Is your cat stressed out? Here's one way to help him deal
Do you know why your cat rubs his cheek up against furniture or your leg? There is a motive behind it - it's definitely "marking" behavior. As your cat rubs on you or other things in the house, he does so to mark his territory - but it also gives him a sense of calm. You know that feeling that you have when familiar things or people are close at hand? It gives you a sense of peace, right? The feline pheromones rubbed on things in his territory do that same thing for your cat. It's a built-in coping tool. This is especially true when cats are under stress.
There are times when feline facial rubbing isn't enough to give cats the security that they need. Situations when a cat, male or female, feels especially ill at ease or "challenged" it can lead to a distressing problem for their human counterparts: urine-marking, or spraying indoors. (If your cat is exhibiting urine-marking behavior, it's always a prudent idea to take them to the vet to be sure that there is not an underlying physical problem, like a urinary tract problem - and to check their overall health.)
flickr photo courtesy of Claudio Gennari
Lorrie Shaw is owner of Professional Pet Sitting as well as a regular pets contributor on AnnArbor.com. She also blogs frequently on More Than Four Walls, and enjoys researching solutions regarding pet wellness and behavior, as well as social issues related to pets, including cats. She can be reached via e-mail.