They're one of the most loved pets in the world - cats. Those who have a cat would confirm that life without a cat is possible, but that would be meaningless. Cats are very particular pets. They do what they want, when they want, and have made it their live's mission to educate us. Unlike dogs, the language of cats is difficult to understand. They don't wag their tails when they're happy or bark at the postman to show territorial behaviour. Nevertheless, they try to show us what they want, in their own ways.
Here is a small list of behaviours of cats that we have learned to interpret over the last 5000 years.
1. Lying on their back
Many cat owners interpret this as a feeling of comfort and wellbeing when their cat lays on it's back and so it is. This is how your cat shows you that it is very comfortable with you and trusts you deeply.
2. Bringing gifts home
Almost every cat owner, whose cat roams free, knows this: your beloved kitty comes home from its foray and has a strange gift in its mouth. Whether it's a cliche marsupial (like a bird, mouse, or rat) or something that it's pilfered from the neighbour's garden - like a freshly washed sock from the washing line - it'll usually be left at your feet as a symbol of love and devotion. For the cat, this is a gesture of thanks and shows great affection.
3. A nudge with the head or nose
When your cat nears your face and tries to nudge you with it's nose, this is a form of greeting. Generally, it'll go straight into a gentle head butt or rub it's head against yours in order to show affection and friendship.
4. It follows you
Regardless of where you go, your cat wants to go there too. If you go to your computer because you need to type something, your cat will demonstratively sit on the keyboard. Or jump onto your lap as soon as you show that you plan to sit. If your cat is clingy, you can be sure that it loves you endlessly, and not only when it sees you with the can-opener. It strives to be near you and doesn't want to be without you.
5. Chewing on your finger
Cats have very strong jaws and teeth as sharp as nails. It would be easy for them to hurt us with them. So when the cat chews on your hand or finger without leaving a single scratch, then your cat is showing that it appreciates you and is happy. It is also proof that your cat trusts you.
6. The milk tread
Every little kitten has done this - the milk tread or milk poke. As kittens, they poke around on the mother's teat to drink. The milk tread ensures that the mother's teat is stimulated and produces more milk. When your cat turns it's milk tread to you, it means that it loves you like it's own mother and has a sense of wellbeing with you - just as it did as a kitten by it's mother's side.
When your cat purrs, it can be a sign of wellbeing and most of the time it is. Admittedly, most cat owners will also confirm that cats also purr in other situations when they don't feel that comfortable (such as going to the vet or during a car ride). Researchers have discovered that the purr from a cat has a self-healing and calming effect. Therefore, cats purr in unusual situations too.
8. Looking in your eyes
When your cat looks deep into your eyes and its glance doesn't stray, this is a sign of a strong connection between you. Don't try to start it from your side, because if you stare into your cat's eyes and the connection isn't reciprocated, it can be seen as a challenge. Staring in the eyes is a method used by cats to clarify power relations and hierarchies.When you've been accepted as the can-opener and taken your cat gifts with gratitude, you can risk a deep look into its eyes. Then you can feel honoured that your connection to another living being is very strong.
The language of the cat is not always easy, but maybe with these 8 behaviours we can better judge their pussy-footing. Maybe we'll understand more of their language in the next 5,000 years.
Are you an absolute cat lover and already knew all of this? Or have some of the explanations for cat behaviour surprised you?
Then share this info with all your animal loving friends and help them to better understand what all the pussy-footing is about!