Personal space is an area a person or pet has that they can call their own. For children, their personal space is often their bedroom. For pets it can be a bed, crate, windowsill or other area in the home. Your pet having their personal space is important. It gives them a place to sleep or play on their own if they wish.
Animal Behavior Associates had a great story about four cats all lying on a bed. One cat rolled over and it caused a fight. The question the reader had was, why? Quickly explained, it was because one cat rolled into the other cat's personal space.
How to Give Your Pets Personal Space
Does your pet prefer to lay on pillows or blankets? Do they like to have your clothing with them? Designate an area of the home where your pets spend most of their time. In that area place a bed, crate, blanket or other item they can lay on in that spot. Put your pet's toys there as well so your pet learns that this is their area.
For cats, owners can purchase a cat scratching post or make a windowsill more easily accessible for their cat. Cats prefer to be higher up, whereas dogs prefer to lie on the floor or lower to the ground.
Training Your Pets to Take Care of Their Personal Space
When you first introduce your pet to their personal space, they might feel the need to mark their territory or play with their bedding. These behaviors are normal, especially when dealing with puppies or kittens. Simply keep an eye on your pet when they are in their area and give them a stern no when you catch them not behaving. It might take a while for them to be fully trained, but patience is key.
Maintaining Personal Space
Pets like humans sweat and get dirty. Your pet's personal space will get dirty as well. Ensure everything you use for their bedding can be washed. When you wash your bedding, wash theirs in a separate load as well.
If your pets bedding can't be washed purchase a pet-friend fabric freshener to eliminate odors from the bedding or cat scratching post. Animal's sense of smell is much stronger than humans. Anything you can smell in your pet's bedding, smells much stronger to your pets. Replace any bedding that can't be washed at least once a year.
Pets having their personal space can make them calmer and more obedient. They have their own place to go relax if they need to. Invest in your pet's personal space and you are also investing in their long term health.