How Does Your Cat Get Your Attention?

How Does Your Cat Get Your Attention?

by Michael
(London, UK)

how do cats get your attention poll
Poll results from Dr. Jon’s

Thank you Dr. Jon for this poll. I have provided a link back to the poll results.

This page is intended to promote a discussion on the poll results.

I think the answer to the question depends on the circumstances. Most cats will meow to ask us for something, which is usually food or to go out, if the cat is an outdoor/indoor cat.

A number of the catching attention behaviors in the poll is actually not designed by the cat to catch attention but is alternative behavior.

An example is the rubbing against our legs. This is a scent exchange greeting. It does get our attention but usually the cat already has our attention when doing this.

Laying down on papers, I think is just about companionship. Our cats like to be with us, near us or on us. Jumping on our lap is the classic example.

Knocking things over can, I agree, be a subtle form of attention seeking but usually comes after the usual meow.

Cats tend to escalate the way in which they make demands, just like us. The first method is to ask; meow. The next stage is to tap us on the nose, if we are asleep and they want to get us up. The next stage is to maybe knock something over or anything that they know will annoy us! Yes, I do believe that cats learn this. They don’t reason that a particular action will annoy us but they do know it gets our attention and it gets our attention because it annoys us.

One of the last and most effective attention grabbers is to bite us gently on the nose. This happens when we are asleep. Unsurprisingly it is very effective.

The last two forms of behavior in the poll, jumping on places they shouldn’t and running around are obviously not intended to get our attention. But clearly cats do make purposeful decisions to get our attention sometimes.

What do you think about this interesting poll. And how does your cat get your attention?

Michael Avatar

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How Does Your Cat Get Your Attention?

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Feb 22, 2011 I agree
by: Özge

Hi Ruth,
I totally agree with you about the list. Sakız also does all of them depending what she wants. If she wants me to wake up she comes and touches my cheek with her soft paws. I love being woke up this way.

Feb 19, 2011 Cats do communicate
by: Ruth (Monty’s Mom)

Cats don’t speak English but they sure find ways to communicate. I don’t know how the people answering that poll were able to pick just one way their cat gets their attention. Monty uses just about every one on the list, but it depends on what he wants. When he wants to go outside he will run back and forth in the house. When he wants me to wake up and feed or play with him he’ll stand on my head. If he wants me to come into the living room he stands on the computer. It makes a noise when you hit an invalid key,so I can hear it from the other room when he’s sitting on the keyboard. Often he’ll just sit and stare pointedly at what he wants– like his toy if he wants me to play with him, the basement door if he wants that opened, or the cabinet where his food is kept if he wants to eat. He has different meows too. There is a chirping meow (it sounds like a question mark to me) when he is surprised by something or very interested in it, and a frustrated, persistent meow which he is doing right now because he wants me to take him outside. I ignored his running, so now he’s taking it up a notch and meowing while staring out the door. I can’t tell him with words that it’s colder than it looks out there, so I’ll just have to take him out!

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Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

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