Can someone please help me understand cats?

posted 1 week ago in Pets
Post # 31
Member
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

As everyone else has said, your cat is normal πŸ™‚ it’s your expectations that need to adjust. 

Sounds like your cat wants more play time, do you have interactive cat toys that you can use to play with him? My cat hates playing on her own so we definitely need to play with her to get her to move much.

Cats are most cuddly generally just after they’ve woken up for a few minutes. And it’s after THEY’VE woken up, not you waking them up! 

Try winking at your cat, it shows friendship πŸ™‚ it means friendship too when they boop you with their nose. Or they want something πŸ˜› 

Cats are typically more awake at dusk and early morning, so make sure to tire your cat out before bed by playing. 

Your cat coming up next to you isn’t him wanting a cuddle, it’s him wanting to be near you without being touched. Let him be and enjoy the close proximity. He’ll come onto you if he wants cuddles. 

As your cat gets older or when it’s cold out you’ll probably find he’ll want cuddled more πŸ™‚ 

If you’re missing cuddles, just call your dog over πŸ™‚ you have the best of both worlds, so enjoy it!

Post # 32
Member
1579 posts
Bumble bee

I’m a crazy cat lady!

As kittens, the nickname homicidal muffin is accurate.  And, adolescence can be a pain.  However, as they mature, their nature can change.  Maine Coons are a slow maturing breed and can take up to five years to attain full growth (I’m a Norwegian Forest Cat crazy cat lady).  

My oldest kitty, and her daughter have zero sense of letting me have personal space.  The middle girl alternates between pet me, cuddle me, and I couldn’t care less what you do, but continually rubs against me to mark me as hers.  My boy doesn’t like to sit on my lap and all petting must be *his* idea, but he’ll sit so close that he’s leaning against me, purring and making biscuits.  As for the youngest, she is super chatty and is starting to decide that being picked up and petted is a good thing; especially first thing in the morning or before bed.  The babies are, well, babies – and they have learned that people are good.  People are very good and friendly and won’t hurt them.

Being loved by a cat is a treasure as it’s a given.  You have to earn their love, but once you have it, you’re their person!  

As I write this, I have a 16-pound torbie and white girl suckling on my earlobe.

 

Post # 33
Member
1579 posts
Bumble bee

 

My 16-pound TezzyMonster (aka Ch Ri Kat Katts Treaaure of Bywater)

Post # 34
Member
397 posts
Helper bee

I haven’t read the responses (cat wanting attention, ironically enough!) but that’s normal behavior.  Rubbing against you is his way of making you part of his territory…congratulations, you’ve been accepted!  Sitting next to you and not wanting anything else is normal, too, and another BIG sign of acceptance.  

I’ve had cats since I was 11 (many decades now).  For some reason, we always had female cats and they all behaved this way.  As they grow up, they get more affectionate.   10 years ago, I adopted my first male cat and he happens to be a ginger, as well.  I was NOT prepared for how openly affectionate he is!  I mentioned it to the vet and she says male gingers tend to be the most affectionate cat you can get.  Just something to keep in mind for when you’re looking to expand the family laughing

Almost forgot:  re the popcorn thing.  He wants to play with it.  Try tossing a piece to him or another of his toys (George loves feathers, so we have “duck” and “chicken” cat toys that have feathers).  He surprised me by showing me he knows how to play fetch!  I’ve had him since 8 weeks old, this isn’t something I taught him.  Cats are much smarter than a lot of people realize.

Post # 35
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I think it might help you to know cat pyschology. Dogs are a partner species to us- they evolved to work in a team with humans- and they were team animals to begin with, so your dog and you speak a naturally more aligned mutual language. I still think its good to learn a bit about animal’s body language, but dogs are actively trying to talk to you and their whole instinct is collaborative.

My feeling is cats aren’t as mysterious as people think and they are or can be social, and make an effort to bridge gaps- cats meow basically just to talk to us- in the wild they don’t really meow and studies find that invidivdual owners of cats know what the different meows their cats use mean, but its not standard- you can’t understand your friend’s cats meow just because you know your cat’s meow- each cat is working out a meow that gets results from the human they live with.  But you have to assume the cat is going to leave more of that work of knowing each other up to you.

One pop culture way to learn a bit more about your cat’s psychology is that show “Cat From Hell” with Jackson Galaxy. Its silly but he covers a lot of ways to relate to your cat. The other resouce I hear a lot of people talk about is the book “Think Like a Cat” https://catbehaviorassociates.com/think-like-a-cat/. There’s a lot of basic things like eye contact and how you stand or move that will help make your cat understand that you undersand him.

Post # 36
Member
633 posts
Busy bee

Oh my god, what a glorious House Lion!!

lol, I have a similar problem with dogs, actually. I’ve never owned one, and I do LOVE them. I’m a smallscale farmer and most of my neighbors have working dogs and they are such lovely creatures—my partner and I have been toying with the idea of getting a Great Pyrenees as a guard animal for a while now. BUT, as a lifelong cat owner there are some things about them that just seem odd to me. Dogs have this thing where they’re always psyched to see you, like everytime you come through the door they react like you’re coming home from war, and they’re constantly looking at you to tell them what to do, and hoping you like it, and they’re, like, consistent in their behavior….? What is that? I’m used to coming home to a sullen predator/perma-toddler whose motto in life is, “I don’t have to explain myself to you.” Sometimes she sticks to me like purring glue for six hours straight and screams bloody murder when I put her down to fix dinner. Sometimes she runs away from me like I’m trying to kill her when I try to snuggle her of my own free will. I’ve come to believe that dogs have evolved to survive by pleasing humans, whereas cats have elvolved to survive by making humans slaves to their every whim. They’re very good at it!

 

Post # 37
Member
217 posts
Helper bee

Your kitty is so cute! 

As a kitty lover, I feel like cats are very misunderstood. People say they are “assholes,” but they just don’t have the same personality as a dog.

A cat’s behavior can be easily understood if you understand cats. They aren’t dong things randomly, there is something causing them to behave a certain way. It is just hard to figure out what it is, unlike a dog, where it is easy to understand their behavior.

I HIGHLY recommend Jackson Galaxy for learning about cats and their behavior. https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/ He is the cat whisperer. He has written books about cats and is very informative. https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/resolutions-for-a-healthy-cat-learn/

https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/youre-petting-your-cat-all-wrong/

I can tell you right now that a lot of cats get overstimulated easily (this is physiological, it is explained in the video above), so petting them like a dog is not the right approach. You offer your finger/hand for them to rub against, and let them control the pets. Dogs love full body pets, most cats do not. 

Cats are certainly unique though! My cat I used to have would ALWAYS want to be picked up and carried around. That was her favorite thing ever, to paw at your legs (when she was a kitten, she would just climb up my pants and shirt until I held her) to be picked up, and then for you to walk around and carry her. She would get all snuggled, purr loudly, and drool (yep, drool!) because she was so happy. She did NOT like to sit down on your lap while you were sitting, Princess Jasmine MUST be carried. I think she liked to be up higher. If she was not picked up fast enough, she would take to biting your leg because clearly I needed more reinforcement and did not understand she wanted attention NOW. 

 

 

Post # 39
Member
217 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
@katebluestone:  If a cat randomly runs out and attacks someone, it is often redirected aggression. Maybe there wsa a bird outside or another cat, now they have all this pent up energy and frustration, so they go jump on a person or attack another cat in the household. There was an episode of “My Cat From Hell” where this was happening. The person started playing with the cat when that would happen to redirect the aggression to a suitable source. Problem solved!

If someone is petting a cat and they suddenly bite or scratch, it is because the person missed the signs (very subtle, one most easy to notice is a tail moving back and forth) and the cat got overstimulated. Or they were petting the cat wrong (full body pets like a dog is not their thing). Or that the cat was seeking to play, and not attention to be petted. 

There is always a reason with kitties for what they are doing! It just takes some sleuthing to figure out. πŸ™‚

Wow, not sure why the font is so big!

Post # 40
Member
633 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
@blueberrycupcake28:  OH MY GOD, it’s so gratifying to hear someone else’s cat MUST ONLY be carried while their human is standing! I thought my kitty was the only one who insisted upon this! 

Come to think of it, I feel like cats are a lot more like people compared to dogs. Sometimes my cat is in the mood to be picked up—other times, she will wriggle out of my grasp so aggressively that I come away bleeding. They have to be in the mood to be affectionate, they can’t just turn it on like a switch. 

Post # 41
Member
2942 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

How to understand cats: 

 

they are assholes

 

they do what they want 

Post # 42
Member
224 posts
Helper bee

I am 100% cat lady. Had a dog when I was little. Loved her. But all cats since. Currently living with 6 cats…used to be 9 but the older ones passed last year. 

Anyhoo!! I love this series of videos done with animal experts and the guy who does Simons Cat series on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLagyxbJHFyL0gts4lwigyhTbckDarQCVU

 

Your kitty is beautiful!! I hope this helps. Please feel free to DM me as well πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€ I just worked a very long day and don’t feel like I am a cat expert at this expert at this exact moment hahaha but normally I have opinions of not more resources 😊

Post # 43
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Omg. He’s majestic. Everything you described is typical. As for knocking things down, it’s cuz he sees it as a fun game. My suggestions: make sure he has his own spaces ie. shelves and boxes only he can access. Try to play with him with a chasing cat toy twice a day. Figure out where he enjoys pets. Usually it’s only top of head and under chin. Finally, embrace the true nature of cat. He may be domesticated but he’s carrying a big chunk of raw Mother Nature in his nature. You wouldn’t expect to control the rain. You just build a space and adapt to living with it and if you do it right, you reap the rewards. Same with cats. Accept that he is a force of nature and enjoy. 

Post # 44
Member
664 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I recommend bothering him and playing with him. The more used to being handled and given attention he his the more he will want it. Both my girls are super affectionate and are used to being handled. We play with their feet, scratch their tummies pick them up without hesitation and they love it. They sleep with us and and cry when we.lock them out of the bathroom. Here they are in their favorite place, momma’s lap. My husband straight up rough houses with the calico. she’s the real love of his life …and she knows it

Post # 45
Member
30 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2014

ETA: according to researchers, cats see humans as giant, hairless, terrible hunter cats. They don’t normally meow to communicate with each other other than when they’re kittens because their communication is subtle. So when they meow at humans they’re basically shouting at you so you understand. That helps me when I’m dealing with cats. 

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