Decode Your Cat’s Behavior
- Please do not disturb my nap on your laptop or keyboard
You people talk and talk about how much you need to work on the computer so you wake us up and push us off, but we know what you’re really planning to do on them: watch videos of cats. Weird. Don’t you humans realize that cats must get an average of 12 to 16 hours of shut-eye a day, or we’re just useless? Also, our delicate cat bodies need the warmth from your computer: Our ideal temperature is 20 degrees higher than that of you humans.
- Quit taking photos of me (I’m not a Kardashian)
You humans can’t seem to stop snapping pix with your phones when you’re around us, but you resort to sneaky tactics like waving around fun toys to get our attention but dropping them as soon as we turn around. This is cruel. If we cats are willing to let you capture us on film, the least you can do is provide us with a bit of play time in exchange—or let a cartoon cat amuse you instead. There is one thing that you don’t have to worry about when it comes to photography: Camera flashes do not harm cats’ eyes. But they will frequently produce a spooky glow caused by the tapetum lucidum, a layer of ultra-reflective cells in feline eyes which helps us see in low light. Here are 17 more things you never knew about your cat.
- Hands off the belly, ‘kay?
You assume that when we show you our stomachs, we’re being friendly. Yes, in some cases, this is a normal cat behavior that signifies chumminess. But at other times, it’s the opposite—it’s cat language for “You wanna fight? Bring it on.” Displaying the belly is a defensive move that shows potential enemies that all of our limbs and claws are primed and ready to go into attack mode. And there’s one other common reason we flash our tummies: we’re simply trying to stretch.
- I am cat … let me scratch
Just like you clip and file your nails so they don’t reach Guinness Record lengths, we cats must maintain our claws. One cat behavior is by scratching, which helps us remove dead nail growth. There are two other important explanations behind why we scratch: We do it to mark our territory (we’ve got scent glands on our paws—how cool is that?) or to stretch (how do you think we stay so graceful?). Sadly, when a sofa or rug becomes our favorite spot to scratch, some of you resort to declawing us. We beg you not to—it would be comparable to your having the ends of your fingers cut off. Instead, get us a nifty scratching post (you might have to experiment with different models until you find one we like), rub it with a little catnip, and give us a treat whenever we use it.