Cat Behaviour Explained. Understanding cat behavior is a requirement for every cat owner. It is the only way you are going to be able to build a strong bond with your kitty. For instance, you are going to be aware of his health as well as his emotional wellbeing. In this article, we are going to look at the studies that have explained cat behavior since the domestication of felines as well as tips to modify unwanted behaviors.
Cat Behaviour Explained. Do cats understand what we tell them?
Even though cats are known for being expressive, many cat owners wonder if it is, in fact, true that your cat actually understands what you are saying. In most instances, our cats will respond to our commands that is when you have trained him.
Now, if you are wondering whether your cat understands you, the answer is yes. However, this will depend on a few factors such as how long you have been with your kitty, and whether he responds to you.
So many cat owners admit that their cats do understand them. As a matter of fact, they do respond to their human parents. At first, this is not the case as he will take the time to observe your household. For instance, most cats learn to say hello in the mornings or evenings because their owners do so.
However, cats will understand the human body language more than words. In a new Japanese study, a researcher at the University of Tokyo indicates that cats do understand our voices. In addition, the study also suggests that cats pay attention when we are speaking to them. Marilyn Krieger, a cat behaviorist also found that cats even learn their names.
In addition to the above, the tone of our voices will also affect how our cats understand. For instance, when you call out his name in a loud tone, your cat might interpret that you are angry and therefore pose as a threat. On the other hand, a calm voice will have your cat responding to your words.
Cat behavior explained: means of communication in cats
In order to coexist with felines, we have had to understand Cat Behaviour Explained. Understanding cat behavior is an important step to peaceful coexistence between us. There are several methods of communication with cats that include vocalization, body language and also via scents. We are going to discuss the meanings of some of the most popular cues of communication below:
Vocalization is the primary method of communication amongst cats. As mentioned above, there have been several studies focused on the different meanings of different vocalizations in cats. This is because they only vocalize in efforts to communicate with humans.
Under natural circumstances, cats will barely meow or vocalize to communicate with other cats. But what do our cats try to tell us when they are meowing to us? We are going to discuss some of the most common meows as well as other forms of vocalization.
This is the most common method of feline-human communication. Cats exclusively communicate their needs to us via meowing. It is up to you to determine the message your cat is trying to pass across. Every cat owner should be able to understand how their cat communicates.
As we have mentioned above, vocalization is mostly reserved for us. Therefore, you cannot ignore it when your cat is trying to talk to you. One of the most common meows you will hear from your cat is a short meow. Your cat will give you this meow as a way to casually say hello to you most probably in the morning when you wake up or generally during the day.
This might also be followed by multiple meows when your cat has missed you. Perhaps, if you work from home and you suddenly need to be out for some reason, your cat will definitely notice the change. Upon getting back, he will give you the happy multiple meows to say hello.
‘Feed Me’ Meow
Other the other hand, cats are also very expressive. They won’t hesitate to air their needs for you to address them. Whenever your cat needs something he will give you a mid-pitched meow. For instance, if you closed him out of your room, he might complain in an effort to get you to open the door.
The same case goes for when he needs food or water. This is especially when we have delayed the routine of feeding them. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you stick to a routine.
Howling, or rather yowling is also common in cats, especially when your kitty is on heat. . Cats can also yowl out of boredom as well as stress. When your cat is yowling, you should be concerned and check on your cat.
In some cases, your cat will give you the long-drawn-out meow when he is complaining about something. For instance, if he has already meowed to be fed, he will insist on this via a long-drawn-out meow. If you do not attend your cat, he might keep doing it which is quite annoying.
Your cat will also communicate with you when he is scared or threatened. If your cat is meowing in a low pitch repeatedly, he might be in a fearful situation. For instance, maybe there is a lurking stray cat near your house that keeps on bothering your cat.
As a result, your cat will definitely react to the scent as well as any vocalization from his counterpart. However, if your cat is hissing or snarling, it is best to check it out as it means he is in danger. Your cat will have the fight or flight reaction towards the element causing fear. Snarling and hissing might also be accompanied by spitting and you should get him out of the situation as soon as possible.
Cats are also quite territorial and protective of their owners and home. As a result, they have a strong sense of smell and they can pick out the smell of other people and even animals. Well, cats will usually use their scents to communicate with other cats as opposed to feline-human communication.
For instance, when your cat is rubbing against your items, which is most likely to happen, he is trying to familiarize himself with the house. You will observe this behavior when you move from one residency to another. In addition, your cat might also rub against you in order to mark you as his.
Cats will spray their urine as a way to mark their territories. Well, this is their natural behavior especially if they feel threatened in your home. For instance, if there are stray cats coming in your household, your cat will try to chase them away using his urine.
This works because of the strongly scented urine which will linger for weeks if not months. Cats also tend to spray their urine in order to attract potential mates. If you have not neutered your cat, then you might experience problems with this every now and then.
Once again, the smell of cat urine will communicate with the other cats. When a cat in heat leaves a mark in the yard, or wherever else, he/she only has one goal; to find a mate. Therefore, we can admit that cat urine smell will give away a few details about your cat such as the sex and age of the cat.
If you do have guests coming to stay with you, you might also notice your cat rubbing their bodies against them. He is only trying to familiarize himself with the new persons. Some other cats will develop spraying as a coping mechanism for stress and other behavioral issues.
Body Language (ear, eye, tail)
When you are trying to understand your cat, it is important that you also pay attention to your cat’s body language. In fact, you are going to learn a lot more about your cat when you observe you all day. Your cat’s body language is going to let you into what your cat is feeling.
For instance, when your cat is blinking slowly or even closed it means that he is okay and he trusts you. You will observe him doing so when you are petting or cuddling him. It is quite easy for you to socialize with your cat when he is like this. On the contrary, if your cat has dilated and wide-open eyes, it means that he does not feel safe. It could be because your dog has entered the room or another person. He is trying to figure out the new element.
When his ears are alert, it means that he is curious or trying to figure something out. This might be accompanied by your cat moving his tail slowly. For instance, if there is an unusual sound in the house or even on the outside, he is going to want to figure it out.
In addition, when his ears are leaning backward or sideways, your cat is agitated. He is just but preparing to fight back. You might also observe that your cat adjusts to a body posture to an arched body. This is usually a sign that your cat is now in a defensive position and ready to pounce at his opponent.
Your cat will definitely communicate most of his emotional status via his body language. The tail will also communicate a few things about your cat. For instance, if your cat is wagging his tail, you should be wary as this means he is irritated.
If you are petting him and he suddenly starts wagging his tail, to should leave him alone. In addition, when he has his Halloween cat tail on, it is only fair to stay away as possible. This will happen when your cat feels threatened or is about to engage in a catfight. Once again, he will have an arched back and wide-open eyes. Get him out of the situation as soon as you see him in this situation.
Can I train my cat? Cat behavior modification explained
One of the biggest struggles we go through in trying to understand our pets. However, in the case you recently adopted a kitten, it should not be difficult for you to understand him as we have explained cat behavior above. However, we are all specific when it comes to the things we look for in our cats. Therefore, it is important to learn about cat behavior modification tips.
You can indeed train your cat to do a few tricks if you put an effort and time on it. However, you will have to be able to determine the time your cat is most likely to be receptive. It is possible to modify your cat’s behavior so that you can enjoy peaceful co-existence with him.
In order to do so, you should, first of all, ensure that you are providing him with all the necessary resources like food, water and litter boxes. In addition, always make sure that your cat is occupied for the better part of the day.
This way, you will be able to prevent boredom as well as stress. Get a few toys to keep him busy throughout the day or alternatively leave the TV or music on. This should be enough to keep your cat busy and happy all day long. It is also important to invest in a food puzzle. This way, you rest assured that your cat is busy and ell fed even as you go about your day to day business.
We keep cats for companionship among other reasons. However, when we adopt these amazing creature we take up the responsibility to feed and look after them. Even though this is alright, it is important that you understand your cat.
The article above has explained some of the most common cat behaviors and also how to interpret the latter. Once you understand what your cat is telling you through vocalization, body movement and language, it is going to be a bit easier for you two to co-exist. I hope you get to observe your cat and understand him more for a great and satisfying relationship between the two of you.