Why Dogs & Cats Circle?
By Warren F. for CanaCreek
We received an interesting question from one of our readers:
JacobF writes: “Why do cats and dogs circle before bed?”
Good question! As many of you may have noticed that your pet will invariably circle around his or her bed/chosen spot before settling down for some rest. Often if you disturb them midway, they tend to start again or even get a bit testy.
It’s a puzzling habit, and there’s no solid explanation for the behaviour, as it is seen in both domesticated cats and dogs and wild varieties. But there are a few theories as to why your kitty or pooch needs to check things out before bagging some Z’s.
One theory is that before domestication, cats and dogs would check out the immediate area to make sure natural foes like snakes or other deadly insects weren’t lying in wait before they laid down to rest. As it seems to be an instinctual behaviour, this explanation makes a lot of sense.
Another theory is they are checking out the topography of their resting area and making sure they won’t be lying on a flat surface, which they generally dislike. They are also looking for signs that other cats or dogs may have disturbed their territory. In their wild days, cats and dogs establish territories to protect areas of limited game. It is thus important to them to detect intruders of the same species to protect their livelihood.
Of course it could simply be a way of marking territory, by leaving their scent with the pads of their feet, face and even their tail. You should be glad that it isn’t the usual marking you’ll see in the wild. Certainly circling is a normal behaviour, and generally nothing to worry about.
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