Through their body language and voices cats can speak volumes to each other, other animals-and to you, if you look closely enough and pay attention to the signals.
Here’s how to decipher a few of them:
Playtime-When cats throw themselves down and roll over, showing their belly, that’s an invitation to play, but more importantly, it’s showing complete trust in you. This gesture is a rare one for cats, for it’s exposing their most vulnerable parts. This is a high compliment; you should be very flattered!
“Leave me alone!“-Pulling the ears back is saying “Back off, man.” If the tail’s lashing back and forth or the fur’s puffing up, it means the same thing; The cat needs his space!
“I’m happy!“-A lot of purrs and meows that almost sound like chirps will be heard (like a perky “meo” sound). This means kitty’s content and all is well. Did you know that cats, big and small, are the only animals that purr? At times, a deep purr can also mean pain or distress.
It‘s time to….-A full-throated meow is a demand to be fed, to be let outside or inside, or for your attention. Snap to it!
Needing reassurance-Sometimes when they’re sad, or just need an affectionate hug (“Everything’s all right”), many cats will hide in corners or under the bed. Also, many cats don’t like the sound of vacuum cleaners, washing machines, or power tools and will take cover.
Uh-oh!-If caught doing something undignified or naughty (usually something that they shouldn’t be doing), cats may lick their paws. The grooming gesture is used here to relieve stress or to regain control. I think it’s the cat’s way of saying, “You didn’t actually see me fall into that dishwater; I was just cleaning myself” or “Let me clean my paws while I figure out how to distract my owner from that half-eaten casserole on the floor.”
I like (or love…)-By grooming each other, cats are expressing their friendship. If your cat licks you, gives you a “kitty kiss”, or pats your hair, this means “I love you”. Also, if they give you what I call the “big-eyed look”, a pleasant gaze, accompanied by slow blinks, that’s another “I love you” signal. (Now cats usually regard staring as hostile, rude behavior, but I have personally given some cats the “big-eyed look” with slow blinks back at them, and they seemed to love it. I was also singing ( Maybe the singing won them over?).
You‘re mine!-Cats view their owners as a favorite property and some even view them as their kittens. So be very flattered when your face gets rubbed with whiskers or the cat rubs up against your leg. You’re being scented and marked as your pet’s territory (It’s a good thing!). And if kitty brings you a dead mouse, fish, or bird, don’t scold your cat; you see, from their perspective, they’re providing you with food, as if you were a kitten. Instead, praise them for their good deed, then quietly, if you’re able to do this, just wrap it up and take the remains to the trash.
Did You Know That.....
Forty percent of cats are “lefties”.
Ninety-five percent of cat owners talk to their pets (Well of course they do; I also sing to mine!).
Cats can see six times better in the dark than humans can.
Cats sleep 16 hours a day; this means that a seven-year-old cat has only been awake for two years of its life!
A cat’s heart beats twice as fast as a human’s.
Cats spend 30% of their waking hours cleaning themselves.