Cats need interaction. Many people think cats are solitary
creatures that don’t need much interaction and can be largely
ignored. Nothing could be further from the truth. While it’s
true that cats do enjoy being on their own for part
of the day, if they are repeat-
edly left alone, they will
become depressed. Cats
enjoy interaction with
us, and many with a
feline friend or two as well.
They need someone to play
with, to cuddle and bond with,
and to get into trouble with, too.
Cats can talk. My cats
talk to me all the time.
No, I am not hearing
voices, but cats definitely
express their feelings and
vocalize them in many
different ways. We all
know hisses and growls
mean to stay away, and
that purring usually
means they are relaxed
and content. But did
you know that cats use
meows almost exclusively to “talk” with
their humans? Cats
rarely use the meow
to communicate with one
another, except when they are kittens, and feral cats do not meow to one
another at all.
Depending on the tone and duration
of the meow, it can mean many different
things. A chirpy type of meow mimics
kitten talk, meaning your cats need your
help or want your attention. Sometimes
this chirpy meow is used when your cat
brings you her toys, or when she is in
trouble of some sort. A long, drawn-out
meow may mean, “I want that!” Often, my
Pinky cat sits on the edge of the sink and
meows in a tone that has a question mark
at the end. “Meow?” she says as she leans
into the sink, asking me to turn on the
water. Cats are very good at letting you
know what they want; you just have to
learn to interpret their language.
Your pants will get
covered with fur. When
you come to my house,
wear something casual.
If my cats like you, they
will likely rub against your
legs and “mark” you as
their own, leaving their
fur on your legs as they
tell the other kitties you
belong to them. Cats
mark their territory, be it people or things, by rubbing their faces
and bodies along the objects of their affection. Not only does
this leave cat hair, of course, but it also leaves a scent that other
kitties can detect, which proclaims to all the world that this
item (or person) belongs to them. So wear something casual,
and maybe avoid wearing black when you come to my house.
Why Cats Approach the Non-cat Lover in the Room
Have you ever heard your non-cat-loving friends complain because they went to a cat
person’s house and the cat made a beeline for them? They don’t understand why this
happens when they aren’t particularly interested in being near the cat at all.
So just why does this happen? It’s simple: A cat usually feels comfortable doing the
approaching versus being the one who is approached. I’ve seen people who love cats
rush toward a cat they don’t know and get upset when kitty retreats from them. “But I
love cats!” the person will exclaim, feeling hurt when the cat goes over to sit by the non-cat lover in the room. The reason the cat ran from them is — with a few exceptions —
most cats do not want to be chased and aggressively approached.
As a rule, cats don’t like to be pawed over if they don’t know you well. A cat will often
hide from people who try to get too near before he’s had time to assess them from a dis-
tance. Immediately rushing over to pet kitty will make him feel “hunted” and vulnerable.
In such a situation, the cat will often seek out the person who is ignoring him, viewing
that person as a safe haven where he can get away from the person who is trying too
hard to touch him. Of course, there are always exceptions; my Punkin LOVES to be fussed
over, and he won’t let anyone get in the door without properly greeting him first!
The next time you go to someone’s house who has a cat, play it safe, and ignore the
kitty. Sooner or later, the cat will make his way over to you, and if you play it cool, he
may even invite you to pet him.