Cats are discreet and sometimes mysterious creatures, but they are also very intelligent. Often, they'll put in place ways of communicating in order to make themselves understood by those who don't speak their language. But what is it that they actually want to communicate to you?
Here are five things that your cat would probably like to tell you.
#1 You would make a terrible cat!
According to John Bradshaw, an anthro-zoologist, our cats consider us to be their fellow creatures. To them, we are kind of huge, clumsy cats who simply don't know how to behave like cats.
Experiments conducted by John Bradshaw have shown that dogs modify their behaviour when interacting with humans. However, cats tend to treat us like fellow felines. This is said to be one of the few reasons behind why they bring us 'presents' (i.e. dead animals); hey want to help take care of their family because clearly, we can't do it ourselves.
#2 This meow is for you!
Cats have many different kinds of vocalisations. With practice, a pet parent will learn to recognise what those sounds mean.
Young cats quickly learn that meowing is used as a form of communication. Meowing typically stops between cats as they get older - it is primarily used by kittens to communicate to their mums when they are nursing. However, it appears the domestic feline sees a meow as the most effective way to communicate with humans. After all, they've learned that we usually respond to a meow, even if it's an acknowledgement, relatively quickly. It is therefore used as a way of communicating their needs to us, for example when they are hungry, want to go outside, come back in, or when something is wrong.
#3 Just because I'm purring, doesn't mean I'm happy!
Most people believe that when a cat purrs it's because they're happy. While this can be true sometimes, it is not always the case.
Purring is often used as a means of self-soothing to help deal with stress and anxiety. It is also used to help heal from illness or injury. Like meowing at humans, purring is a key means with which they can communicate.
If the purring is incessant and it appears there are other signs of stress or illness, it is recommended to seek the expert opinion of a vet.
#4 I miss you!
Cats are often described as solitary, and though they are definitely more independent than dogs, they don't enjoy being left alone all the time.
Some cats can even show signs of separation anxiety, such as incessant meowing or damage inflicted to items around the home. Your cat may be able to spend a day without you, but if you leave for the weekend, even if they are an independent cat, it is more than likely that they will miss you and this will cause them stress.
#5 Our time together is too short!
The average life expectancy of a cat is around 14 years or so, and though you may have the chance to be by their side for longer, it will never be enough - for you both!
Cats who have a stronger attachment to their pet parent usually have a better quality of life. Play with and cuddle your cat regularly and learn to understand what it is they want to communicate to you. Time with them is precious and will disappear in a flash!
What do you think your cat tries to tell you?