What Your Cat Really Thinks of You
Scientists and animal lovers have been trying to understand cats and their relationship to humans for many years, yet cats still remain a mystery. Thanks to new research, though, by people like Dr. John Bradshaw, who wrote a book titled Cat Sense, we may be getting closer to comprehending why cats behave the way they do and how they really view their human companions.
Conclusions Through Observation
Dr. Bradshaw spent a lot of time simply observing cats and comparing their behavior to that of dogs. He states that dogs will view humans as being different from themselves. They will actually change the way that they behave and play when interacting with humans versus when they are surrounded by others of their own species. Cats, on the other hand, do not seem to make that distinction.
You’re a Fellow Feline
What more pet behaviorists are realizing through their studies is that cats really view their human guardians as fellow felines. They do not seem to alter their behavior when they are around people; instead, they stick to how they would normally act if they were surrounded by other cats. This is why they point their tails straight up in the air to greet you, or they rub their heads against you and may even start to groom you. If you observe many cats who get along, this is how they behave amongst one another. In essence, then, your cat views you as her equal, and she doesn’t feel the need to be anyone other than her own unique self when she is around you.
Cats Learn Our Habits
Cats are smart creatures who analyze the behaviors of the humans around them and then use the information they have gleaned to their advantage. For example, if your wife gets up earlier than you do and has gotten into a routine of feeding your cats first thing in the morning, they will only bother her while letting you sleep in. This is why it is difficult to break an established routine with cats. They basically learn what each person expects and what each person can give them, and then behave accordingly. And they also change their vocalizations to get what they want once they learn what sounds get them food, snuggle time, playtime, etc.
You’re Just a Big Mom
In addition to viewing you as a fellow feline, cats also view humans as big mothers. The same behaviors that they used as kittens towards their moms are what you encounter even with an adult cat. Kneading, purring, rubbing, and raising the tail are just a few of the behaviors that cats typically exhibit as they are being reared by their moms and after they have been adopted into their forever homes with their favorite humans.
They’re Social Only to a Certain Extent
Cats can be surprisingly social, but only on their own terms. After all, they are independent and can be aloof, so you can’t expect the same behaviors from your cat that you would get from a dog. While cats love to snuggle up with their humans, they do prefer to spend time alone as well. And they typically don’t like large crowds of people and loud environments, which means they will more than likely retreat if you are throwing a party, whereas a dog will probably be happy to be around a crowd.
There is certainly no denying that cats are interesting, and mysterious, creatures. It is no wonder that they are a very popular pet and even outnumber dogs. Although they may be a little hard to decipher at first, as you get to know your individual cat better, you will begin to understand her needs, vocalizations, and body language.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.
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