Cat Behavior: What Your Cat Wishes You Knew
We love our cats. They keep us entertained, challenged, and inspire us with their beauty. They can also be confusing creatures, aloof one minute and affectionate the next. It can take years to understand cat behavior and what your cat is trying to tell you; but once you do, there is no denying that cats are communicative creatures.
It all begins with close observation of cat behavior and body language. Keep reading to learn more about what your cat wishes you knew, from Schertz Animal Hospital.
What Cats Want and Need
I Need You. Cats may have the reputation for being independent, but they need companionship from people. In fact, cats studies reveal that they will choose human companionship over food and toys. Make sure to spend some time with your cat each day, petting, playing, or just being nearby.
I Like My Routine. Cats are creatures of habit. They like having the same eating times, clean litter, and play times. If you can, keep their routine as stable as possible for a happier cat. And please don’t change their litter brand or their diet without doing so carefully and gradually.
I Need To Scratch Something. Scratching is an ingrained instinct for cats, and is a natural feline behavior in all cats, wild and domestic. Giving your cat a good place to stretch and scratch will satisfy this need and keep her away from scratching your couch.
I Need Activity. All cats benefit from both physical and mental activity. While it’s true that indoor cats live longer and have fewer injuries, all cats need places to exercise their natural instincts to stalk prey, climb, and pounce. Try perches at varying heights, a catio, greens to munch and interactive toys. Of course, playtime with your is her favorite activity.
What Cats Dislike
The Carrier. For most of us, it’s a foregone conclusion that our cats don’t like their carriers. Unfortunately, this also means that most of us avoid the vet But this poses a risk to our cats, as they need and deserve preventive care to make sure we can catch small problems early before they become full blown disease. Luckily, with a gradual plan of getting used to the carrier, pheromones, and lots of treats, your cat can learn to tolerate and even like her carrier.
The Nail Trim. Cats are fastidious groomers, so sometimes we forget that their nails need attention. But this regular care is actually really good for them. Introduce nail trims at kittenhood, as it’s the easiest way to introduce the habit. That said, even older cats can be brought along slowly and with patience.
Just Because I’m Purring. Purring is often associated with contentment, but this is not always the case. A purr can also signal pain, anxiety, or stress. You’ll need to check your cat’s other behaviors to decide if a trip to the veterinarian is in order. Cats are great at hiding signs of distress and disease, even from their closest people. So when in doubt, give us a call.
Many cats are great at appearing when we enter the kitchen and begging (successfully) for a treat or two. In fact, they are just as irresistible as dogs in this department.
Unfortunately, this has resulted in a pet obesity problem. Over 50% of pets in the US are overweight or obese – and this can significantly affect their good health, even shortening their lifespan. Next time your kitty gives you the begging eyes, try a long cuddle, a game of feather wand tag, or gentle brushing instead.
Cat Behavior Basics
Learning about cat behavior and body language is an important step in bonding with our cats. Their communication is clear, but it can take awhile to learn the ins and outs of what makes cats happy – and healthy.
What’s more, cats are individuals (of course!) But most cats have certain ways that they like to be touched. Most enjoy soft strokes from head to tail. Many cats enjoy being scratched about the face, head, and ears. You can learn a lot from watching your cat’s tail, ear position, and eyes. Always be careful not to approach a cat too quickly or roughly.
If you have any questions about cat behavior or health, please give our team a call.