owners in many regions are required to label and register their animals. This can happen through microchip implantation or tattooing and helps to match lost or runaway cats to their owners and keep them safe from the shelter. 

Since cats can reproduce in no time, there is an obligation in many regions to have outdoorsmen sterilized or neutered. These measures are intended to prevent a cat infestation and the associated problems caused by stray cats.

While it's hard to tell a free-roaming cat what to do or not to do, cat owners can be held accountable in certain situations. However, this is only possible in severe cases, for example if the cat injures other people or animals or causes gross damage to the property of others.

However, if she occasionally leaves cat droppings in the garden or digs up foreign beds, in most cases this falls under the so-called "right of tolerance", because there is no acute danger.

Possible problems with outdoorcats

Free-roaming cats can be unpredictable. They can cause some inconvenience and serious problems, including:

  1. Disease transmission: You can transmit diseases and parasites such as toxoplasmosis, FIV (feline AIDS) and worms to other animals and humans. This happens, for example, when sick cats leave cat droppings in the garden and people or animals come into contact with them.  
  2. Uncontrolled reproduction: Without castration, free-roaming cats can reproduce rapidly, leading to overpopulation and the emergence of stray colonies. Therefore, in many areas, it is mandatory to have the cat neutered or sterilized. 
  3. Territorial conflicts: Fights between cats for territories can lead to injuries and stress for the animals involved.
  4. Damage to gardens and property: Cats can damage plants, use gardens as a litter box, and cause damage by scratching buildings or cars.
  5. Noise nuisance: Loud meows and fights, especially during the mating season, can be very annoying for local residents.

This shows how important it is for keepers to handle free-roaming cats responsibly. But even as a resident, it may be necessary to take measures to protect your own property. Sensitivity is required. This is because the neighbourhood relationship in particular can be severely disturbed by problems caused by a cat. 

Driving cats away and keeping them away – but how?

There are several humane ways to keep cats away. Animal welfare is always a priority, as violence against cats is not only morally reprehensible, but also punishable.

Unfortunately, it is often of little use to discuss the problem with thecat owner. If the neighbouring cat uses its own garden as alitter box , for example, it is difficult to stop the free-roamingfour-legged friend from doing so. 

If you want to protect your property yourself as a garden owner, there are some methods you can use to keep a cat away. One option, for example, is to use natural deterrents such as citrus peels, vinegar, or coffee grounds, as cats don't like these smells. Cat scare plants such as lavender, rosemary or the so-called harp shrub can also act as a deterrent. 

Physical barriers such as dense fences or special defensive mats on fences and walls can prevent cats from entering certain areas. In addition, water sprinklers with motion sensors can be effective as they deter cats without harming them. However, a major disadvantage is that these barriers can easily be circumvented by the intelligent four-legged friends. 

A very effective cat scare are ultrasound devices that produce sounds that are inaudible to humans but unpleasant to cats. Depending on the model, they can be triggered with a motion sensor and keep the animal away without harming it. And the neighbour also remains unaffected by this protective measure.

IREPELL® – the pet-friendly way to drive cats away

With IREPELL®, it is possible to keep cats away without harming them. Through the use of ultrasound, motion sensors and flashlights, cats can be effectively driven away – whether because they are constantly causing noise nuisance or doing their business in your garden.

Other advantages of IREPELL® are:

  • Animal-friendly: IREPELL® does not harm cats, but keeps them away painlessly through animal-friendly defence mechanisms.
  • Different defense modes: Targeted settings repel different animals; so there is also a special mode for cats.
  • Long range: IREPELL ® creates an invisible 360° protection zone- thanks to a far-reaching ultrasound signal.
  • Easy to use:IREPELL ® is easy to install and can be controlled via a user-friendly app.

Since IREPELL® emits frequencies that are imperceptible to humans, this form of cat deterrence is particularly discreet. This is ideal if you want to avoid a possible neighbourhood conflict. The device is unobtrusive and can be controlled via an easy-to-use app. Thanks to the built-in battery, you can even take the device with you and use it mobile. 

Particularly practical: IREPELL® not only works against cats that are undesirable on your property, but also keeps out 16 different animal species: dogs, raccoons or martens, rats and mice as well as various pests. You can use it to combat moths, ants, mosquitoes, Gelsen cockroaches and cockroaches in the apartment and benefit from effective tick protection and mosquito repellent outdoors. Nothing stands in the way of a relaxed picnic or an undisturbed barbecue party with IREPELL ®.


How old do cats usually get?

On average, a domestic cat can live up to 16 years. Stray cats have a lower life expectancy because they are exposed to greater dangers. 

What are a cat's natural enemies?

The enemies of the cat include martens, foxes, but also hawks. 

Are owners clinging to your cat?

That depends on the case. If the cat has done more damage or inflicted an injury, you must first be able to prove this. In more harmless cases, in which the cat digs around flower beds, for example, you usually have little to handle, as this is subject to the law of toleration. 

How to keep cats away?

Under no circumstances should you violate cats. Humane scarecrow species are certain plants and smells that cats don't like. Ultrasonic devices are particularly effective: they do no harm to cats, but keep them at a distance. 

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