Valentine’s Day has come and gone already this year, but love still is in the air; especially when it to comes to the love we share with our beloved kitties. And according to a recent article by Dr. Karen Becker, it seems that 43 percent of U.S. households are being ruled by at least one cat, which adds up to about 86 million pet cats who are sharing their homes with the human species. As Dr. Becker writes, “That’s a whole lot of kitties”. As far as I am concerned, Dr. Becker’s statement “A whole lot of kitties” is a huge understatement.
But with all these kitties owning a vast number of human beings, one might surmise that many of these folks probably don’t fully understand their kitties’ behavior and don’t know how to translate it; which results in a “whole lot of kitties” being misunderstood.
So it’s time to try and demystify some feline behavior that so many folks consider “odd”. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I have so often run into who don’t seem to be able to comprehend what they consider to be “odd” behavior; when it fact as far as their kitties are concerned it is purrfectly normal.
As an example, since the majority of cats avoid getting near or into water like the plague, they cannot fathom the reason why their precious kitty could enjoy putting their paw into the water bowl and then licking the water off.
Dr. Becker’s truly understands feline logic! Since cats detest the sensation of something touching their whiskers if they are not trying to measure a distance to see if they can pass through a space, if the size and shape of the bowl isn’t what kitty believes to be the “cat’s meow” since every time she tries to drink, the sides touch her whiskers, doesn’t it make sense that she would prefer to use the “dip and sip” method? This issue could easily be resolved with a wider rimmed bowl!
She could also be worried about presence of another cat or a human servant, and wants to keep her eyes on her territory, so naturally she doesn’t want to lower her head. And some cats even enjoy making the water move with her paw and watching the “waves”. Cats are quite adept at entertaining themselves at times!
And what about those kitties who drop their favorite toy into their water bowl? Now most people think that is totally bizarre. However, from a cat’s purrspective this is natural behavior because the water bowl is a safe place in which to stash their “prey”, and hide it from other predators; or they simply enjoy “fishing”.
Then of course, when darling kitty is behaving lovingly and asking for a petting session and the compliant servant picks her up to oblige her request, therefore stroking her affectionately, when all of a sudden, from seems to be out of the blue, this sweet, docile kitty who has so far been purring contentedly attacks the stroking hand with extended claws or sinks or teeth, and the puzzled guardian may retaliate with a smack.
But if the servant understood the kitty’s message that she was feeling over-stimulated, by her tail swishes and flattened ears; that she also had stopped purring and started vocalizing, just to gently stop stroking her and set her on the floor would have easily prevented getting hurt.
I am sure you have some other “odd” feline behaviors that people have asked you about since they thought that they were “off the charts”! Tell us what these behaviors were and how you handled it. Your suggestions will help be a great help to folks who are new at being owned by a kitty or two- or even three. Share these ideas in a comment.