Can someone please help me understand cats?

posted 1 week ago in Pets
Post # 46
Member
633 posts
Busy bee

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@hwin:  This makes total sense. My fiance often says that I “taught” our cat to talk (I tend to talk to her a lot and she responds), but it’s clearly the other way around—she’s just trying to meet me at my level. 

Post # 47
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2465 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

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@sbl99:  I’m a major cat person. I agree that your kitten is wanting to play. Most cats don’t like to be picked up. Generally anything that they do needs to be their idea. One of my cats will snuggle up with me but it’s on his own terms. If I try to pick him up and snuggle him, he’ll yell and try to get away. 

My other cat doesn’t snuggle at all. At most, she’ll sleep near you. Right now she is sleeping on the corner of the couch so she’s hanging out near us. 

We’re very interactive with our cats–lots of attention and play and talking. So, some people are surprised how much they interact with us. Still they are cats so it’s all on their terms. 

Post # 48
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2382 posts
Buzzing bee

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@blueberrycupcake28: Thanks for your response. I know not every cat will attack but they just scare me – I know it makes no sense. I am a total dog person so it’s not like I’m sad about my underlying fear. Dogs are just the best to me, and very easy to figure out. Plus they absolutely adore you and looooove to snuggle. I now return you to this interesting and informative cat thread 🙂

Post # 49
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913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

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@gimmepretty:  this is life changing information. My cat will very very rarely go from “this is the greatest thing ever” to a quick bite/growl (it’s happened like 3-4 times in our 4 years together), and it’s always perplexed me, but it’s because of this! I figured maybe her brain had some sort of short circuit that made her go from “hell yes” to biting so quickly. 

Post # 50
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1679 posts
Bumble bee

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@dianaj17:  

When I first experienced it, I was a well-intentioned twelve-year old, getting initiated into cat fostering and caretaking.  That bite out of nowhere really hurt my feelings! (LOL, I was twelve!) That was the cat with the super-senstive nervous system.  Went from lovey-purry to possessed in a heart beat.  We loved him to his dying day, but we learned to pet him carefully and to stay away from the base of his tail. Bless him he had big fangs! It was the bite one would never forget–and I sure haven’t!  I’ve had about fifteen cats since then, not counting fostering, and they all have had different limits.  Cats are tricky but I love them.  I’m a cat person through and through!

Post # 51
Member
1816 posts
Buzzing bee

You’ve got some great advice here, there are a number of people who have pointed out what to do and why your kitty is behaving as he is. I was happy to see someone even pointed out that cats don’t meow in the wild (only kittens). Cats were never really domesticated like dogs were – they have coexisted with us and they have developed ways to speak to us. 

Dealing with cats requires different skills than with dogs. I often think working with cats is similar to working with kids…or people, really. Each cat has a different personality, and you can’t just force your attentions on it without consequences. You need to learn, adapt, and cooperate. It’s the same with people. With a dog the interactions are more authoritarian, but that often doesn’t work with people or cats. With cats, I find it works better to figure out why they are behaving a certain way.

If the cat keeps getting on the counter, instead of yelling at them or spraying with water I try to understand the motivation. Do they want food? Are they curious? Do they want attention? Do they want to be around me? I paid attention and adjusted my habits. I installed a shelf where they can watch me cook. If they show interest, I will let them sniff what I’m working with (not closely and no tasting!) After cooking, we get our portions and I immedately put things away BEFORE I eat. They have now learned that nothing will be on the counter and they rarely go there anymore. Now I am able to leave things on the counter for brief periods of time. 

Cats are very misunderstood. They are very affectionate and show a lot of love. They have full personalities, likes, and dislikes and getting to know them is fulfilling and rewarding. Cats can be extremely intelligent and they have been known to travel long distances to reconnect with family, or wake owners up in dangerous situations. If you allow the cat to dictate your actions, you will build a lot of trust and love. 

Post # 52
Member
274 posts
Helper bee

I’m sorry, I love this post, and I’m not laughing AT you, but your description of Socks did make laugh, because… cats. That all sounds fairly typical. I don’t think I’ve had a cat that was quite the tease Socks is, but they have mostly run the gamut of varying degrees of cuddliness. All but my current cat have had fairly limited times of wanting affection. One clever old barn cat would welcome the pettings, flop down, present her tummy, let you get a couple scritches in, and then gut your forearm with her hind feet. Charming. My current cat, an old lady found by my local shelter as a stray, well… she doesn’t seem to EVER tire of pats. It’s almost exhausting. She’s super affectionate and people oriented. 

Cats are like a box of chocolates… (you never know what you’re gonna get)

Post # 53
Member
330 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 1985

I finally got around to reading this thread and wanted to say I LOVE the chart!  And I also think your cat is absolutley beautiful!  As an avid cat lover and owner, enjoy and you will both learn together what likes/dislikes are

Post # 55
Member
887 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Dollar store laser pointers are the best for cats!  Not for dogs though, it kinda drives them crazy and can affect their personality. if you use it on the dog make sure it finally lands on a treat or something.

Post # 56
Member
887 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Oh and I had to add a fiend of mine has a cat that loves Steak’ums.  He’ll open the freezer, pull out the Steak’ums, bring them to a windowsill to thaw, then eat the entire thing.  Nothing is safe or sacred with a cat!

Post # 57
Member
1679 posts
Bumble bee

Partners in crime. Lol! I do wonder, though, if the cat got any of the lamb chops before the dog devoured them. He might have been swindled by the dog. It ain’t easy being a thief when your thug partner is a hungry canine.

Post # 58
Member
44 posts
Newbee

I died out laughing while reading your post, because let me tell you, I sympathize.  

You will alway be the slave, the peasant, the minion. But give your kitty time and you will figure each other out. Eventually, you’ll know when he/she wants attention, food/water, wants to venture outside, wants to play, secretly plots to kill you, etc. 

Prior to moving in with FH, I was 100% a dog person. I’m hella allergic to most cats (it’s their saliva…makes my eyes swell shut depending on breed).  But FH loves cats, and has several, so I had to adapt in the name of love.  Now I adore all of them. 
Coincidentally, we also care for an elderly neighbors neighbor’s Maine Coon. He’s a sweetheart and very vocal, but he only lets you touch him when HE wants to be touched. I give him a pass when he does that because he’s so damn pretty.  

 

Post # 59
Member
2445 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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@sbl99:  I loooove your kitty and all the advice you e gotten. We have 2 cats and our one large orange/while male is a freaking terror. I’m not kidding. He eats everything bad. Plastic packaging, ribbon, the strings off our hoodies and sweatshirts. He scratches the furniture and jumps on your back if you bend over. But he’s also the snuggliest. Crawls under the covers and puts his head on my pillow. Demands to be my little spoon. Talks to me all day long. He can open doors and finds ways to jump on top of them. 

Our second is little miss perfect in every way. The sweetest voice. Soft gentle snuggles. Attentive but not demanding. 

Cats are just weird. Their personalities are unpredicable as kittens but as adults get into well established routines. That’s why I always adopt adults because you know what your getting… when DH chose our organs male I told him noooo way this guy is a maniac… but he got his choice. I love the guy. I really do. But he’s such a pain. 

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