UNDERSTANDING OUR PET FELINE FRIENDS
For many pet feline owners, a dog isn’t man’s only “best friend.” According to a survey published by the Humane Society of the United States, there are approximately 88.3 million domesticated cats in American households. While the feline personality varies greatly from one cat to another, the feline body language and vocal signals remain relatively concrete among the millions of little furry bodies across the nation.
Learning to communicate with your cat, and understanding what your cat wants, is essential to developing a loving relationship with your four-pawed pal. While it may seem silly to try to talk or understand your cat’s meows, learning to comprehend your pet feline will bring them closer to you, cultivating a more trusting, domesticated feline pet.
Cats have a very fragile sense of pride. How many times has your kitty looked embarrassed after falling from the cabinet or TV? Many cats become extremely self-conscious if they know you saw them at an inopportune moment. Forcing your cat into a situation is a big no-no, they can get easily offended and possibly angry. Cats will come to you for attention, chasing them down and pulling them out from under the sofa is not an effective way of getting your cat to trust and love you.
Cats, like many other animals, are capable of a basic set of emotions. A simple reward and discipline system is effective for training most kittens in ‘the way they should go,’ and often works just as seamlessly on slightly more aged cats. A kitten’s personality is extremely malleable, much more so than a 1-year-old, nearly fully grown feline. Showing a cat the litter-box right away is practically a guarantee that he/she will use it from then on. The problems usually start with the sharpening the claws on the 3000$ furniture routine. Cats understand the tone of your voice, reprimanding the cat sternly will usually discourage the activity. Conversely, you should praise your kitty for good behavior, so coo to your pet feline in a loving voice when he/she is doing something positive.
This list provides basic guidelines, every cat is different so it is important to observe your own pet’s individual behavior. Comprehending your cat’s body language will allow you to be more “in sync” with your pet feline. If you understand what your cat wants, and he/she understands that YOU understand, everything works out just fine!
The Annoyance of your Pet Feline
When a cat is “lashing” its tail in a demanding manner, it is important to be sensitive to its emotions. It is likely the cat is displeased with something and/or wants your attention. The cat is likely not in the mood to be coddled, giving it a soft stroke or a quick pat and attempting to address the problem is the best course of action.
A cat rolling on his/her back with paws in the air is just being a little playful. Often a quick movement on your part will send the critter on its feet, wildly staring. If the cat is wandering around mischievously or giving you the crazy eye, it might be a good time to pull out a cat toy and let your feline release some pent up energy.
If a cat flops on its side or rolls on its back when you approach or attempt to pick it up, it is best to give it some attention, but try to avoid lifting it off the surface. This behavior indicates that the cat is not really interested in doing much, and is submitting to you by exposing its stomach. This behavior is also a symbol of trust in other situations (felines are very protective of their undersides) if they allow you to rub or touch them there you should be proud!
Hissing, growling or a menacing expression are solid clue-ins that your cat isn’t too happy. This is a step further from “annoyance,” the cat is definitely upset about something. The presence of a strange cat, unwelcome person or some other type of direct threat often invokes this behavior in your pet. It is best to leave the cat alone when it’s acting like this. Interfering with a feline when it’s angry will end up with scratches and a bitter pet.
Most cat owners are familiar with this little feline characteristic. You’re lying in bed and all of a sudden your little buddy bounces up to your face and begins “kneading” your stomach or legs, purring like a steam engine. Cats will do this when they are preparing to lie down for a period of time. It’s a good sign, even though it can be rather annoying. It is important to give your cat some attention when they act out like this, you want them to trust you and enjoy being around you. If the cat is becoming a real annoyance, gently shooing it away after a few minutes won’t do much harm to your relationship!
Pet Feline Communication
Another important “communication” enhancer you can develop with your cat is the sound of your voice. While the cat may not understand every word you say, it enjoys the sound of your voice and can recognize tones (and often your intentions). Even making “small talk” to your cat will encourage it to be vocal as well! Listening to your cat’s meows and other noises is an important step in the relationship. If your pet feline walks up to you and bursts out with a clear, demanding “MEOW,” it is likely out of food or water. If you stand up and move around, and your cat follows you, it is almost certain he/she wants something. If you walk towards the door or the food/water bowl, your cat will likely be visibly excited that you are giving him a hand with his problem.
It is important to respond to your pet’s needs, if you do, your cat will trust and rely on you more. Letting a cat in or out of a room when it wants is a sure-fire way of making a new little buddy in no time!