A grey cat on the floor

Cats make amazing pets, but they can definitely be a bit puzzling to live with at times. First of all, their awake in the morning, awake in the evening, nap all day, schedules make it seem like all they do is sleep. And when they are awake, they’re either grooming, eating, playing, or appearing to think really deep thoughts.

But the mysteries of feline behavior go deeper than their unique schedules and daily habits. Indeed, cats are highly intelligent, complex problem-solvers that not only require extra patience, understanding and observation, they deserve it.

A Note on Purring

One major thing that your cat wishes you knew, but can only communicate through their inherited feline behavior, is that purring doesn’t always indicate happiness. Instead, this can be a coping mechanism for a cat that is experiencing stress or pain. Certainly, they will likely purr when you’re holding them, but by tuning into their body language you can decipher what’s really going on. 

If I Could Speak Your Language

Cats have a surprisingly astute approach to dealing with the people in their lives. It’s almost like they know they are good for our health and wellbeing (and they are!). Research shows that having a strong relationship with a pet cat can increase happiness, heal depression, and minimize the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

In other words, your cat wishes you would pet them more often (if that’s even possible). It’s good for you!

Decoding Feline Behavior

Other things your cat wishes you knew, but is still waiting on cat to human translation technology to tell you:

  • I headbutt you because you are mine, and I belong to you forever.
  • I also rub against your legs and mark you with my special scent because I love you.
  • I don’t mean to break the rules! I might have litter box issues occasionally, or decide to hop on the kitchen counters. I know you don’t like it when I claw at the couch, but I have to scratch! Please be patient with me, and give me places that I can scratch without ruining your furniture.
  • I don’t hate water the way some cats do, but that doesn’t mean I want to take a bath. Baths help keep me healthy by keeping my skin free of debris, dirt, and help make sure I don’t have any skin problems.
  • I want to smell the smells, just like dogs! I know you’re keeping me inside for my own safety and health, but can we discuss the benefits of building a catio?
  • I don’t mean to overeat, but when I ask for attention you think I just want a treat. I’d be satisfied with an extra long cuddle or a good game of cat and mouse down the hallway. 

Fine & Dandy

And lastly, one of the first things a cat will never tell you (in so many meows) is that they need to go to the vet! But every cat deserves a routine wellness exam. To be sure, cats are notorious about hiding any signs of weakness, and will do their best to mask illness or injury from their people.

Younger cats benefit from yearly appointments (once they’ve received all vaccinations, been spayed/neutered, and are on parasite preventives). Senior cats and those with medical challenges should be seen at least twice a year.

If you have additional questions or concerns about feline behavior, or just want us to talk to your cat (and we’d love to, by the way!), we hope you’ll contact us at Harris Parkway Animal Hospital.