There are mistakes people make when it comes to cats and one of them is assuming cats are less needy than dogs. While cats are similar in a lot of ways such as walking on all fours like dogs, they’re different in almost every other way but they too have specific needs.
Some differences are evident at their beginning stages of life. Most puppies tend to be noisy, playful, curious and impulsive. Most kittens do not quite like the same level of interactions as puppies do. Loud sounds, sudden movements and playing rough are definitely not things that they enjoy.
So if your cat could talk, these are the things they might tell you.
Cat says: “Supervise the situation when kids are present please.“
Kids can often act impulsively and get frustrated easily. If a child is not familiar with cats, they may be assuming playing rough is OK, it is not.
As the adult, your cat is counting on you to teach the child how to interact. By being present and monitoring the situation, you can demonstrate how to treat the cat gently and with respect. You can demonstrate how the cat might need to walk away for a bit, but will come back when he/she is ready. You can also correct undesirable behavior from the child as necessary.
Cat says: “We have some basic body language that everyone should know”
A relaxed cat that is actually enjoying the attention will let you know everything is great by rubbing against your hands or clothing, or leaning against you.
Other signs that things are OK are a tail that is held high, and your cat is purring.
If your cat is swishing their tail (in a back and forth type of motion) this is a beginning sign that the cat could be irritated. This can evolve to the cats tail being lowered to ground level, or even tucked underneath. If this starts happening, your cat is definitely irritated or feeling anxiety. Watch the cats ears too. If they are lowered and moved back, something is up for sure. If the cat begins to growl or show claws, things have seriously gotten worse.
Cat says: “Would you please pet me the right way”
Yes, there is a right and a wrong way to pet a cat.
The right way is with an open hand and a gentle stroke. The wrong way includes poking, pulling or grabbing.
If you are new to petting cats, try petting them with one finger instead of your whole hand. Start with a light touch and reassure them that you mean no harm. Doing it this was causes less stress on the cat. Until you know the preferences of the cat, only touch certain areas such as their back, shoulders, neck and the top of their head. When it comes to their paws, tail and tummy and other areas, more trust is needed on their end so avoid those areas until you are absolutely sure it is ok.
Cat says: “Would you please hold me the right way”
Suddenly just grabbing the cat and ultimately “restraining” them is not a welcomed surprise. Matter of fact, some cats might even scratch or bite you. Cats simply do not like sudden and unpredictable moves, especially those that hinder their ability to escape the situation.
Cats just like to do things their way, and in their own time. They are in no hurry to play with you. When you force a cat to do anything, the results are often no fun for them and can also be counterproductive.
Start by inviting the cat to sit on your lap and see how things go.
Cat says: “If I need to be picked up, there is a certain way to do it”
Assuming you got the all clear to proceed (based on all of the above) place one hand under the cats chest and the other supporting the rear legs. Then lift in a manner that supports the cat’s weight evenly. Then gently hold the cat against your upper body to give them added balance. It’s really about making them feel comfortable and secure.
As soon as the cat wants to be put down, immediately and gently lower the cat to the floor or another stable surface.
Cat says: “OK, you’re cool, so lets play. However, like a cat”
There is no need for shouting, jumping or running. Activities such as these can be frightening to a cat. Playing with a cat is almost one step above just being relaxed and doing nothing at all really. They like lower tones of voice, they like to know if you will be still with no sudden movements, and they like you to be patient. Respecting these things will build more trust and your cat will ultimately let you know when to step up you cat playing game with toys!
Cat says: “When I’m hiding, just leave me alone please”
If we have not made anything more clear other than cats do things in their way and on their own time, this situation is perfect to reiterate that. Cats hide for a reason. We as humans may not know, nor even agree with their reasons, but they have reasons of their own. Some cats may hide under the bed, behind a couch or get to the highest point of a closet; they don’t want to been seen or found.
Disturbing a hiding cat really makes them mad and may cause them to scratch or bite you. If your cat decides he/she wants to hide under the bed, do not pull them away from there. This is a safe place for them and for some reason, they feel unsafe. Your cat should be left alone. They will come out when they are ready. This is not the time to attempt to lure them out with food, treats or a favorite toy.
Cat says: “I know you don’t think that I spend that much time with you as it is, but I may often need even more private time.“
Cats are more independent. They actually enjoy spending time alone. They don’t need your attention all day long and that does not mean that anything is wrong. It is simply how it is. They enjoy their own exclusive use and private spaces, give them as many of these areas as possible.
Cat says: “I am not a dog. Some of us don’t even like dogs”
The nature of cats is different from every other species. As a rule, no animal is a toy. All animals are living, breathing, thinking and feeling creatures. Cats don’t play rough, they are not a secondary home security system, and for most, they don’t like leashes nor walks. Until you fully understand your cats needs, just use a ton of love and compassion. This will result in making you the best cat parent ever.
Cats says: “We need cat supplements and we love the taste of Kos Tonics”
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Cat says: “Meow and Thank you for striving to be a purrrrfect cat parent”