If you’re anything like me, you always wonder what is going on behind those big cat eyes. When she stares for hours out the windows, or when she crawls onto your lap, what do you think she is thinking? For this, we look no further than to those who study cats such as behaviorists Pam Johnson-Bennett, Mieshelle Nagelschneider, and our very own Cat Daddy, Jackson Galaxy.
Though we know that cats have been domesticated for thousands of years, to their human companions they still retain an air of mystery. Their reputations are all about being aloof, self-reliant, and self-serving. Let’s see if this is totally true.
Before cat behaviorists set about discovering what makes them tick, cats were regarded as low-maintenance pets that were best suited to people who didn’t have time for dogs. Cats were thought to be un-trainable and without personality.
These contentions have since been found to be totally untrue. It has been shown that cats are at least as good at being trained as dogs. It is important to learn what motivates them. Cats’ motivating factors are different than those of dogs. It is a mistake to compare them to dogs. This comparison leads one to believe that cats are not affectionate and prefer to remain aloof when quite the opposite is the case. Let’s take a closer look at how cats see their lives with you.
Cat Love. Since cats are predators, they are always surveying their territory for threats. If they lay down facing away from you, it is because they are protecting the environment to ensure your safety. Because they are prey to larger predators, they are always somewhat on alert. Unlike dogs, they are not pack animals. But, this doesn’t mean they prefer to be solitary. They are just watchful.
Social & Loyal.Cats are all individuals. Though cats are solitary hunters when it comes to capturing their prey, they are often quite sociable with each other. Again, it depends upon the individual and the other animals in the home. Some cats get along extremely well with dogs and other pets. Others, not so much. But, you can rest assured that your cat is loyal. Kitty may not follow you around like a dog, but she has your back by watching over and patrolling your territory!
Cat Anger, Guilt & Jealousy. Cats become angry when they feel they are backed into a corner. If you are petting her too much, she may become over-stimulated and snap at you. But the good news is that cats do not hold grudges. Nor do they feel guilty. After Kitty snaps at you, she will shy away since she knows you are angry. She has fear but has no guilt over her actions. Her actions are appropriate for her at that point in time. However, jealousy is something that cats will display when their resources like food and water are threatened by other cats. Best to have multiple feeding stations if you have multiple cats.
Cat Joy & Sadness. Cats do experience both of these high-level emotions as evidenced when one of a cat pair passes away and the other grieves. They are lonely if left to their own devices for too long, and they can become stressed from boredom when there is not enough interaction. To keep them happy, play with them and supply interactive toys. Cat trees from Armarkat are a great way to keep them fulfilled with a designated place to climb, play, scratch, and rest.
Cats Will be Cats. The answer to what cats are doing when staring out the window should be apparent: They are watching CatTV! Here, they can follow the movements of birds, bees, and a host of other creatures. This is cat amusement by giving expression to her predatory nature. The best way to understand Kitty is to respect her feline instincts. Know that her reactions may be different from ours, and that she will most certainly keep some feline secrets to herself.
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