Apparently, cats are far more complex and subtle in their behavior than dogs or even humans. Yet most cat owners fail to recognize what their feline friends are trying to communicate.
For example, as Nicky Trevorrow from Cat Protection explains, why does a cat claw and bite when you rub its tummy?
“When a cat throws itself on its side and shows its belly, most people misinterpret this behaviour and think that it wants its belly rubbed but will get grabbed by their hand and the cat will bite them.
“What the cat is actually doing is showing a greeting behaviour and showing trust. It is actually an abuse of that trust to stroke its belly. What the cat would rather you do is to give it a slight head rub.
“When a cat comes towards you with their tail upwards, it is a sign of their greeting. The best thing to do is to acknowledge their greeting and give their head a rub.”
After a survey of 1,100 cat owners, Cat Protection discovered that 75% of respondents did not know what a cat’s upright tail meant; 33% didn’t know what their cat was showing contentment by slow-blinking; while 50% thought cats show stress by licking their lips; and 65% thought purring was a sign of contentment (while it can actually be a sign of pain).
To help cat owners understand what their cat is saying, the Cat Protection charity has produced the following short film, which helps explain:
• The greeting – when the cat walks towards you with its tail up, it means it is saying hello
• The sign of trust – when the cat rolls on its back exposing its stomach it is showing it trusts you rather than wanting its belly rubbed.
• The leg rub – when the cats rubs its head and body against your legs it is saying you smell strange and is trying to mark you with its scent
• Flattened ears – when the cat flattens its ears it is frightened and needs somewhere to hide
• Licking of lips – while after eating this can just be it is cleaning itself, at other times it can be a sign of nausea or stress
• The slow blink – the cat will slowly close and open its eyes, turning its head to one side, meaning it is relaxed and is not feeling threatened
Now you know what little Chairman Miaow is saying. Though personally, I prefer dogs, because they’re fun, enthusiastically happy about life, and easy to beat at cards.
Via the Daily Telegraph