By Arden Moore, a certified cat and dog behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best, a cat insurance and dog insurance agency.
Whether you just adopted a frisky kitten or a calm adult cat, you can improve the communication with your feline by recognizing how cats think. As important as it is to give consistent verbal and non-verbal cues to your feline, it is vital to also embrace their view of sharing a home with you.
Here are five important feline characteristics to recognize:
1. Cats prefer set routines. They like to wake up at a certain time, eat at a certain time, and expect you home at a certain time. They quickly learn your daily schedule and adapt accordingly. That may partially explain why some cats wake their people up a few minutes before their alarm clocks chime.
2. Cats hate confusion and change. The sight and sound of your sister’s family paying a surprise overnight visit may be just enough to rattle your routine-minded cat who may scoot under a bed and hide from sight until they depart. And some may hide or show fear at the sight of packing boxes stacked in your living room. You know you are relocating to a new place, but this is news to your happy-to-be-home cat.
3. Cats are turf oriented. Felines feel most comfortable inside familiar surroundings. Dogs, on the other hand, are pack animals and in general, are more willing to join their favorite people to strange new places. For most cats, it is home, safe home.
4. Cats love to sleep. Some Rip van Felines snooze up to 17 hours a day. They have favorite napping spots, some sunny, some shaded, some perched up high and some tucked in dark places like closet corners. It is important to offer them a variety of snooze places.
5. Cats are candid. They never pretend. If they don’t want to sit on your lap, they will become escape artists and wriggle free. Please don’t be offended. At that particular moment, they would just rather be somewhere else. But if they want to snuggle next to you, they may bold stride over and get between you and that mystery novel thriller you can’t seem to put down. Without uttering a word, your cat or kitten is declaring, “Hey, look at me. Pay attention to me.”
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