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Scent marking and Dens?

I'm not much of a physical person with people I don't know well, or even people I've known for years. There's a specific group of people I get really needy and physical with, rubbing all over them and basically glomping them. Naturally the people I speak of are family members, and I've never felt the need to do this with someone outside of family. Even close friends who I've known for years and shared lots with, I actually feel really agitated at the idea of doing this with them. Not hesitant, but downright disgusted? Like it's completely wrong? I'm pretty sure I have a feline kintype alongside my wolf type, but I still don't really know what it is. From what I understand, I'm marking the people closest to me as mine? Is this normal for therians, to have such strong feelings on these matters?
Also, I have a setup in my room where my bed (A loft bed) Is completely locked off and covered, and nobody can see me or get close when I'm up there. It's comfortable and safe, I love it. The thing is I refer to it in my mind as my 'den', and when people get to close or try to get up there I actually react violently. Is there any way to suppress such instincts? Goodness knows my parents wouldn't understand if I tried to explain. Sorry for such a long questionnaire, any replies would be appreciated!
 
I also experience passive marking behavior, but on objects/environments instead of people. I sometimes feel the need to rub my head or side against a wall, or claw a tree mark in the woods (btw don't do that with bare nails, splinters under there are horrible).

Whenever I can afford my own place to live I always wanted to build myself a "box bed". Basically like a den but enclosed in wood similar to a doghouse with a flat roof. If I could somehow make one that resembles being made out of rock, that'd be even better.

As for aggressive behavior, you should focus on getting that under control (maybe desensitization training or smth). Shifts should be controllable and shouldn't cause behavior that causes you to physically harm others. If training yourself doesn't work out, I recommend seeing a therapist about it if possible
 
I also experience passive marking behavior, but on objects/environments instead of people. I sometimes feel the need to rub my head or side against a wall, or claw a tree mark in the woods (btw don't do that with bare nails, splinters under there are horrible).

Whenever I can afford my own place to live I always wanted to build myself a "box bed". Basically like a den but enclosed in wood similar to a doghouse with a flat roof. If I could somehow make one that resembles being made out of rock, that'd be even better.

As for aggressive behavior, you should focus on getting that under control (maybe desensitization training or smth). Shifts should be controllable and shouldn't cause behavior that causes you to physically harm others. If training yourself doesn't work out, I recommend seeing a therapist about it if possible
I also mark things around my room and my bed, if it doesn't smell right it isn't allowed in the den until it's properly scented. Shifts don't happen often for me which is why I wasn't entirely sure what to do. I'll try the training, but a therapist is out of the question since they cost to much and I really don't have the time. Thank you so much!
 

Shezep

Well-known member
Gold Donor
VIP
I'm a hawk therian, so I get different kinds of instincts. I prefer my indoor spaces to be large and open with a minimum of furniture to get in the way. I'm still territorial, but I don't get violent over it. I just have a hard time relaxing with other people in my space even if they're family. I'm always hyper aware of what they're doing and it divides my attention when I'm trying to concentrate on other things. But then, hawks are not usually social animals.

As far as I know, wolves don't mind cuddling up with each other in their sleeping places, so "pack members" shouldn't be setting you off like that. Maybe spend some time thinking about why you feel that you need such a lonely protected space all to yourself. Is there a reason you feel less safe when they're around?
 
I'm a hawk therian, so I get different kinds of instincts. I prefer my indoor spaces to be large and open with a minimum of furniture to get in the way. I'm still territorial, but I don't get violent over it. I just have a hard time relaxing with other people in my space even if they're family. I'm always hyper aware of what they're doing and it divides my attention when I'm trying to concentrate on other things. But then, hawks are not usually social animals.

As far as I know, wolves don't mind cuddling up with each other in their sleeping places, so "pack members" shouldn't be setting you off like that. Maybe spend some time thinking about why you feel that you need such a lonely protected space all to yourself. Is there a reason you feel less safe when they're around?
I've never really got it either. The only time I get seriously upset is when they try to get near my bed (den) trying to climb into it or shaking it. Even sharing space or being in the same room as others, I can tolerate it but there has always been a limit. I don't think I trust my family for some reason, or at least one of my kins doesn't. They are very conservative people and they don't really like it when people are different. Maybe that's why they set me off?
 

Jethero

Jaggy
Staff member
Guardian
VIP
I don’t get this all that strongly, though I do always love the idea of having an enclosed sleeping space. For ease and other reasons I’ll probably always have a normal bed, but It’s a thought.

I’m not territorial over it though. I wouldn’t bring anyone to my bedroom I’m not at least cool with sitting on my bed, and scent doesn’t matter so much.

I mean, scent matters to me, I’m that I like the smell people sometimes leave behind after being close to me (like if my shirt smells like them after they leave), but that’s usually all that I pay attention to.
 
I don’t get this all that strongly, though I do always love the idea of having an enclosed sleeping space. For ease and other reasons I’ll probably always have a normal bed, but It’s a thought.

I’m not territorial over it though. I wouldn’t bring anyone to my bedroom I’m not at least cool with sitting on my bed, and scent doesn’t matter so much.

I mean, scent matters to me, I’m that I like the smell people sometimes leave behind after being close to me (like if my shirt smells like them after they leave), but that’s usually all that I pay attention to.
So maybe it's a problem to one of my kintypes specifically. There isn't anyone that I trust fully, that I would call part of my 'pack', so I mostly just react like this to everyone. I guess I'll just have to look up some papers on the matter to help. Thank you for telling me your ideas and about yourself!
 

Velvet

A Lizardy Cat
Staff member
Community Manager
I can't say I've ever had the urge to scent mark people, even those I'm close to, although I have noticed I seem to subconsciously brush up against walls around the house and pondered if that's some sort of scent marking instinct.

I am very territorial about my things and certain places though. I don't tend to react but internally I get extremely uncomfortable and annoyed if people touch certain things or sit in my spot (now I have myself thinking of Sheldon Cooper, hehe). For me I think it's more a human quirk then anything, although felines are territorial so could play some role.

The thing is I refer to it in my mind as my 'den', and when people get to close or try to get up there I actually react violently. Is there any way to suppress such instincts?
Just generally working on self control is likely a good place to start. It could be a therian thing, but it could equally be a human thing or a bit of both. Either way if you're reacting violently that's not good so trying to work on your self/impulse control may be helpful. As well as Shezep's advice to look into why you feel that way.
 

Red-in-Tooth

Machairodont Felid
VIP
I am exceedingly sparing with contact toward others, people I keep at a distance by nature. I cannot help my sense of discomfort with them for a number of reasons, namely that we have very little in common in terms of communication there; humans operate in a world where they hug or shake hands or sit side by side. Animals, of course, do this as well, but it is the discrepancy wherein it is not the same. Large cats greet by verbal means, often then physical, with those olfactory long before then, but when it does come to contact it is a matter of approved contact, usually brushing against one another with social grooming. This is often displayed solely among individuals who are close to one another be them partners, siblings, or offspring, with exceptions being rare and very specific. Owing to this, I can appreciate the desire to want to be very close to people in a way that people do not understand. Lounging together, as cats often do, is for example considered romantic in humans and so on. For felids, generally the real root cause of this is possessiveness, that cats, and let me paraphrase this, "mark everything deemed worth owning". Psychologically, the feline mind operates in a way in which something worth having around is given special contact and that contact, in which oils are deposited on it by method of paw or cheek contact to use an example, identifies it as an extension of themselves in the abstract. Because they like it and have the power to make it their own, they do, ergo it is now a part of them. Symbolically and conceptually this is very strange to the human mind, "ownership" in this sense is almost taboo, but to a cat of any stripe this is a way to integrate something and persist it as part of their identity, as well as impart it to memory.

For myself, I have to reconcile that sensation and what it means with reality, even if it is painfully awkward. I have to live in this sense that no, I really do need to touch this other person to behave appropriately in human society, and it needs to be the exact, right way people expect or it becomes more awkward or worse, unsettling in their eyes. Even people I am fond of I do not like touching in that regard but it is about putting on an act and committing to the character; the adoption of a functioning persona to mask the true self. Failing to do this and reconcile this creates room for increasing issues, particularly if people become suspicious and or wary of oneself.

Similarly, I have rules about everything. People cannot sit in "my" spot, because simply it is mine. Why is it mine, one asks? I claimed it and I always sit in that place or it is always somewhere I feel comfortable. I would sooner stand in say, a corner of the room far removed from the center and pretend I am not there physically than sit in the center of a room. Why? Because being out in the open is dangerous and humans are dangerous. I subconsciously, although now consciously with having made it a practice to understand these motives and drives, see the vulnerabilities in the situation and how to place myself in it. I might be more capable than any of them in the room but I am aware they outnumber me and if they wished to do me harm, the best option is to simply flee. This is fairly stereotypic behavior for cats, in that is part of threat avoidance. Felids prefer the element of surprise and engaging on their terms, with skirting the issue altogether being the next best option, and if all else fails, withdrawing because it is too dangerous to engage. Again, this is where one needs to employ the "social mask" and more than anything, simply mimic. Jokingly, "Monkey see, monkey do.", simply play as the humans and try to convince oneself to mirror those behaviors.

So far as having a "den", I certainly do, and I am prone to locking others out of where I lived when I lived in a number of communal situations. No one and nothing was allowed to intrude into my space, although it of course happened. So far as I can tell, people regularly do not feel so off put in that sense - I do not even want others in my house or on my property, let alone the room I sleep in or the room I write in, invited or not - and it creates a sizable disparity. Which comes back to creating a functional facade. It has to be a conscious recognition that people are constantly scrutinizing oneself for any sign of abnormality, rightfully so I will add, and that the consequences for failing are very dire. It is a game in being tolerant and patient, never putting too much out there, and knowing how to play along by channeling other human behavior to emulate it.
 
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I am exceedingly sparing with contact toward others, people I keep at a distance by nature. I cannot help my sense of discomfort with them for a number of reasons, namely that we have very little in common in terms of communication there; humans operate in a world where they hug or shake hands or sit side by side. Animals, of course, do this as well, but it is the discrepancy wherein it is not the same. Large cats greet by verbal means, often then physical, with those olfactory long before then, but when it does come to contact it is a matter of approved contact, usually brushing against one another with social grooming. This is often displayed solely among individuals who are close to one another be them partners, siblings, or offspring, with exceptions being rare and very specific. Owing to this, I can appreciate the desire to want to be very close to people in a way that people do not understand. Lounging together, as cats often do, is for example considered romantic in humans and so on. For felids, generally the real root cause of this is possessiveness, that cats, and let me paraphrase this, "mark everything deemed worth owning". Psychologically, the feline mind operates in a way in which something worth having around is given special contact and that contact, in which oils are deposited on it by method of paw or cheek contact to use an example, identifies it as an extension of themselves in the abstract. Because they like it and have the power to make it their own, they do, ergo it is now a part of them. Symbolically and conceptually this is very strange to the human mind, "ownership" in this sense is almost taboo, but to a cat of any stripe this is a way to integrate something and persist it as part of their identity, as well as impart it to memory.

For myself, I have to reconcile that sensation and what it means with reality, even if it is painfully awkward. I have to live in this sense that no, I really do need to touch this other person to behave appropriately in human society, and it needs to be the exact, right way people expect or it becomes more awkward or worse, unsettling in their eyes. Even people I am fond of I do not like touching in that regard but it is about putting on an act and committing to the character; the adoption of a functioning persona to mask the true self. Failing to do this and reconcile this creates room for increasing issues, particularly if people become suspicious and or wary of oneself.

Similarly, I have rules about everything. People cannot sit in "my" spot, because simply it is mine. Why is it mine, one asks? I claimed it and I always sit in that place or it is always somewhere I feel comfortable. I would sooner stand in say, a corner of the room far removed from the center and pretend I am not there physically than sit in the center of a room. Why? Because being out in the open is dangerous and humans are dangerous. I subconsciously, although now consciously with having made it a practice to understand these motives and drives, see the vulnerabilities in the situation and how to place myself in it. I might be more capable than any of them in the room but I am aware they outnumber me and if they wished to do me harm, the best option is to simply flee. This is fairly stereotypic behavior for cats, in that is part of thread avoidance. Felids prefer the element of surprise and engaging on their terms, with skirting the issue altogether being the next best option, and if all else fails, withdrawing because it is too dangerous to engage. Again, this is where one needs to employ the "social mask" and more than anything, simply mimic. Jokingly, "Monkey see, monkey do.", simply play as the humans and try to convince oneself to mirror those behaviors.

So far as having a "den", I certainly do, and I am prone to locking others out of where I lived when I lived in a number of communal situations. No one and nothing was allowed to intrude into my space, although it of course happened. So far as I can tell, people regularly do not feel so off put in that sense - I do not even want others in my house or on my property, let alone the room I sleep in or the room I write in, invited or not - and it creates a sizable disparity. Which comes back to creating a functional facade. It has to be a conscious recognition that people are constantly scrutinizing oneself for any sign of abnormality, rightfully so I will add, and that the consequences for failing are very dire. It is a game in being tolerant and patient, never putting too much out there, and knowing how to play along by channeling other human behavior to emulate it.
Oh gods you put it into words. This is it, this is right! Everything you said is exactly what I've always tried to make sense of! You must be a blessing, thank you!
 

Red-in-Tooth

Machairodont Felid
VIP
I am happy to have said it and that it is of use, @Moonalight. I spent a long time trying to discern why I felt like I do and what it meant, if anything, about who and what I was and rather now what I am. I find it no coincidence that it mirrors a lot of ethological behavior demonstrated by felids and the concept of why cats do what they do.
 
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