Similarly to some people, some cats just want to be with you but not constantly touched or pet. I’m sure we all have a friend out there that wants to hug you every time you see them but perhaps you just saw them yesterday and you don’t feel the need to hug them! Cats can be the same way and there’s nothing wrong with that.
So do you touch the belly or not?? The answer to this can be variable. Other body language needs to be observed to help make this decision as does the surrounding circumstances. It could be an indicator that your cat is feeling relaxed and in a loving mood. Perhaps your cat enjoys belly rubs and you are ready know how and when to interpret their wishes based on previous experience. If their ears are pointed forward and erect and their pupils are not dilated, the tail is calm and not flicking, then the coast is likely to be clear.
How do our cats recognize us (if they do!)? Most likely they use multiple cues – our appearance, our scent, our mannerisms, and likely, our voices. Some scientists recently examined whether cats can recognize us by one cue alone – the sound of our voices calling their names.
Welcome to Part Three of an informative series on the fantastic feline senses and how these innate behaviors can present as behavior challenges in the home environment. If you are just joining the discussion please refer to Parts One and Two of the series.
This post is Part Two in an informative series on the fantastic feline senses. If you are just joining this discussion please refer to Part One for an introduction. The following are additional feline specific behaviors and an explanation of how their senses can conflict with the very human world that we expect for cats to comply to. I hope you find this information helpful, enlightening and potentially life changing, to better help you to be able to meet your cats need in your home environment.
The domestication of the cat has increased its need for communication and signaling. The domestic cat is no longer an exclusively solitary species as it now lives close together with other animals and humans, benefits from cooperation, and needs to resolve conflict without physical confrontation. For the purpose of self-preservation cats perform a number of species-specific behaviors that can contribute to behavior challenges in the home environment. Their predatory behavior can present as play and aggression concerns, feline elimination preferences can present in litter box and marking challenges, and their superior senses can become overwhelmed in our human world presenting problems owners have a hard time grasping and relating to.
I was the only feline behavior consultant attending this year's American Animal Hospital Association conference, as far as I knew. I wasn't a vet, nor a tech.
After the four days, I left with a notebook of interesting bits I could pass on to my clients, yes, but also confirmation
that feline behavior was still low on the vet's priority list.
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that can contribute to behavior changes in cats.
Our cats may seem like pampered indoor housecats, but on the inside they are still fierce predators! The greatest thrill for a cat is what is referred to as the “completion of the sequence of the kill.”
In the beginning, I underestimated play. Interactive play. As an owner I knew it provided exercise (for me especially; my cat would watch while I chased—you know the drill). As time and experience as a behaviorist carried on, I learned of the many benefits that play offers for a cat’s health—not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. It can make all the difference to a cat’s complete well-being. Play is fun exercise.