Has your cat ever bitten you out of the blue? Or walked away from you when you just wanted to cuddle them? When this happens you might think to yourself - does my cat hate me? Well no, your cat does not hate you but there are some things that you do that your cat might hate.
“Cats are complex creatures and have very different personalities. Just like some people do not appreciate physical affection, some cats too, might not like it” says Dr. Ajay Satbige, Veterinary Officer at Wiggles. And unlike dogs who were domesticated by humans many centuries ago, cats were never trained or bred to be domesticated. Cats get a bad rep for being moody and unaffectionate, but cat parents need to learn their love language instead.
With the little yet insightful findings on cat behavior, veterinarians have put together some do’s and don’ts of communicating with cats. These do’s and don’ts can help you strengthen your relationship with your cat and also help them feel more comfortable and relaxed in your house.
Do: Listen to your cat
Before you can try to effectively communicate with your cat, you need to listen to them and understand them. Every cat is unique and will communicate differently. Watch out for their different behaviors - when they’re looking at birds outside the window, what do they do? How does their body language change when they are scared? How do they meow or what do they do when they want food? Observe your cat very closely and you will begin to understand them.
Do: Blink slowly
Sometimes also known as love blinks, communicating with your cat by making eye contact and blinking very slowly can convey your feelings of affection to them. If your cat blinks slowly back at you, it means that they trust and love you too. Do this often to tell them “I love you” in their own language.
Blinking slowly at your cat is a way of saying “I love you”
Do: The “cat nose hand”
Ever wondered - how do cats communicate with each other? They often greet each other by touching their noses. You can do the same by curling your fingers and bringing them close to your cat’s nose. Let your cat bump their nose against your curled fingers and then proceed to pet them near the neck or chin. Ensure that you approach your cat slowly so as to not startle them.
Do: Use clicker training
Clicker training is an effective method of communicating with your cats. Using the Pavlovian principle, cats too can be trained to some extent to act upon a certain sound. Use the clicker sound when your cat performs the desired action and reward them with a treat immediately. Gradually, your cat will learn to perform tricks at the sound of the clicker.
Don’t: Punish your cat
Your cat may not always want to cuddle with you or play with you. When your cat walks away from you or pushes your hand away, do not shout or yell at them. Cats are very sensitive and yelling or shouting at them can break their bond with you. Cats like to have their own space and as cat parents, it is important to respect their boundaries.
Shouting or yelling at your cat can make them feel scared of you
Don’t: Blow on their face
No, your cat does not like it when you blow air on their face. Experts say blowing air on your cat’s face is like telling them they’re in danger or they’ve done something wrong. Practice other forms of expressing affection with your cat instead.
Don’t: Be loud
Sometimes, it’s easy to get excited to see your cat and greet them with a chirpy “hello” and shower them with hugs and kisses. Since cats have a very sensitive hearing, they might get scared of such an over-enthusiastic greeting and run off. It is also important to maintain a low sound level in your house in general, as cats can get easily startled by loud noises.
Last but not the least, since every cat is different, understanding what works and what does not work for your cat is the key to building a healthy relationship with them.
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*Disclaimer: This blog is vet-approved and includes original content which is compiled after thorough research and authenticity by our in-house team of vets and content experts. It is always advisable to consult a veterinarian before you try any products, pet food/treats or any kind of treatment/medicines on your pets, as each pet is unique and will respond differently.