If you’re trying to catch a housecat that’s gotten outside, don’t forget: they’re an ambush predator and you’re a persistence predator.
You have several times more endurance than they do – use that to your advantage!
Don’t run after them; that’s playing to the cat’s strengths, and vigorous pursuit may cause them to hide. Instead, follow them at a brisk walking pace until they get tired and need to have a lie-down, at which point you can simply pick them up and take them home.
Sometimes cats can’t be explained.
He’s lying on his prey to capture it while it’s dazed (cats do this while playing with mice!). His lashing tail shows he is still very excited. Then, when he moves, it also moves a bit and his sensitive belly hairs detect this. Prey is awake! Play again!
And sometimes, cats can be explained
Them: Oh you don’t want this cat. He’s wild and he bites everyone and he’ll never just sit nicely in your lap. He’s a project cat.
Me: That’s okay, I’m a project person.
Two weeks later:
He won’t leave.
Tell us your secret oh great kitty whisperer.
Step one: let him hide or shy away from you if he wants to. He wouldn’t let me touch him for a couple days after we got back from the shelter. His comfort was more important than me getting to touch him.
Step two: make yourself nonthreatening. In my case this meant being very quiet, bringing food and lying down on the ground within his eyesight as an invitation to investigate.
Step three: watch his body language and don’t do things that make him uncomfortable. Turns out my cat often bit when he was overstimulated so I made sure not to overwhelm him.
Step four: draw lines, but not with brute force. Even though his biting wasn’t meant to hurt, I wanted to make sure he wouldn’t injure anyone in the future. So I decided when he bit me, I’d yelp “ow!” And then withdraw all physical contact for a few minutes, sometimes leaving the room. Now he never bites, but sometimes he puts his teeth on my hand and then thinks better of it.
Step five: provide a good outlet for destructive behaviors. Aka PLAY WITH HIM, SEVERAL TIMES A DAY.
Step six: be patient.
Step seven: get lucky and somehow pick up the best cat in the entire shelter. I don’t know how it happened but he’s a godsend. He’s literally cuddled me out of a panic attack. We both really needed each other.
let’s talk about housecats and how fucking weird they are evolutionarily/anthropologically
like who thought it was a good idea to have tiny malicious predators in our homes anyways????? (not us actually)
are they even domesticated????!!!?? (yes) do they even feel LOVE???????!!? (yes)
LET’S LEARN ABOUT CATS
“you ready 2 learn punk”
Every now and again I get updates from my friend studying vet med
what they say: cats are evil and unable to love
what they mean: i dont know how to handle small animals and consider them lashing out in SELF DEFENSE an insult
Usually what it boils down to is “I’m mad because the cat didn’t act like a dog”.
Pushing fragile things off tables and breaking them: Self defense.
Destroying Christmas Trees: Self defense, I mean the tree attacked them.
Scratching their owner’s eyeball: Self defense.
Scratching their sleeping owner’s face: Self defense.
Jumping on their owner’s back and clawing into their spine: Self defense.
A dog doesn’t do those things because a dog’s version of self defense is to be a good animal who loves you and doesn’t attack you unless you attack them first.
I mean if a cat feels that threatened by everything in their owner’s household maybe the owner shouldn’t have gotten a cat.
Pushing fragile things off tables and breaking them: Playing. Cats are well-known to like to play with small objects. Your cat does not know what “fragile” means and does not understand the distinction between toy and not-toy objects. Place fragile things out of a cat’s line of sight and reach, and if you don’t provide them with enough enrichment items that they go looking for them, that’s on you.
Destroying Christmas Trees: Cats like to climb things. They’re not doing it to spite you.
Scratching their owner’s eyeball: Probably an accident, due to overstimulation when playing. It wasn’t trying to hurt you. Don’t anthropomorphize animals by attributing spite to them. Animals don’t do spite the way that humans do.
Scratching their sleeping owner’s face: Trying to rouse you with its paw, probably gently, because it loves you and wants to play with you.
Jumping on their owner’s back and clawing into their spine: Come on. If a cat is jumping on you, it loves you and wants to be close to you. Digging in with its claws is how it balances itself on an unstable surface and is purely a reflexive reaction. It isn’t intending to hurt you.
99% of cat behavioral problems stem from bored cats. Cats need to climb, need to scratch, and need small objects to play with. I only recommend adopting cats in pairs, so that they can keep each other entertained. Cats are not purely solitary. They get lonely, and lonely cats act out. Once again, your entire problem with cats as a species seems to stem from the fact that you don’t understand how cats express affection and it upsets you that they don’t do so the way that dogs do. Cats aren’t small dogs and cannot be expected to behave as such.
I feel like the reason certain dog-lovers insist cats are evil is because they read their body language as if they were dogs. So here’s a very basic guide to common “mean” things cats do that actually aren’t mean at all if you know what they’re thinking.
Rolling and exposing belly- attacks you when touched
Does not mean: Give belly rubs! – haha I tricked you!
Actually means: I’m playful! If you reach for my belly I’ll grab your arm and bite it because I think we’re playfighting!
Lazily exposing belly – still attacks when touched
Does not mean: tricked you again!
Actually means: I’m showing you my belly because I trust you. Please don’t break that trust by invading my personal space. I might accept a belly rub if I’m not ticklish and I know you well.
Snapping at you while being pet
Does not mean: I suddenly decided I dislike you!
Actually means: You’re petting me in a way that gives me too much restless energy. Please focus on petting my head and shoulders instead of stroking the full length of my back next time.
Is in the same room but makes no attempt to interact
Does not mean: I’m ignoring you
Actually means: We’re hanging out! I’m being respectful by giving you space while still enjoying your company.
Slapping/scratching your hand when you try to pet them
Does not mean: I hate you!
Actually means: You’ve failed to establish that we’re not playing, or the way you’re approaching me scares me. Be calmer, speak more gently, make eye-contact and blink slowly at me before you try again.
I love this post omg, thank you so much. As a lifelong cat person, dogs perplex me because they’re so completely different behaviourally.
I love dogs too but, I’ve been trying to tell people, you canNOT treat cats like you treat dogs. They arent the same animals and have very different personalities
P.s.: people often pet cats way too hard. Dogs like a firm pet or a pat on the belly, cats dont have the same bone structure and are more flexible than dogs so what you’re doing probably hurts them
Sitting and staring
Does not mean: I am challenging you/plotting your demise/just generally evil and creepy.
Actually means: I am a desert-adapted species, so my natural tears are very thick and keep my eyes moist for a nice long time. I do find people interesting and enjoy watching them. I just don’t need to blink very often!
Staring and blinking slowly
Does not mean: I’m smug and think I am smarter than you.
Actually means: I like you! But I don’t need to get up in your face to show it. I can just sit over here and blow kisses at you to show you I am glad you are around!
It’s very frustrating for me when people expect cats to act like dogs, or act like they’re deceitful. They aren’t! They just AREN’T DOGS.
I have a theory that the chief thing determining whether someone becomes a cat or dog person is which animal’s communication style they understand more intuitively.
Three cats died after their owners used an anti-inflammatory cream used to treat arthritis. The Food and Drug Administration warns to keep drugs away from pets; a tiny bit can be toxic.
Important for spoonies with cats!
Creams with Flurbiprofen are fatal to cats.
Brands that use this chemical (Not a complete list):
If you have cats, check your pain relieving cream for this, and keep them from ingesting it, please!
Oh no! Boosting for all cat owners.
Anything with ibuprofen or its derivatives is highly toxic to cats, not just specific types. If you think your cat has ingested any, get to a vet ASAP. Your cat WILL DIE.
Oh my god, I thought my sister was being alarmist when I told her my cat likes to lick my hands clean and she warned me to be careful what I put on them.
1. Because your cat is able to see in ultraviolet light, your cat can see more stars in the night sky than you. Cats may even use these stars to navigate by.
2. Similarly, your cat can detect hidden bottles of tonic water far faster than you can. Some say that cats can also detect spirits unnoticed by humans. This means that, at least in theory, your cat could make a gin and tonic and bring it to you far faster than you could make one yourself. Of course, your cat will not do this. Your cat is not interested in your comfort.
3. Cats are able to see the tiny ghosts of unmade cakes, which float around warm places trying to get people to bake them out of purgatory. Occasionally, a kindly-minded cat may give them a good kneading in the hope of raising them to someone’s attention.
4. Cats can see themselves, even in the dark, on the floor, in the crook of the winding stairs. With their eyes closed, they can still see some part of themselves. Thus secure that they have been noticed by the most important being in the room, cats sleep like the despots of newly-formed micronations and have delicious dreams.
5. Your cat is also able to see the flaws in your theory. However, your cat is not interested in providing assistance to improve the theory. No, your cat just wants to sit there and look superior.
6. Cats are able to see the passage of high-energy cosmic particles through a room. Sometimes, your cat will attempt to act as a particle detector by leaping to catch them. The presence of any cat toy nearby is entirely co-incidental. Interestingly, the Square Kilometre Cat Array (SKCA) paticle detector is now in the construction stage somewhere South of Bogota and should be providing us with fascinating results about local astrophysical events very shortly.
7. Cats are able to see people who really need a cat sitting on them. Scientists do not know which criteria they use to make this judgement. For many cats, a person’s strong dislike of cats qualifies them for a particularly persistent sitting-on.
8. Cats are able to see the other person’s point of view, they just do not agree.
9. If you give them a seashell, cats can see as well as hear the sea. If it is a large enough seashell, your cat will walk into the seashell and disappear, only to be found seven years later living a life of fishy luxury on a remote Pacific island.