If you have a cat, you know they’re mysterious creatures.
It’s basically impossible to figure out what they’re thinking at any given time, right? Well, turns out they’re not trying to be difficult. In fact, there are more than a few things your cat would probably like you to know.
1. He misses you when you’re gone
That “who cares?” attitude is nothing but an act. We’ve all been trained to think of cats as independent creatures, and for the most part, they are. They won’t go crazy when you’re gone for work, but if you leave for more than a day or two, chances are they’ll care. Some cats even display symptoms of separation anxiety, like clingy behavior and over-grooming, when you leave for extended periods of time.
2. He is so bored
Cats need mental and physical stimulation (and lots of your attention), or they get bored. And unlike us, they don’t have smartphones to keep themselves occupied, so they turn to over-grooming, overeating or shredding your furniture. Invest in some toys and climbing areas for your cat, and every once in a while, get down on the floor and play.
3. He’s talking to you, human
Kittens do meow at their mothers, but once they become adults, cat’s don’t use that sound to talk to each other. That means if your cat is meowing, he probably wants something from you, so pay attention. Oh, and don’t bother meowing back (you know you do it!) — he doesn’t understand you.
4. The belly is off-limits
Just because your dog likes a good belly rub doesn’t mean your cat wants one too. A cat’s stomach is her most vulnerable spot, and if you touch it, she’ll probably get defensive. If she shows you her belly, chances are she’s just really comfortable — so don’t ruin it by making the wrong move.
5. Her purr might not mean what you think
You probably take your cat’s purr to mean all is right in her world, but that’s not always the case. Yes, it can mean she’s happy, but she may also purr when she’s nervous, sick or feeling cornered.
More: Does your cat hate you? Use this flowchart to find out
6. She needs to scratch
Your cat isn’t scratching up your furniture as part of some giant revenge plot — I promise. She just can’t help it. Cats need to scratch for a variety of reasons, including claw maintenance, territory-marking and exercise. Save your furniture by making sure she has something to scratch that meets your approval.
7. Your cat can totally bathe herself
Seriously, if there’s one thing your cat can handle, it’s grooming. Unless she’s gotten into something really gross, skip the bath. It’s likely to be an unpleasant experience for you both anyway.
8. That laser pointer kind of sucks
Your cat may look like he’s having fun when he’s chasing that beam of light around the room, but he may not be. Games like that tend to turn on the cat’s hunting instinct, and the laser pointer never really gives the satisfaction of the catch, often leading to a lot of frustration. If you can’t part with your precious laser, at least end the game with an actual, touchable toy.
9. That bum in your face is a little like a handshake
Yes, it’s gross, but she really means well. Cats rub and sniff one another as a way to greet the other and exchange scents and body oils. When your cat sticks her butt in your face, it’s an invitation to pet and cuddle her and, in the process, leave some of your oils on her fur.
10. Those dead animals aren’t meant to be scary
In fact, they’re your cat’s way of taking care of you. If your cat is a spayed female, your chances of receiving these types of presents are much higher, since cats have an instinct to teach these hunting skills to their offspring, and you’re the only family she’s got. Say “thank you,” and try not to scream.
11. She basically thinks you’re a cat
Believe it or not, your cat has just as hard a time understanding you as you do her. She’s so bad at figuring you out, in fact, that she doesn’t even know you’re human. With dogs, there’s no doubt that they treat us way differently than their canine companions, but there’s not a lot of difference in the ways cats treat us from other felines. For that reason, some experts have concluded that they think we’re just oversize cats.
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