January 22, 2017 — Cats have a unique personality. Their preferences and aversions are not necessarily the same, although in communication, all have points in common. This dialogue between humans and felines, whether verbal or not, is made possible by a coexistence more than one hundred years old.
Over time, cats have learned to communicate with people who are in their wake, and vice versa.
The felines express themselves daily by means of universal codes. « It is not uncommon for a cat to follow his master to the trail, or to snoop in the grocery bags brought home. These two behaviours represent a form of communication, as well as participation in the life of its master,” says Natalie Robidoux, consultant in feline behaviour and owner of the ethical cattery Sous le Saule.
In terms of communication, cats have other common denominators. For example, a feline that waves its tail from left to right manifests discontent. On the contrary, if the tail is motionless and wriggles at the base, the animal expresses a joy, for instance that of being with its master.
On the other hand, some people are persuaded that on returning home, their cat protests, sometimes because of a prolonged absence or a delay. You must know that felines are animals that have a routine, even benchmarks. To depart from them may cause them to react.
The felines with the ears in the hair, that is to say they are inclined towards the rear, communicate discomfort. “In such situations, it is better not to approach them because they are on the defensive,” says Natalie Robidoux. Similarly, if the cat has dilated pupils and is in a crushed position on the ground, it is because it is afraid. And if it spits and growls, it is to show a disagreement, indicate a stop to act or to delimit its territory. We must respect these states of being, especially in the case of an animal that does not know us, in order to be able to tame it.
But beyond the standard language, which allows a cat and its master a clear communication, the animal also expresses needs of its own. Things can get complicated. Understanding an intention, a demand or dissatisfaction can become more complex.
Cassiopée, the Capricious
Natalie Robidoux says that Cassiopée, one of her pussy carriers, refused the places she was offered to settle with her newborns. No place suited her, so it walked with its kittens from one area to another in the house, searching for the area of predilection. “I finally understood that it had to find it itself, And that my intervention was useless, ” explains Natalie Robidoux. Another cat would probably have reacted differently.
An Opinion on Everything
For her part, the successful Quebec author Chrystine Brouillet has already had a cat who had “an opinion on everything,” she said. He often mewed in her presence, as if it were trying to say something. In such a situation, if the animal is not suffering or no news has come to disrupt its daily life, it will necessarily communicate something else. But what? To find out, the so-called “trial and error” approach should be advocated.
If it mews with insistence looking at you in the eyes, you can take him in your arms to see if the cat gets what it wants. If that is not the case, we will have to try something else. “The animal may just want to hear his master talk, because it wants to have attention,” says Natalie Robidoux
“I Am in Pain”
Other situations require some attention, for example a cat that has always liked to be petted but suddenly becomes overwhelmed by this ritual. Often, this attitude indicates pain and the animal is suffering. It will then be necessary to look for the nature of the pain in question, whether it be a kidney problem, the displacement of a patella, a hernia or a bite, to name, but a few examples.
The owner of a cat said one day that it often lied on her, on condition that she was dressed in denim pants, the only fabric that the animal supported. This may sound surprising, but this story is true. All this to say that communication between humans and felines is not a chimera. However, since all cats are unique, we must seek to understand them, in order to establish a harmonious relationship that will be based on respect and connivance.
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