When you find yourself hiding out in your mercifully quiet car to do your taxes, you realize that it’s finally happened. Your cat has finally managed to meow you off the deep end.
It began nicely enough: Your cat would yowl now and again before coming in for a quick pat. Then, he began meowing before dinner; a few days later, after dinner. You thought it was normal – cute, even. You changed your mind once he started howling at the wall at three o’clock in the morning. Now, you’re hiding from your own feline best friend for some peace and quiet, wondering how the situation got to be this bad – and more importantly, how you can fix it.
All hope is not lost!
Cats vocalize for a variety of reasons, but they rarely do so out of sheer contrariness. Because so much of their communication with other felines is based in body language, full-grown cats don’t need to meow at each other; rather, they only do so if they want to convey something to their human. If your cat begins yowling out of the blue, you should go through the following basic checklist to narrow down the cause:
Is it past feeding time? Cats will often meow to indicate their hunger or to express their interest in food you may be preparing for yourself. Don’t let your cat turn into a beggar! If they begin meowing for food even after they’ve been fed, try not to feed them scraps or give in to the howling. Otherwise, you might just reinforce the behavior!
Contrary to what popular opinion might hold, cats aren’t naturally aloof animals. Much like dogs or even humans, cats need plenty of stimulation and attention to feel secure and happy. If your cat meows when you come back from work, give them a quick pet or cuddle! A lack of attention can be especially difficult for indoor and solitary cats who lack the stimulation an outdoor cat might enjoy. If you think your cat’s meowing stems from loneliness or boredom and can’t be solved by you alone, consider getting another cat and investing in some new cat toys!
As I just mentioned, indoor environments can be hard on cats. The inside of a house only offers so much stimulation, and a cat can quickly get bored if it isn’t challenged or entertained on a daily basis. If you have a yard, try building a secure outdoor enclosure! This will provide your cat with a safe space to explore and play.
If none of these reasons seem to suit your situation, there might be a more serious problem at work. Older or disabled cats will sometimes meow from mental confusion or pain. If you have a young cat that hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, you could be dealing with a cat in heat. The latter isn’t a big deal – although you should get your cat fixed to avoid any accidental litters!
When in doubt, you should always take your cat to the vet to ensure the health of your feline friend.
Cats. Those furry friends we all know and love. Have you ever looked at your cat and wondered what makes it so unique? Every cat has a personality that’s fun to explore and learn about. You can get to know your cat by reading into its body language and more. Cats are fun creatures and they’re even more fun to learn about. Here are some facts about cats you may not know!
Some Cats have “Thumbs”
Although it’s more common to find a cat with 5 fingers on their paws, some cats have more. Polydactyl cats have more than 5 fingers on their paws which look like mittens. President Theodore Roosevelt had a polydactyl cat named “Slippers” which was one of the first cats to ever roam the White House. Cats only get this trait through an inherited gene from one of their parents.
They Can Hear Ultrasonic Noises
Cats are known for their strong senses– particularly hearing. Cats have a pinna which is the outer flap on their ear. The pinna allows them to hear from all directions, taking the sound directly to their eardrum. Once the sound reaches the eardrum, tiny bones inside the middle of the ear will vibrate the sound waves to the cochlea and then on to the brain.
This process is what allows cats to have ultrasonic hearing. That means cats can hear sounds up to 5 times better than humans. A cat’s hearing is what makes it such a great hunter. Hearing rodents and being able to lock in their location based on sound helps to guide the cat in the right direction.
A Cat’s Nose is like Its Thumbprint
Every cat’s nose has a print that is unique just like every human has a unique fingerprint. Although your cat’s nose will appear to have simple, small bumps on it, those small bumps make out a specific pattern just for your cat.
They Sleep A LOT
On average, cats will sleep about 15 total hours each day. Some cats can even sleep up to 24 hours. Cats are crepuscular meaning they are most active at hours pertaining to dusk and dawn. Outside of those hours, cats are usually sleeping. Cats are also affected by the weather, so on a rainy day, cats will need more sleep to conserve their energy.
Cats get a bad rap. Too often, critics label cats as unfriendly, aloof, or uninteresting – and cite one bad experience with a friend’s Persian as their rationale. But I have trouble accepting these arguments; after all, few critics bother to think about how the cat feels before grabbing them for a stroke! Think about it: how would you feel if an unfamiliar stranger reached down and tried to immobilize you? Cats are unfairly stereotyped as unfriendly hermits, and I would argue that the misconception stems from humans who unfairly apply their behavioral expectations and assumptions for dogs to cats. Then, when cats don’t oblige – because they aren’t, you know, dogs – people reject them as universally unsociable. The logic is unreasonable. As Pam Johnson Bennett, cat behaviorist and author of Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat puts it in her book: “Cats shouldn’t be viewed as acceptable and sociable only when they act ‘doglike.'” Cats can be wonderful, social, affectionate pets – but you need to throw out dog-based assumptions and learn cat cues to understand them! Here, I overview basic feline body language.
Dogs aren’t cats – so if you see yours twitching her tails back and forth, keep back! A cat who waves her tail about quickly is likely anxious and should be left alone. A slow wave, in contrast, can indicate that the cat is assessing her surroundings and considering her next move. If a cat’s tail is up, she’s interested and paying attention to her surroundings. If it’s down and/or tucked between her legs, she’s probably scared – and if you see her express fear, you should give her space until she feels safer.
Never, ever approach a cat whose ears are back and pressed flat against her head; this indicates that the cat is threatened and may be aggressive. However, if the cat’s ears are up and forward, she is likely content and wouldn’t be opposed to a stroke.
Assessing your cat’s eyes can be tricky because the amount of available light in a room will change pupil dilation. However, cats with dilated pupils are generally shocked or scared, while those with constricted pupils can be taken as tense or aggressive. What the cat does with their eyes matters too; cats express contentment and affection by blinking slowly at those they care about.
To reiterate again: cats aren’t dogs. While a dog may show you its belly when it wants attention, a cat typically rolls onto its back to free up all four paws for swiping. Sometimes, the move is affectionate – but don’t count on it!
A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat
Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My human mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !