How can you tell me about similarities between me and my cat? We look nothing alike. If a cat grew to our size, such a creature would become frightening. Cats can’t talk and they don’t go to school. So tell me about the cat connection. In what ways are we similar?
Things we can’t see are what makes us similar. For example, a 2007 genome study tells us that around 90% of the genes in a cat resemble human genes.
We learn that the cat brain has both grey and white matter. Like humans, a cat has temporal, occipital, frontal and parietal lobes of the cerebral cortex.
Also, cats and people seem to think in the same patterns. Cats receive information from their five senses, just as we do. They also process that information in a similar manner.
Yes, cats do have both long-term and short-term memories, just as we do. We learn all the time, and so does the cat. Through their experiences, they learn to recognize which they can consider positive, negative, or not relevant to them.
Then, the cat will tend to avoid the unpleasant experience and to repeat behaviors that have a positive consequence. Often they might see another cat do something and learn by watching. Later, they will demonstrate their new knowledge. Sometimes a cat can learn a new trick just by watching another cat repeat the behavior.
–>The Affection Connection
Though many think of cats as aloof, they, too, are social animals. They need affection and companionship just as we do. They show affection, but in different ways than we do.
Some cats love physical contact, but other cats prefer to show and receive affection in different ways. Perhaps they find it enough just to sit close to their human. They might purr or give you slow blinks (kitty kisses.) Maybe they do not like to be picked up, but that, again, shows a preference It doesn’t mean the cat does not care for his human.
Unfortunately, cats can suffer from many of the same diseases as we do. The list can include diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer, to name some big ones.
It would be interesting to learn if cats in the wild suffer from many of the human diseases as well, or do we find them just in domesticated cats?
Your cat could develop anxiety problems, ir kitty could have his own set of phobias. Treatment for anxiety in cats often involves the use of the same anxiety drugs as people use.
–>Emotional Pain and Loss
Though we don’t display grief in the same way as cats, our kitty can still experience loss and emotional stress. Don’t bring in a new cat too soon if your cat has recently suffered a loss of a beloved companion. Just as we need time to process grief, so do our cats. Give him some recovery time.
Too often, we do not consider the feelings of our pets — In fact, I think we often forget they have feelings. It’s sad and unfortunate. If we can find some compassion for them as they experience loss, we can make it easier for kitty to return to normal.
Just like humans, cats have similar personality traits. Three main trat combinations, also found in people, may define the cat’s personality. These three traits are: alertness (active and curious); sociability; and an equitable, or stable temperament.
A cat may show signs of introversion, extroversion, or somewhere between the two. Just as in people, the cat may show an inclination toward one or the other, but the bottom line remains their individualism. Again, just like people, the cat’s personality may vary a great deal from cat to cat.
I have always felt that interaction with your cats is a vital part of helping them reach their full potential. If you play with them, give them loving attention, and care for their bodily needs, you help them feel happy and stress-free in our shared home.
Do you talk to your cat?
If you talk to your cat and give the kitty examples of good behavior, they will learn by observation. Also, if you make it a practice to talk to the cat regularly, he will learn more of our language. Even though he can’t speak it, he often understands the meaning of what we say.
I feel that, by including your cat in daily activities and interacting regularly, you can enhance his intelligence. By learning your way of doing things and being included as a family member, the cat, I feel, will expand his understanding of our world and bond with you more firmly.
I’ve known folks who basically ignored the animal, and didn’t even try to interact. These cats seemed to live on the sidelines of the family, merely observers and not active participants. Often these cats showed signs of stress around people, especially strangers. They would hide when newcomers arrived. Also, they would not interact with their human family because they were largely ignored.
Such a family misses out on the pleasure a cat can give when he loves unconditionally. The cat’s chance to expand his knowledge field becomes curtailed. He may develp problems related to being ignored. He may not be a happy cat.
Don’t Punish The Cat
If your cat misbehaves, don’t punish him. The cat will not understand why you are being mean to him, and may begin to distrust you. Try to look at the situation from a cat’s point of view and figure out why he initiated such behavior.
Enrich your cat’s life by providing a safe home with healthy meals, time to play and interact with you, such “props” as cat trees or interactive toys to help stave off loneliness or boredom, or depression, and adequate attention so the cat knows he has value to you, and an important place in your life.
Remain aware that changes in your itinerary can stress kitty a great deal. If you add a new family member or pet or if you move, make sure you help your cat get through these changes with minimal stress.
Do you recognize all the ways your kitty shows affection? You might think about this question some day and write down all the ways he shows you he cares. Does he head-butt you, purr a lot near you, sleep or sit close to you, touch his paw to your face or some other part of your body?
My Siamese, Maxine, came to me from the nuns on Spruce Island. They felt she deserved a home where she would get more attention. When she first arrived, she seemed a bit skittish. Before the nuns, she had been in a home with children who didn’t hurt her, but they wouldn’t leave her alone. She became defensive, and would back into a corner if I reached for her.
After a few months, this fear disappeared. Then we made the move back to Kodiak from my Spruce Island homestead. By now, Maxine and I were well-bonded. At night, she would sleep next to me,and she started the sweetest habit — When we settled for the night, she would put her paw in my hand, and we’d go to sleep that way.
Just remember to observe your cat’s behavior, try to think as the cat might, and see if you can figure out why kitty does certain things. Then you can create a diversion or offer another option if one is needed, and perhaps kitty will respond.
Build your relationship, just as you would with another human. Give your kitty love and attention. You may well be rewarded with a bond forged from unconditional love. You cann’t receive a greater gift from another living creature.
References I used for this post:
catbehaviorassociates.com/8-similarities-we-share-with-cats/4/ smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/studying-the-bond-between-a-cat-and-its-human-44676063/ catster.com/cat-behavior/9-surprising-ways-humans-are-like-cats cathealth.com/behavior/how-and-why/2369-cats-have-personality-traits-similar-to-humans