Cats are not a lot different to us in that they use their voice and body language to communicate with their family, both human and feline. The challenge is that their owners need to learn to interpret what they are saying, and this takes practice.
Here is Cat Communication 101, a quick guide to working out what your cat might be trying to tell you.
Your Cat’s Voice
If you listen to a cat, you’ll notice quite a variety of sounds and tones. A frequent demanding meow is usually a demand for something, usually food or affection. For the most part, purring indicates contentment, or it is an indication that your feline friend would like some company. Some cats even purr as they meow.
It’s usually obvious when he isn’t happy; he will growl or hiss. A loud wailing or caterwauling often means that your cat is feeling a bit defensive towards other cats or, if a female, is on heat and looking for male companionship.
The Eyes and Ears
You can tell a great deal about what your cat is feeling by looking at the position of his eyes and ears.
Half-closed eyes with slow blinks usually indicate that your furry family member is relaxed and comfortable. On the other hand, dilated pupils suggest he’s feeling anxious and fearful. Under these circumstances, avoid staring at him because a direct stare can be threatening.
An angry hostile cat usually has narrowed eyes, and when this is combined with a growl, he’ll leave you in no doubt as to what he’s trying to tell you – “leave me alone”.
Your cat’s ears are very expressive and can give you quite a good indication of his mood. If he is relaxed, his ears will point slightly forwards and to the side. Should something catch his attention, they’ll become erect and be held forward to pick up as much information as possible.
Twitching ears indicate agitation and uncertainty, and if they are held flat against his head, he is grumpy and you may be in line for a scratch or a bite.
Your Cat’s Tail
A confident cat will carry his tail high, often with a bend in the tip. If it is held low between his hind legs, he’s feeling insecure and uncertain. You may be familiar with the back and forth swish, which means he is ready to attack prey. If that prey is likely to be you, then leave him alone until he is more relaxed.
It’s important to look at your whole cat when trying to work out how he is feeling or what he is trying to tell you, rather than focus on just one part of his body. There are other influences on his body language, for example a cat in dim light will have dilated pupils so he can see better, even if he is not angry. On the other hand, if his pupils are dilated and his ears are held flat against his head, he’s feeling hostile. Add to this a tail that is moving sidewards and you’d be well advised to take a step backwards and leave him alone for a while.
If you take some time to watch your cat and listen to his different sounds, it won’t be long before you’re able to work out how he’s feeling and what he wants from you. This is a great way to build a rapport and improve your relationship.
When it comes to magic tricks, how often do you get the answer right?
This cat takes the biscuit when it comes to choosing right – and we just love it!
How good at guessing is your cat? Send us your videos or photos and let us see your cat in action 🙂
If you’re one of the lucky cat lovers out there considering bringing a new cat into your home, please consider adopting. No matter what location, local shelters and rescues are always hoping a responsible cat owner will walk through the door.
Here are five such cats who are looking for loving new homes courtesy of cat adoption site, CatSeeker.com.
1. Meet Billy
A 10 year old ginger short-haired cat, Billy is looking for a home to call his own and enjoy through his retirement in quiet surroundings. Although an older boy, he is as lively as cats half his age. This handsome boy just wants a home where he will be loved.
Find out more online @ http://www.catadoption.co.uk/billy-8/
2. Meet Lily
A 15 month old black and white short-haired cat, Lily thought she had found a new home to call her own but sadly after not getting along with the other cat in the home, was returned into rescue. Poor girl. With this in mind, and to give her some stability, we would like to rehome her as the only cat in the home – although she is currently in foster care living with a large dog at the moment without problems. She is a friendly girl and will make a lovely companion.
Find out more online @ http://www.catadoption.co.uk/lily-6/
3. Meet Simba
A 7 year old long-haired ginger boy, Simba is a lovely, very affectionate boy who likes a nuzzle and responds to touch, yet can be aloof when he fancies. Simba has been with his rescue for a while, which is a puzzle because he’s so handsome and affectionate. He needs a home to at last settle in a place to call his own where he can be cherished.
Find out more online @ http://www.catadoption.co.uk/simba-2/
4. Meet Monty
A 5 year old domestic short-haired tabby, Monty is a regal gent who is missing a home to call his own. He is a lovely boy who is very friendly to all he meets. He is responsive and lively, although we feel he would probably prefer an adult only home where he is the only cat.
Find out more online @ http://www.catadoption.co.uk/monty-4/
5. Meet Cleo
This six month old domestic short-haired black and white girl found herself in rescue after being abandoned. Cleo is an affectionate girl who gets on well with cats, dogs and children.
Find out more online @ http://www.catadoption.co.uk/cleo-7/
If you’ve recently adopted a cat, please share your story and any tips for new cat owners here – we’d love to hear from you!
Does your cat like to swim? Take a look at this video from a US news show featuring a cat who’s swimming in a bid to loose weight and get fit and healthy.
Does your cat swim? We’d love to see your photos if so!
How close are your cat and dog? Are they best friends? Could you ever imagine your cat giving your dog a massage after a hard day at the office?
Take a look at this video of Puss, the cat and Captain, the dog, going through their daily routine.
A big ‘ahhh’ just went up around the internet seeing this video didn’t it, a lovely video showing the bond between a dog and a cat.
Now, it doesn’t get any more active than rock climbing does it – so we’re here to gush about a fantastic cat named Millie who’s owner has been documenting their rock climbing adventures on Instagram.
Here’s a few photographs courtesy of their Instagram account to give you an insight into the life of this adventurous cat.
Her owner says: “Millie’s first attempt to summit Stansbury Mountain under her own power.”
Her owner says: “Millie’s first attempt at a winter summit of Mt. Stansbury under her own power.”
Her owner says: “Scoping new lines, Ferguson Canyon.”
Millie’s owner says: “Millie’s first slot canyon. Little Wild Horse.”
Millie’s owner says: “Summer snow patch, Olympus approach.”
Her owner says: “Millie finds her favorite line at Ferguson.”
Keep up to date with their adventures on Instagram @pechanga
The first steps outside can be a momentous occasion, it’s the sign your kitten is growing up and learning what the world is all about.
Take a look at this video showing the first time these kittens discover the outdoor world.
Did you smile? Go on, you can share it with us. If you have any photos or videos of your cats first steps outdoors, whether as a kitten or a newly adopted slightly older cat, we’d love to see them.
While most cats have good appetites and are very enthusiastic at dinner time, others are fussy with their food. They turn their nose up at the meal you serve them, and in your quest to find something they like you’ll try a variety of food types and flavours, only to see them thrown in the bin too. If you have a picky eater, you’ll be able to relate to the worry that your pet isn’t eating enough and may indeed starve.
One reason for a cat to have an appetite that seems to come and go is illness. Intestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease may result in a cat appearing picky, and that might be the only symptom that he shows. It’s important that any cat with a reduced appetite is thoroughly checked by their vet to rule out a medical cause of their poor eating behaviour.
If all is well, then there are some steps you can take to encourage your fussy feline to eat, and they start with choosing the right food. Butcher’s Really is a natural cat food that’s available in a number of flavours that cats love. Warm the food to room temperature to release more aromas, because a cat’s sense of smell is important in stimulating their appetite.
Here are a few other tips to try:
Work out exactly how much he is eating. Some cats are given between-meal treats or table scraps which are more appealing than cat food but fill them up so they don’t want their regular meals. Stop all snacks and you may find that your cat is eating more than you think, and he is actually eating enough to keep him healthy.
Stick to a routine. Cats are creatures of habit and any changes to their routine can be stressful. If possible, feed them your cat at the same time, and in the same place.
Look at where you’re feeding your cat. Is it a high traffic area, or near a loud television? Move his food bowl to a quieter area where he is less likely to be disturbed. Try a different food bowl. If you have been using a plastic bowl, try ceramic. Your cat may have a preference for one bowl over another.
If your cat’s meal has been untouched, it can dry out and spoil. That won’t encourage him to eat. Provide fresh food at each mealtime, and if he doesn’t eat, put it in the refrigerator until next time. Don’t forget to warm it up; cold food won’t be very appealing.
Sit with your cat at mealtime. You may find that if you talk to him and stroke him, he will start eating. It’s not an ideal long term solution but it’s worth trying just to get him started.
Similarly, try hand feeding him small pieces of Butcher’s Really Fishy or Really Meaty cat food. When he starts nibbling from your fingers, he may then continue eating from his bowl.
It’s worrying when your four legged family member is a picky eater. Try these suggestions and you may find that one or two are the solution to his fussy mealtime habits.
Watch this video and tell us your jaw didn’t hit the desk, go on – we dare you.
We’re in awe of Moogly here – what a star!
Could your cat rival Moogly? If so, we want to hear from you!
Welcoming a new feline friend into your family is an exciting time, but it’s also a time of great change for your household. Here are some suggestions to make the settling in period easier for everyone.
Some cats adapt to new surroundings quickly but others are a little nervous at first and may prefer to hide. If your cat is shy, don’t rush into patting him or picking him up; give him time to settle in. If possible, give him a comfortable space of his own, whether it is a small room or a cardboard box, perhaps (we all know how much cats love boxes!). It will be a place for him to retreat to when he’s feeling overwhelmed. It won’t be long before comes out of his shell and is quite happy to cuddle up on your lap.
Pay close attention to your new pet’s diet. It’s important that he is fed a nutritionally balanced food that contains everything he needs to keep him in good condition. Butcher’s Really is an ideal choice; it’s a tasty nutritionally balanced and complete natural cat food that contains salmon oil for healthy skin and joints. Don’t change his food suddenly because this can cause diarrhoea. Instead, gradually reduce the amount of his old food and increase the amount of Butcher’s Really Fishy or Really Meaty he is given over the course of a week.
Make sure your cat is up to date with his veterinary care. Check that his vaccinations are current and work out when he is next due for worming treatment. Change his microchip record into your name so you’ll be contacted should he go missing. If he isn’t neutered, then you will need to schedule that for when he is 6 months old.
Start off on the right foot with litter training. Give him two or three trays, each with a different type of cat litter in it. It’s likely that he’ll be happy with at least one of them, so he’ll start going to the toilet in the tray right from the start. Keep his tray clean, because he won’t like using a dirty tray and may start soiling the floor. Once he starts doing that, it can be difficult to change his behavior so you’re better off preventing it happening in the first place.
Don’t forget the toys! Cats are great company, and playing with them will build a strong relationship between you and your furry companion. Being predators, any sort of chasing game will be enjoyed, and if the toy squeaks when it is “killed”, that’s even more fun. If your cat is going to be home alone often, then there are specific toys that are designed to keep him busy and prevent boredom when you’re out.
The settling in period for a new cat can take some weeks, depending on his temperament and what he has experienced before he arrived at your home. With patience, your new companion will quickly become part of your family, and you won’t be able to imagine life without him.
Meet Timo, the Ragdoll cat, who amongst other things loves to dig like a dog – which leads us to question, how similar is your cat to a dog? Do they have any similar traits or habits?
Send us your own photos of your cat acting like a dog – we’d love to see them!