People tend to over-complicate how a cat is, well, a cat. While it isn’t rocket science, people tend to forget that just because we have an animal living with us, it doesn’t mean they will obey or submit. It certainly doesn’t mean they are domesticated either! Yes, I know, they are called “The domesticated house cat”, but I challenge you to rethink that phrase. Here are 5 things your cat wants you to know!
Simple as that. Most dogs enjoy belly rubs, rough play, and getting their tails played with. For cats, however, most do not like these things. Every cat is different in what they enjoy, will allow, won’t enjoy, and will hate. Just because your cat is not biting you doesn’t mean they enjoy what you are doing. Please keep an eye on the tail movements for this. Also, cats just aren’t pack animals so it is not in their nature to submit or care for you in the way a dog would. Sure, they may greet you at the door but it is likely because they want to eat. Heart breaking, I know, but a cat is just not a dog. Please also keep in mind, dogs have evolved to be companions of humans, cats never did. They are they same as they were since Ancient Egypt.
Many people argue that animals, especially cats, don’t feel the same emotions we humans do. I beg to differ. After owning several cats, and caring for various ones over the years, I can assure you they have feelings. They can get their feelings hurt, be embarrassed, be frustrated, and even experience heart-break. Just because they don’t walk up to you with their tail between their legs, ears folded back, and whimpering doesn’t mean they don’t know what they did. When you yell at your cat for being bad, they feel your anger. They know when they do things they shouldn’t and know what your tone and physical forms mean. Heck, they seem to understand our body language more than we understand theirs!
Cats sleep a lot, and with good reason. Sleep is key to a cat’s emotional well-being as well as their overall health. The average cat will sleep around 18 hours a day. Some will sleep less, some will sleep more. My one cat Joey sleeps an amazing 21 hours a day! He has no health issues and is older, but I honestly believe he just enjoys sleeping that much. When a cat gets its sleep interrupted, it will cause emotional distress. Think of a first time mother being woken up every 2 hours during the night. It isn’t fun. Just keep in mind that your cat’s sleep is not a measure of laziness, but nature’s way of keeping them healthy and strong.
There is a long list of animals that have more sensitive and more powerful hearing than our own. Cats make this list and are actually quite high on it. That being said, loud noises are not good for your cat. Surround sound, stereo systems, jamming out in your garage… Yea, that is loud to us, but imagine how it sounds to your cat! Cats hear at an amazing 100,000 hertz where as humans only hear at 20,000 hertz. When something is some-what loud to you, it is already giving your cat a migraine! And just in case you were wondering, dogs hear at between 35,000 to 40,000 hertz which is still a lot lower than the typical feline!
Yes, you read that right! Cats think of us humans as big, clumsy, hairless cats! A British anthrozoologist by the name of John Bradshaw wrote a book called “Cat Sense” which dives into the idea behind this. In his book, he explains how they look at their owner as they would their mother. Because we raise them differently, they adapt to us. We don’t send them out hunting for their food nor do we train them to do so. Instead, we supply it and they learn to accept that as your role of their parent to provide food always. They play with us as they would their siblings. They also will mimic our behavior when they see it being done enough at a young age because to them, you are “mom” teaching them a skill. To your cat, you hunting involves leaving the house and going to the grocery store. You playing involves the TV, your computer, or those silly papers they would rather lay on. Next time your cat walks over and “interrupts” what you are doing, smile. They are simply trying to enjoy what you are doing with you (as a fellow cat), even if they don’t completely understand what you are doing in the first place!