If you have been around cats very much, you have undoubtedly observed some personality quirks which seem to confirm the cat’s independence. Yet, cats can show love and affection in spite of these traits. So, can you explain why cats are so independent?
In the past, many people have believed that cats stay aloof; certainly not trainable. Now, research and more accurate information have proven this belief false. So, how has this misinterpretation come about?
Remember That Kitty Remains A Predator
A cat, hardwired as a predator, remains tuned into his environment. His keen senses always stay on high alert for the sight, sound or smell of potential prey. Instead of aloofness, the cat, honed in to his environment, remains ready for anything. He brings new meaning to the word, “focused.”
Do you think of your cat as a solitary animal? Perhaps you have not provided the companionship that your cat craves. A cat is not a dog, but turns out to be a very different creature. However, he might prove lonely, craves interaction, and will show affection in many ways.
Subtle Signs Of Affection
Cats sometimes show affection in many ways that you might not even notice. For example, does he like to sit next to you in silent companionship? Does kitty rub her head against you? This is called “head bunting.” Do you receive slow blinks, or kitty kisses?
Does she purr or give scratchy-tongue kisses? What sounds does she make? My Mocha gives me chirps or trills when he comes in the room, especially in the morning — A kind of morning greeting. Just as we have to learn what another person likes, you also need to learn what your cat prefers.
You can learn more about what kitty likes by learning the meaning of his body language. Pay attention to these and you will create a stronger bond. Also, interact with your cat by talking to him regularly as well as playing with him.
Cultivation Of Survival Skills From Kittenhood
As a kitten, your cat learned from his mother how to stalk prey and hunt. Once the cat becomes an adult, he prefers to spend his time alone. Unlike a dog, who might hunt in a pack, a cat grows up as a solitary hunter. Both predator and prey, the cat has evolved into a self-sufficient animal.
If left with mother long enough, a kitten will also learn some socialization skills. These help the little cat to interact better with humans. A cat with no socialization skills will find it harder to adapt to human interaction. Time and caring can alleviate the problem.
Cats Take Their Territory Seriously
A cat’s territory becomes extremely important, as kitty stakes it out very carefully. Though they come across as quite self-reliant, their territory becomes their secure place in the order of things. In fact, if a cat gets moved to a new home, he may find his way back to the old one.
He knows this place — he can identify his favorite haunts and hiding places. A cat, as a creature of habit, may not accept that this territory no longer belongs to him. After all, kitty will prefer something he knows over something new. Change does not attract him.
He may explore new places out of curiosity, but he will always return to his primary spot. Thus, if you move, it becomes very important that you give your kitty lots of opportunity to change and accept this new spot. He must establish a new territory.
A Cat’s Emotions Can Influence Decisions
Yes, a cat does have emotions, the same as we do. They feel fear, love, joy, distress, anger, anxiety, surprise, or disgust. However, they process these emotions in a different way than we do. One difference: A cat does not experience two or more emotions that contradict each other.
Because they feel only one emotion at a time, they can make a decision easier. The influence of instinct works for kitty here. His decision becomes simple because he acts from only one emotion at a time.
Thus, it becomes crucial to understand your cat’s behavior, in order to see his different perspective on life. Though feelings are the same, actions prove different than with other animals. Learn to understand the body language and behavior for the key to finding out what they want.
Body Language Offers The Key To Reading Your Cat
It’s harder to read a cat’s emotions because they don’t show on kitty’s face…unless he hisses or yowls. That might prove the sign of a negative emotion. It proves easier to read a dog’s feelings because he has eyebrows. Not so a cat — his feelings don’t become obvious through facial expression.
Study up on the different meanings of a cat’s body language, as these will prove extremely helpful in translating communication. Read this post for starters to help you assimilate what you need to know. Look up the other posts on this website to learn more.
The better you become at interpreting what your cat tries to tell you through his body, the more understanding you will gain of your kitty.
New Study Shows Adult Cats As More Autonomous
Animal behavior specialists at the University of Lincoln, UK, has produced some interesting data. Dogs tend to see their owners as a focus of safety and security, but adult cats have a different perception. More autonomous, they do not necessarily depend on others for protection.
Though we now recognize that cats do have capability to be social and to develop shared relationships, according to this new study, the domestic cat does not depend on their animal-human relationship in the same manner as dogs.
Research Headed By Professor Daniel Mills
This research, published in the scientific journal “Plos One,” came from work done by Professor Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences, along with Alice Potter, working with the Companion Animals Science Group at the RSPCA.
Dr. Mills states that their research shows that, rather than separation anxiety when an owner leaves, a cat comes out as much more independent than dogs, and they may be showing signs of frustration, rather than separation anxiety.
Though researchers agree that cats develop social preferences or close relationships, these needs are not typically based on a need for safety and security. Though they might prefer to interact with their owner, they do not rely on them ror reassurance in an unfamiliar environment.
The researchers believe that this difference is due to the nature of the species as a largely independent and solitary hunter.
Believe It — A Cat Cherishes Independence
Though signs of affection and caring prove much more subtle than those of a dog, they are definitely there, if you know what to look for. Your kitty can become a highly social animal in the right environment. However, he also values his independence.
Learn to see the signs of bonding with your kitty. Though he remains quite self-sufficient, he still offers love and companionship, becoming more an equal to you than a dog. Yet he still prefers his solitude to that of a pack. He becomes sufficient unto himself.
References I used for this post: excitedcats.com/are-cats-independent/ catbehaviorassociates.com/cat-myth-cats-are-aloof-and-independent/ http://hepper.com/why-are-cats-so-independent petplace.com/article/cats/pet-behavior-training/why-are-cats-so-independent/ phys.org/news/2015-09-cats-independent-dogs.html