Happy cats make happy owners. To keep your cat happy, you need to understand what makes your cat(s) tick.
Developing a deep long-term relationship with your cat, who can live for up to 20 years or more, can make you a healthier person. Cats help release the feel-good hormones like Oxytocin, which reduces stress and alleviates the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, in our system. The result:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced chance for stroke or heart attack
- Better immunity to fend off diseases like cancer
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Isolation. Cats are great ice breakers in social situations.
Happy cats make happy owners
We at Paws for Reflection are always amazed at how much there is to learn about cats. The more we know, the better cat parents we become.
While cats can be the most loveable fur babies, they are the only animal that can live as a wild feral cat, but also dwell inside as a domesticated animal. While cats chose to walk into our lives, they drew the line on how domesticated they would be. And they let you know where the line is. You as their human need to tune into where that line is, keeping in mind that line can change, depending upon their mood.
Not all cats are lap cats. Being a lap cat is genetically wired. For some cats, sitting within 18 inches of you is friendly enough. Dad’s personality has a big effect on how kittens respond to people, even though kitty may never have met dad. Chances are, if your cat is not snugly, he may never learn to be.
If you like this article, you might also want to check out additional posts about cats being good for us:
Cats are particular about how much petting they will tolerate
Did you realize cats are particular about how much petting they will tolerate? Their tolerance is influenced by both genetics and socialization Too much petting can irritate a cat. Therefore, it’s important you learn to read a cat’s body language – swishy tail, a forward flick of whiskers, pulled back earns, rippling fur. These are all signs they’ve had enough. And kitty is likely to flip from purring in ecstasy to lashing out with their claws or teeth in a blink of an eye.
We’ve learned most cats prefer when their humans are around. While you may not know it, they know just how much time you are home. It may appear they are napping all day – and it’s true to a point. Cats can sleep for up to 18 hours per day, but their sixth sense lets them know when to expect their human to get home from work or rise up for the day. They greet you at the door, jump into your lap as soon as you sit down with your morning coffee, and follow your every footstep, almost like glue. Cats develop such strong bonds with their humans, they can develop separation anxiety if they are alone too much or for too long a period of time.
Not all cats will be lap cats
As cats are both predator and prey, we need to take care of both needs. As predators, they need ways to appeal to that hunting instinct. This can be done through wand toys, food puzzles, and creating a perch on a windowsill where they can watch birds, squirrels and the outside world. Felines also like to be up high so they can observe what’s going on. Shelving that acts like kitty stairways and cat trees help them feel more secure in their elevated surroundings.
As prey, cats are very good at hiding any health issues. Showing weakness makes them vulnerable, and in the wild, someone’s lunch. They don’t’ discern the difference between their families and the neighborhood bully cat. We need to tune in. A social cat that is all of a sudden on the missing list inside is a sign kitty has a health issue.
Cats also need places to knead and scratch, another hardwired trait. They are not scratching your sofa out of spite. They are scratching it because they want to mark that area as their territory. Putting a scratching post front and center of the place where kitty is scratching the sofa will most likely end the sofa war. Most cats will prefer the rope or sisal scratching posts where they can really sink their claws in. Be sure the scratching post is equivalent or longer than your cat, because they love to stretch out when they scratch. Keep in mind, some cats don’t like horizontal posts, so you may want to have a horizontal scratching post, or both.
Cats have huge bursts of energy for short periods of time
Our cats have huge bursts of energy for short periods of time. When they are not sleeping or eating, they need an outlet for that energy. The average domestic cat can reach speeds up to 30 mph. They excel at the high jump, being able to jump six times their own length. That’s comparable to a human jumping on top of a three-story building. They have powerful thigh muscles that coil and increase with incredible energy that propels them these great distances. To keep your cat happy, schedule playtime for 5 to 15 minutes a day. If you want kitty to not keep you awake, you may want to schedule these playtimes right before bedtime.
Did you know cats are very opinionated about their living situation? A clean litter box is a must. So is plenty of fresh water and quality food that meets the feline’s dietary needs. Additionally, cats don’t like change, even small ones like moving a piece of furniture around
Keep in mind cats are not small dogs, nor are they small humans. Cats are cats. Learn as much as you can about them for a wonderful deep relationship for years to come.
We are always amazed at how much more there is to learn about cats. We at Paws for Reflection did not realize that cats are very particular about how much petting they will tolerate. Keep in mind, that tolerance level may be different each time you pet them. Nor did we realize a cat can jump the equivalent of a human jumping on top of a three-story building. As we live in a house of that size, we can certainly appreciate just how high that is. If you have a favorite cat tip that you would share with Paws readers, please share.