Understanding Your Cat

Are you a new cat owner? If so, there will come a point in time when your cat becomes “just like one of the kids.” However, until that time arrives, it is up to you to understand your cat and the small signals that he or she may be sharing with you.

As important as it is to hear that it will be your responsibility to understand your cat and decipher the signals that he or she may be sending you, you may be wondering why. Many pet owners often respond with something like “what the heck?” If you are a new pet owner or a first-time pet owner, you may not understand just how much your cat relies and depends on you.

As for why it is important to understand your cat, doing so can be important to his or her health. We humans are able to speak and seek medical attention when we develop a cold or suffer a debilitating injury. Pets, on the other hand, cannot do so. Just because your cat doesn’t outright tell you that she needs to go the vet, it doesn’t mean that a visit isn’t in order.

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from a medical problem, whether it be an injury or an illness, you will want to seek professional help right away. Schedule a visit with your veterinarian. The sooner you do so, the quicker you can understand what is bothering your cat. If you must make your cat’s appointment an emergency appointment, especially if he or she seems to be suffering.

Speaking of suffering, many new cat owners wonder how they can tell when their pet is feeling ill or has suffered an injury that may not be noticeable to the human eye. Whether you have only had your cat a week or five years, you should already start to notice habits that he or she has. These habits may include greeting you when you walk into a room or sleeping in the same spot. If these habits change, it may be due to an injury that is difficult to see or a medical illness.

In addition to knowing when your cat may be ill, understanding when your cat is hungry is also important. Some pet owners will always leave food out for their pets. This is doable; however, there may be some negative consequences. For instance, your cat may eat too much and develop an obesity problem. Bug and other rodents can be attracted to your pet’s food, especially wet canned food, regardless of how clean your home is.

For that reason, look for signs that your cat may be hungry. Many cats will approach their empty food dish and start to cry out. Others, may take steps to get human food or the food of other pets in the home. Of course, you also don’t have to let it get that far. Creating a set feeding schedule for your cat has a number of benefits.

Despite the fact that deciphering your cats every move may seem like an impossible task, it really isn’t. Although your cat will have his or her own distinctive attitudes, you may be surprised just how similar cats occasionally react like humans. When upset or frustrated, your cat may retreat to their own special spot. When hungry, your cat may call out for food. When your cat is excited, you should be able to tell right away, as he or she will likely be more active than usual.

The above mentioned reasons are just a few of the many why it is important for you to learn how to understand your cat. If you are looking for helpful tips, consider speaking to your veterinarian. There are also multiple book and online websites that are designed to help new pet owners develop a close and healthy relationship with their cats. Having an attentive and close relationship with your cat is the first step in understanding their wants and needs.

Cat Behaviour

Cats are known as solitary animals. They don’t hunt communally or share the spoils of a hunt. Sometimes cats with adjoining territories will get together for a pleasant evening grooming session, but on the whole they are not the most social creatures with others of their kind. This general wisdom does not always seem to hold up.

My barn cats are a single family descended from a lone female who wandered onto our place one day and decided to stay. She and her children and grandchildren police the local rodent population. Their behavior doesn’t always match the solitary hunter of common wisdom.

The original female, Patch, used to like to take her kittens for daytrips around the area. I’ve watched her bring her little brood back from wherever they’ve been in the evenings. One evening I watched her stop and sit down near the edge of a small, lightly used road running next to our farm. Two of her kittens stopped next to her. As she turned her head one way and then the other, carefully looking for traffic, the kittens mimicked her actions. The only one who didn’t was the little orange tiger who became distracted by a butterfly. Patch retrieved her wandering kitten and brought the whole family home. Walks are still a part of kitten lessons.

I recently watched Patch, her daughter and three of their kittens taking a walk around the boundaries of our farm. Patch and her daughter led the way. The two younger kittens were in the middle. The oldest kitten, not quite a year old brought up the rear. When one of the younger kittens stopped too long, he tried to move them along. If he couldn’t then one of the mother cats would come back and get the little guy moving. I’ve wondered what this little jaunt was about. Possibly Patch was showing the newest members of her family where their territorial boundaries were?

Some of the most interesting behavior I’ve seen regards family member who were injured. One of Patches’ sons is a big burley black and white adult tom. A very handsome and friendly boy, he unfortunately has a talent for trouble. One day he came limping heavily into the yard wailing at the top of his lungs. His mother and sisters raced up to him as fast as they could. While he continued to cry, Patch began washing his face and ears while his sisters lay down over top of him. They stayed that way for some time while I called the vet. I’m happy to report that he recovered just fine with only a hitch in his giddyup to remember his adventure by.

Another of Patches sons, a brown and white tom just under a year old, got into a fight with his eldest brother. During the fight his foot was injured and began to swell. I found him limping along on three legs the following morning. I brought him onto our porch where I could keep a close eye on him and he could recover without further injuring his foot. While he was recuperating, various members of the family perched outside the porch windows, keeping him company.

These are just a few examples I’ve seen among my cats. Maybe they are unusual. I’ve certainly never seen cats act this way before. Or maybe, just maybe, cats aren’t such social isolates as everyone’s always thought!