10 Rules of Making Friends With a Cat When Meeting for the First Time

10 Rules of Making Friends With a Cat When Meeting for the First Time

Don’t you just hate it when you “meow” at a cat and they don’t “meow” back? To be honest, it’s not their fault. Cat Whisperer, Jackson Galaxy, explains that meowing is the cat’s way of trying to communicate with us in our own language but it’s not their natural method. We’ve been trying to introduce ourselves wrong the whole time! Here are the 10 cat introduction etiquette rules:

1. Bond while they’re young.

The cat is capable of social interactions and forming relationships as early as 2 weeks of age. Let the cat feel safe and loved. Avoid letting them feel any negativity and protect them from painful situations.

 

2. Observe the cat’s body language.

Tail up means they feel like socializing while tail down means they’re disinterested or in hunting mode. If they stare it at you, they’re uncomfortable while blinking indicates the opposite.

 

3. Make yourself small.

Cats are very sensitive to the body language of humans and other animals. They observe even the smallest shifts. Allowing yourself to seem smaller makes you less intimidating to them. Experts like Dr. Marci Koski, Ph.D., crouch when meeting a cat for the first time.

 

4. No direct eye contact.

This can come as intimidating to a cat or even aggressive. You can look at it briefly but then pretend to turn your attention elsewhere. Keep eye contact to glancing. Staring is even worse. It’s considered a threat among felines. Blink a few times when they make eye contact with you before looking away.

 

5. Don’t pay attention to the cat.

When it wants to bond, it’ll approach you and try to get your attention. Sit or lay down on the floor to make yourself seem less daunting. The cat will become more relaxed and will consider you less of a danger.

 

6. Let the cat sniff or lick you.

Sniffing is how cats say hi for the first time. They have special glands and acute sense of smell that allows them to identify people as well as other animals by their scent. A cat would also lick you as a way of getting to know you.

 

7. Give treats/food.

Place them on the ground between the two of you until they’re comfortable enough to take it from your hand. Opt for those that emit strong smells of fish, catnip, and other feline favourites.

 

8. Offer toys.

Playtime is a great way to bond but remember cats like their space. Don’t force them to play if they don’t want to and keep it short.

 

9. Pet only when they let you.

If they lay on their side or stretch in front of you, it means they’re comfortable enough that they can relax and let you touch them. They can also try to get your attention by lightly holding you with their claws. Avoid trying to pet a cat that’s scared. You’ll know when they lie with their ears back and stiff. Any attempt of physical contact would invite aggression from the cat.

 

10. ve them their space.

Cats are very independent and like doing things at their own pace. It needs a place where it feels safe, an area they can escape to when they start to become overwhelmed. When approaching the space, never make the cat feel cornered.

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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The Polydactyl

The Polydactyl

Nope, not the dinosaur with wings. What we’re talking about is Polydactyl. These are cats that have more toes than usual. The average cats have 18 toes – five on each of the front paws and four on both of the back ones. But some have more than these, they are what we call polydactyl cats.

At first glance, it may just seem extra toes or to some, it may not be that interesting, but there definitely is more to these than meets the eye. Here are 11 things that most people are not familiar with polydactyl cats.

  1. Mutant

They aren’t members of the X Men or something like that. It’s just that being polydactyl for cats is a genetic mutation. It is passed down through a dominant gene. Depending on the parents of these kitties, if one is polydactyl, there is a huge chance that one of their kittens will be polydactyl as well.

  1. Harmless

Some might be alarmed of this as it is not usual for cats to have extra toes, but worry not, it is usually harmless, although, it might give you a bit of trouble when it comes to trimming their nails. Just be wary about their forelegs, as in rare cases, being polydactyl can lead to twisted or underdeveloped forelegs.

  1. Mittens

Ever seen a cat with thumbs? There are cases where the extra toes of polydactyl cats are positioned in a way that they would look like thumbs, commonly known as, “Mitten paws”. But they’re not opposable, so it wouldn’t be able to function like our human thumbs.

  1. Bigfoot

For kitties that don’t have thumbs or “Mitten paws”, they get the nicknames “Bigfoot” or “pancake feet” because it generally makes their feet look bigger.

  1. Asset

Admit it, kitties with huge paws are cute. With polydactyl cats, it just makes them a little cuter than they already are. Now that’s an asset.

  1. Rare for others, common for some

It may not be seen that much in each of our regions, but there are countries where polydactyl cats are quite common. These are; England, Wales, and the eastern parts of USA and Canada.

  1. Good Luck!

Sailors used to believe that these kinds of cats are good luck. They were given the title of “Gypsy cats”. Because of their large feet, they were thought to make them better at catching mice and have better balance.

  1. Polydactyl Breeds

American polydactyl and Maine Coon Polydactyl are considered polydactyl breeds. But some don’t consider them as legit breeds.

  1. Maine Coon

40 percent of Maine Coons once had extra toes. Since Maine is a state that gets more than a hundred inches of snow annually, the large paws turn into feline snowshoes.

  1. Twenty – Eight

28, that’s the Guinness’ World Record for the cat with the most number of toes. It was given to a Canadian cat named Jake.

  1. Hemingway Cats

Stanley Dexter, a captain in 1930 gives a polydactyl cat to Ernest Hemingway. He named it Snow White and that gave a start to many more polydactyl kittens. Today, 40 to 50 polydactyl cats, some of which are Snow White’s descendants, are considered as a historical treasure at Hemingway’s Key West, Florida, the home of Ernest Hemingway.

So, there you have it! Now that you know more about polydactyl cats, you may want to look into your kitty’s paws. You never know, maybe your precious feline companion is a descendant of Hemingway’s Snow White.

 

Meow for now… Kristian

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