Sharing a home with someone usually means getting intimately acquainted with their personality. Does the same follow for feline friends? Cats have a reputation for sly games and hidden agendas, but the breadth of their emotions is every bit as varied as their human owners.
Understanding the complicated emotional life of a cat is not so difficult. Animals are motivated by similar needs to their owners. Following these feline cues can help owners understand what cats are thinking and feeling.
Relaxed And Happy
Contentment is the usual setting for most cats. Cheerful cats generally give off many easy-to-spot signals:
- The familiar and happy buzz of a contented purr
- Relaxed body posture, lying in a ball, atop the front paws, or stretched out
- Whiskers away from the face, as if grinning
- Ears are in a comfortable, upright position
- Eyes blinking lazily, or semi-shut
- Tails will be relaxed or upright and hooked in welcome
Felines were made to hunt and pursue prey. Whether it is an object of prey or an owner with a toy, even domesticated house cats haven’t lost these common predatory characteristics:
- Tails down, hanging low behind the cat’s hindquarters, twitching in anticipation
- Lowered body position
- Ears and whiskers aimed in the direction of the intended prey or desired object
- Eyes open and pupils focused
Nerves and anxiety usually result from a significant change in a cat’s environment, whether that’s a move or a new element introduced into their world. Here’s what to keep an eye on:
- Body cowering or back arched and prepared to flee
- Still tails or slow sideways movements at the tip
- Lowered head and ears flat or rapidly scanning for information
- Whiskers pulled in towards the face or pointed out in preparation
- Eyes will be wide open and fully dilated
Scared Or Angry
A frightened or irritated cat exhibits more apparent signs than the apprehensive cat above. Owners should approach a scared cat with slow, deliberate movements and help remove the source of fear. Signs include:
- Hissing, spitting, and claws may appear
- Bodies will be tall and fluffed out to seem larger
- Tails will be pulled entirely beneath the body or rapidly whipping
- Eyes will be wide and ears flat
Having a cat can teach kids to be respectful of animals while also providing them with a sense of responsibility. Each cat has its own distinct personality, but certain breeds more commonly display traits that can make them suitable for children. Here are five of the best cat breeds to get if you have kids.
Burmese cats are known for being social and affectionate, which makes them an ideal cat to have in a family. These cats are also inquisitive and will love to explore your home. If you get a Burmese cat as a kitten, you can expect it to stay energetic well into adulthood. Some even like to play fetch. Because of their social nature, these cats are best suited to a household where people will be home throughout the day.
Exotic Shorthair Cats
Exotic Shorthair cats are descended from the Persian breed. Unlike Persians, they have a dense, short coat. They’re known for being gentle, calm, and patient. Although Exotic Shorthairs are very loyal and enjoy spending time sitting in their human companion’s laps, they also love to play. If left alone, they can happily entertain themselves with a toy.
Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coon cats are easy to recognize because of their large size and long fur. These cats are very inquisitive and like to be around their human companions. At the same time, they tend to be independent and are okay with being left alone for periods of time. Additionally, they’re very relaxed and easygoing, so they don’t mind being picked up. Generally, they get along well with other pets.
Known for being affectionate and loyal, these shorthaired cats tend to develop strong bonds with their human companions. Abyssinian cats are energetic and love attention, so they make great playmates. They’re also very intelligent, which makes them easy to train, and because of their short coats, they require very little grooming.
Birman cats tend to be exceedingly friendly and easygoing. This breed is identifiable by its blue eyes and medium-length coat. They love to receive affection from adults and children and enjoy spending time with their human companions. If you have a cat-friendly dog, Birman cats can be a good option as their mellow nature means they get along with other animals.
Getting a new cat means taking on the responsibility of training your pet. A properly trained cat can provide companionship and joy, but a poorly trained cat can lead to hours of frustration. Follow these suggestions to ensure you and your cat have a happy life together.
Getting Your Cat to Use a Litter Box
This may be the simplest aspect to training your cat, because cats are clean creatures by their nature. As such, they like to bury their waste, so the litter box is an ideal situation for them. To begin, select an enclosed room and place a clean and prepared litter box in the room. Next, place the cat in the litter box, which should not have an enclosure. If the cat steps outside the box to relieve itself, pick up the waste and place it inside the box. Once the cat sees you place the waste in the litter box, confine the cat in that room. Within a couple of days, your new cat should be trained to use the litter box independently.
The best way to train a cat to stop the destructive behavior is through positive reinforcement. Smacking the cat for clawing the furniture, for instance, will only confuse the animal. He or she will have difficulty understanding what the punishment was for, because sharpening its claws is just a natural act. Instead, get the cat an object that it can claw, such as a scratching post. Try demonstrating to the cat what you want it to do and, when it does use the scratching post, be sure to reward it. This may take several attempts, but, eventually, the cat will learn.
You can also train your cat to stop aggressive behavior. If he or she claws and bites when playing, make a loud noise to startle the animal. A loud hiss or a bang on a table may do the trick. Once the cat has been startled, walk away and stop playing. After a few times, your cat will get the hint.
While these are the best methods for training your cat, they won’t always work. A stubborn cat may take more time and effort in training away bad behavior. If you feel as though you’ve made the extra effort and have seen no results, consult your veterinarian. He may be able to recommend other methods or may refer you to a professional trainer who can help.
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 !