Cats have certain behaviours that leave their hoomans scratching their heads, thinking “Why do you do that, kitty?” Of course, there’s little that we can do about them. Our feline companions would only keep on doing them, whether we like it or not. So, why is there a need to know why they do, what they do? Why is there a need to understand these behaviours?
Well, the reason is simple, really. Understanding them would help them communicate with us better. This would also let allow us to accept them for what they are. That being said, we have a couple of odd behaviours that cats usually do. Get to know some of them and the reason why cats do them.
“I Brought You a Gift Hooman!”
You’re on the porch, or living room sofa, just chilling. You’re sitting down, with a warm cup of coffee, enjoying the nice scenery of your garden, or simply relaxing while watching the telly. Your cat suddenly arrives and startles you when it leaves a dead mouse near your foot, with your cat in front of you, looking up at you with eager eyes.
This experience can certainly be nerve-wracking, but there’s no need for you to freak out. Cats, in their very core, are predatory animals. Hunting for prey is normal for them and you need to understand this primitive side. They often bring you dead animals as “gifts” to give thanks for feeding them everyday, in a way returning the favour. They could also be doing it to show you how to hunt or because they have more than enough to eat.
Dawn of the Meow
Most cat owners have experienced hearing sounds at dawn. Sounds that wake them up faster than their alarms ever could. Sounds that come off from every direction, swirling and echoing to every corner of the house. Quickly, they get up and open the door of their rooms to find that they’re cats are already awake. At 4 in the morning. This routine is quite off setting and some might even get annoyed by it. However, there’s a need for us to understand that cats naturally wake up earlier than us.
Also, their circadian rhythms tend to change depending on the season. You can remedy this by installing blinds, or blackout shades, so the sun won’t rouse them awake. You can also put a strict eating schedule to help manage this behaviour. But again, this is what comes as natural for cats, so be patient and if necessary, stop trying to undo this ingrained trait.
You’ve probably had more than one encounter where you’re in front of your laptop, or computer, busily typing with the keyboard. Suddenly, a wild (and cute) kitty appears and starts lying down on the laptop, or keyboard.
This may seem like your cat is trying to annoy you, but it’s actually because they love the warmth of these computer devices, especially the laptop. A cat’s ideal temperature is 20 degrees higher than that of a human, so a laptop is the perfect temperature regulator. They could also be doing this because they’re asking for attention.
Cats are certainly mysterious and baffling creatures. They tend to do odd things just for the heck of it. Things that can sometimes be uncomfortable for us. However, your feline companion needs you to understand that this is just how they are. Accepting and understanding them for their weird sides is the key here. It would mean the world to them and allow you to love them in a better, more genuine manner.
Because cats aren’t as social as dogs, many people believe that they are less trainable compared to the latter. But that isn’t the case. They do respond to training—just in a different way.
So how do you go about training your cat?
Start him young.
This is the best stage to start training them as they don’t have that many “life experiences” yet. This is also a great time to begin training as they are not as hard-set when it comes to their habits. For this reason, it’s safe to say that this is the stage when you should introduce them to new situations. When doing so, act in a matter-of-fact manner as this will encourage them to be fearless when facing similar situations in the future.
Make an effort to understand him.
When training your kitten, the first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of who and what he is. Unlike dogs, cats are more independent; thus, they aren’t inclined to be as needy for attention and praise as dogs. However, they might not be that easy to motivate. For this reason, you need to have a lot of patience and creativity in training them. Rewarding your kitten with a lot of special treats that he is sure to appreciate is a good tactic you might want to employ.
Say his name.
Get him familiar with his own name as early as possible. For instance, when you’re feeding or lovingly petting him, you could call his name in a gentle manner. However, you should never yell out your pet’s name when you are angry with them. This way, he learns to associate his name with positive things and will come running to you whenever you call his name.
Let him scratch!
Cats in general feel a natural urge to scratch, so you shouldn’t suppress what comes ingrained to them. But so that they don’t destroy your precious furniture, it might be a good idea to provide your kitten with his own personal scratching post. Guide his paws along the post (you might even put catnip on it to encourage him) and in time he will learn to do this on his own.
Clean his litter box regularly.
One common complaint many cat owners have is that their pets don’t use their litter boxes. But as a pet owner yourself, you might want to consider your cat’s point of view as to why he doesn’t like using his box. For instance, it might be unclean or be in an inconvenient location. Make it a habit to remove dirty litter at least once a day and keep his box in an area of the house that is free from dirt, noise, and human traffic. If you give your cat more reasons to use his litter box, you will have an easier time training him to use it regularly.
There’s another reason why you must train your cats while they’re still young: this is one of the best ways to build up the bond between you and your pet while the latter is growing up. So make sure to dedicate time and energy to do all the above as necessary!
If you wish to make sure that your kitten gets just the right amount of exercise, there are a few things you need to know about. You need to know why kitty needs to get moving every now and then, the right amount of workout time kitty needs, as well as the right way to play with your feline companion.
Why Kitty Needs Exercise
Your pet, in general, needs to be active. By being active, his body weight stays at a healthy level, his muscles are always strong and toned, and his mind stays active and alert for anything. In addition, exercise is a fun way to bond with him.
The Amount of Exercise Time a Cat Needs
It’s important that a cat engage in a few sessions of physical activity each day, with each session lasting for up to fifteen minutes. Fortunately, with kittens and young cats, they will usually invite you to play, and if they won’t invite you to play, they will look for their own sources of entertainment.
But as they grow older, they can be quite tougher to play with. The same is true if they have become overweight. This is because both overweight and older cats do not have enough endurance for long periods of play.
This does not mean that older and overweight kitties alike will no longer benefit from playtime and exercise. To ensure this, a number of short activities needs to be done several times in a day. In the case of the overweight kitties in particular, you should start with a few sessions each day, with each section lasting only a few minutes. To gain the most benefit from this activity, determine activities the kitty likes and formulate variations of that activity. In no time, you will notice that he will spend more time playing with you.
Playing With Your Kitty
The best games to play with your kitty are those which stimulate his or her hunting instincts. One amazing example of a game that stimulates hunting instincts is the playing of a tiny remote controlled toy mouse. When using this toy, make sure to mimic a mouse’s movements as best as you can.
Aside from playing with a toy mouse, your beloved feline can also play with a feather toy, a decent bird replica. If you have chosen this kind of toy, make sure to move the string or stick to mimic the way a wounded bird moves.
The third toy you can use for mock-hunting is a length of yarn or a thick ribbon. Wiggling it on the floor is more than enough to get the pet to play with it.
Want something you can use even from far away? Get a laser pointer! To many felines, the tiny dot is a small bug, and so they will never stop chasing it as long as it moves. While very easy to use, take care not to point the dot straight to his eyes or at heights that may be dangerous to him, to others, and important objects.
As demonstrated in a popular “kitty collection” game on Android, there are many other toys you can use for games with your pet. Boxes, balls, scratching posts, and cat trees are decent options you can also consider in addition to the above. There’s no need to make an elaborate home setup, but you can opt to have one made for you if you have enough space or have at least six cats living with you.
No one knows exactly why cats can suffer from separation anxiety, defined as the general dislike for being left alone. What is known, however, is that it is triggered when the owner is away, is about to go away, or is separated from him. It can also happen if kitty cat is separated from another pet (not necessarily another cat) that he shares a strong bond with.
Owners can determine if their beloved felines really have separation anxiety by checking for the following signs:
Extreme attachment to owner such that he follows the owner across rooms.
Distress as owner prepares to leave home, also called pre-departure anxiety.
Vocalisation of distress (moaning, meowing, and crying) after owner leaves.
The affected cat becomes too anxious to consume food when left on his own.
Inappropriate elimination of faeces and urine. Since anxiety is a source of stress, and stress causes recurrent cystitis to develop, it’s important for owners to check for the development of the disorder for as long as separation anxiety is still an issue with their pets. Owners can check for recurrent cystitis by checking if the cat urinates too little and too often, and if he urinates outside the litter tray.
Vomiting when the owner is away.
Excessive grooming. What begins as displacement behaviour eventually leads to compulsive grooming if left unchecked.
Demonstration of destructive behaviour among certain afflicted cats. Door edges are clawed and scratched as a way of trying to escape confinement.
Excessive greeting behaviour.
How should owners deal with feline separation anxiety?
To ensure that kitty’s behaviour isn’t because of underlying physical issues, an owner’s best course of action is to first seek a veterinarian’s opinion. If no medical issues are found, enriching the environment of the cat should help minimise the severity of the problem.
Ways to Enrich a Cat’s Environment:
Positioning climbing frames in such a way that kitty can see what the outside world looks like.
Bird feeders that are visible from one window that kitty can access.
Mobile toys that have catnip.
Placing that day’s kibble ration inside a food toy.
Leaving the TV or radio on.
Environmental pheromone therapy products can help in reducing anxiety, particularly when used along with any natural supplement that’s available in the market.
Owners can also make sure that the time surrounding departure is not that stressful for their pet cats by changing their normal routine. One change that should work is ignoring kitty before leaving and upon coming home. The removal of attention causes stress. Therefore, full focus on kitty by the owner as long as the latter is present actually causes the problem to worsen instead of helping to make the feline feel secure.
If none of the above work, or if the anxiety persists, owners should consult with the veterinarian again. Special medication for his condition or behavioural therapy may be recommended for kitty cat, depending on what the veterinarian thinks is more appropriate. For the latter solution, the owner may be referred to an animal behaviourist he knows can handle that pet’s case.
Bringing home a new kitten, whether from a pet store or from an adoption centre, is definitely an exciting time for the entire family. In the succeeding weeks, kitty will see numerous opportunities to adjust to the new surroundings. At the same time, you will know more about him or her.
But while he or she is still in the adjustment stage, expect to see him or her hide and display nervousness, especially during the first few days of staying with you. These reactions are not that different from the normal human reaction to being in a new environment (i.e. new neighbourhood, new country, new workplace, new school). Like humans, cats feel stressed when taken away from familiar environments and moved to new, unfamiliar settings.
How To Understand Kitty Cat
* Spend lots of time handling kitty cat. By doing so, you develop a strong bond with him or her and make him or her feel comfortable in your home.
* The meow is usually reserved for cat-to-human communication, although this endearing means of communication is used to get the mother’s attention as well. That said, it follows that, instead of ignoring it, you should respond to it. However, if you notice that kitty meows way too much, ignore the meowing and respond only when he or she has quieted down.
* Kitty cat has so much energy to burn, and since cats are mainly nocturnal mammals, it follows that your new addition to your family will be more active during the night. As this can be an inconvenience to you, it’s important that you alter this behaviour early on. Make it a habit to play with kitty during early evenings so that some of the excess energy is spent. Set aside playing time for when you wish kitty to become very active. Lastly, avoid playing with them or feeding them if he or she will wake you up at night since this will only reward unwanted behaviour.
* All cats have a need to scratch surfaces. They do this in order to sharpen claws and to deposit their distinct scent, which happens because scent glands can also be found on cat paws.
To prevent damage to home essentials associated with scratching, you need to provide the cat with scratching posts. At first, these posts should be placed in areas where kitty scratches. Then gradually move the posts to the location you prefer. Posts should never be hidden in corners since it’s important for kitty to scratch in areas that are immediately visible.
* Cats are predators. Thus, it follows that as kitty grows older, he or she will spend so much time learning behaviours his or her ancestors have learned, such as chasing, pouncing, and stalking. While normal, keep in mind that kitty has sharp claws and teeth, so make sure that kitty only does these actions on suitable toys and not on humans and other pets.
Understanding the behaviour of a new kitten, as a whole, can be challenging. But as long as the tips highlighted above are followed, you can expect kitty’s stay in your household to be a pleasant experience for both kitty and your family.
When people talk about their pets protecting them or pets for protection, the first thing that usually comes to mind are dogs. Of course, dogs are amazing and lovely animals capable of guarding their owners from harm. They would even jump in the fray and risk their lives whenever necessary.
Dogs have a distinct reaction when humans are fighting as well. But what about cats? Well, cats are just as capable of protecting humans from danger, be it from other animals or from our own kind. Here are some of the things they do when they see their favorite humans fighting.
Attack the Alleged Aggressor
The most common reaction a cat would make to protect his/her human is to attack the aggressor. You see this a lot in the wild and when an intruder enters their territory. This same tactic is applied during moments when humans are fighting and your cat is in the same room.
Cats would often retaliate and protect who they think needs it. People have reported experiencing and witnessing such occurrences. They would describe their sweet and docile cats going berserk towards the aggressor. This could also be triggered by the stress they feel in an environment where people frequently argues.
Do Things to Distract Humans
Like humans, cats react differently to certain situations. During a fight between you and your partner, sibling, or parent, not all cats will jump in the fray. Some would hide, others wouldn’t give much care and a few opt to get physical. However, there are cats who prefer the more subtle approach. An approach that would not entail violence, but would result to laughter, melting hearts and cuddle time.
Cats are reported to do silly things to distract their humans when fighting. A man reports that whenever he and his wife would have an argument, their cat would chase its tail. He said “It wasn’t so much that he would chase the tail as it was where he would chase his tail. It was typically in a chair in the living room or, even better, in the bathtub. In the bathtub, chasing his tail would make such a ruckus that it was impossible to ignore.”
Be the Great Comforter
Sometimes they would just simply hide during heated arguments. They’d just wait until their humans have calmed down. Then they’d all come out and be there to comfort them. Sitting on their laps, kneading on them, purring like they’ve never purred before.
Cats are very good detectors when it comes to what their humans are feeling. They are sympathetic creatures who would always comfort those closest to them. After human fights or arguments, cats would go where their humans are and comfort them in any way that they can.
See, cats aren’t just protectors, they’re companions. They are there for us through thick and thin. Through good and bad. Through fights and peaceful moments. Although they may have different approaches in dealing with it, all of them do this out of love for us
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