A Guide to Understand Cat Behaviors and What They Mean
(Last Updated On: October 10, 2021)It is quite essential to understand cat behaviors and what they mean. Almost everyone can come up with a list of items that best describe what a cat is to them. Some will point to their incredible grace, agility, and speed as examples. Others will wax poetic about their inherent beauty. In this article, I will give some clues in order to learn cat behaviors and what they mean.There will always be remarks about their concentration skills, amazing night vision, the adorableness of kittens that prompts such strong mother impulses, and their seeming aloofness and self-assurance. And why does it appear that cats have a hard time dealing with change or stress? In actuality, these and other features are only symptoms of underlying characteristics that more accurately describe cats’ makeup and nature.
Cat behaviors and what they mean
Humans, especially those who expect cats to act like people, dogs, or other domesticated animals, find the feline qualities both delightful and frustrating. Cats, without a doubt, are one-of-a-kind to understand cat behaviors and what they mean.It’s important to remember that cats are the most recent of all domesticated animals. This brings them closer to their ‘wild’ origins. Small wildcat studies, that is, undomesticated or untamed cats that live beyond the comforts of human families, provide insight into the cat’s ‘natural’ character. The modern house cat is said to be derived from Felis silvestris libyca, a tiny African wildcat.One of the most remarkable qualities of the wildcat is that it limits its activity to finding food when others aren’t, in order to ensure its own food supply and reduce its chances of becoming prey. Specifically, during the night. Cats have mastered this nighttime technique and can work effectively in low light or even complete darkness. Other qualities have been developed in addition to great night vision:The fur coat has a fragmented, irregular tabby pattern and coloration that provides a well-designed camouflage for concealing in thick grass or woodland environments. On a dark, moonless night, a black cat may have the finest concealment.What about a strong sense of hearing that allows you to monitor predators or pursue a potential meal in the dark to understand cat behaviors and what they mean?There’s also the benefit of eyes that can detect even the tiniest movements, in addition to exceptional night vision that makes the most of little light.A cat must be able to move quickly and accurately across its area to avoid predators or other hazards, in addition to having all of these night-time advantages. They do this by using smell glands on their feet and on the sides of their faces. They will mark noteworthy items along their path as they travel through their area.They may leave a trail that is quite easy to follow because of their smell glands. These smell markings may now communicate on either the brightest day or the darkest night, and unlike sound, they will not alarm predators. Unfortunately, these markers must be refreshed and expanded on a regular basis if a new route is to be investigated. A resident cat, or one that has established a territory for herself, must examine it on a regular basis to keep the odors fresh and to note any changes, such as a recently felled tree or another barrier in her way. She doesn’t want any unexpected contacts when escaping a predator in the dark of night.All of this smell marking is essential to the tiny wildcat’s survival. She can’t spend all of her time marking territory and leave no time for hunting, finding water, or mating because there are only so many hours in the day. If she did, she’d be extinct in no time. She may only claim a territory that provides her with food (and her kittens), and that territory must be well-kept with her scent trails. Under these circumstances, it’s clear that sharing her space isn’t feasible for two reasons:In the region she has to manage on a regular basis, there is generally a restricted food supply.Other cats’ smell trails would most likely be perplexing in order to understand cat behaviors and what they mean.Finally, there’s a cat’s distinct maternal character, which distinguishes it from all other household animals. Her wildcat ancestors also have the solution to that question. Kitten survival is critical to the survival of the cat species. Unlike ‘pack’ animals, a mother cat, often known as a queen, is entirely responsible for her offspring. There’s no one else she can turn to for help. She must teach her children all they need to know in order to live, and she must do it before their food requirements outstrip her territory’s ability to provide for them.She has a limited amount of time to do her task, and the kittens must be capable of learning what she has to teach. Needless to say, if either the mother or the children are to survive, a strong maternal connection is required. The young will eventually leave the queen’s realm and create their own territories as they learn to live on their own. Otherwise, Mom will expel them. Now we have a list of five traits that define a cat:
Cats are nocturnal creatures
Cats have strong territorial instincts
Cats are lonely creatures
Cats are Predators
Cats have a mother instinct
So, what’s all the commotion about?Seasonal fluctuations in the quantity of daylight have an impact on the female cat’s normal heat cycles. These cycles last from January to October (as the days get longer) (when the days begin to shorten).Until she is bred, she will cycle every 10 to 14 days. A lot of loud yelling, rolling on the ground, and continuously rubbing against furniture or your legs are all signs of a heat cycle. With her rump in the air and forepaws near the ground, she will establish a breeding stance. Note: Spaying and neutering is the best solution for this problem. Heat sensations, as well as the danger of ovarian cancer and uterine infections, will be removed.Not to mention the elimination of kitten litters that are unable to be cared for adequately to understand cat behaviors and what they mean.Cats, who are known for their solitary nature and a strong sense of territory, find mating to be a fascinating distraction. A female in heat in a feral colony has been observed mating with 18 or more men in a single day. Some ethologists believe that cats love sex as much as humans do, which explains their promiscuous behavior. It’s a moot point that can’t be determined one way or the other. It does, however, provide one explanation for why such lonely animals might congregate and establish intricate social relationships on a periodic basis.As previously stated, the maternal bond between a mother cat and her kittens is very strong, offering a form of social contact for kittens at an impressionable age. So it’s not as though cats have never been exposed to any form of socializing from which they may learn how to get along in a huge group of like-minded creatures.When cats congregate around a consistent, reliable food source, such as trash or a rodent-infested barn, a queen may take up to eighteen months to wean her kittens. This has a number of different advantages:Nursing keeps the queen and kittens together for longer than is typical in the wild, allowing everyone to remain sociable and live in harmony.The population is restricted because nursing females do not come into heat, which keeps the peace.Nursing kittens do not grow sexually as quickly as non-nursing kittens, which helps to maintain peace and population management.The kittens will gain more social skills in a more complicated social setting. The longer a kitten feeds, the more she learns since she is in a learning phase.They will return to solitary behavior after a wildcat queen trains her offspring to accept kill as sustenance and subsequently to hunt for themselves. The queen will refuse to nurse the kittens as they become more self-sufficient. The kittens’ play will get more violent, and they will all finally become isolated. She will return to her solitary existence, while the kittens will take up theirs. However, in a feral colony with a consistent food supply, the driving survival instincts may be mitigated or softened as a result of abundant food supplies and improved social development among the cats.
That isn’t to say that the colony won’t surpass the territory’s ability to produce food and that some of the colonists will leave for greener pastures on their own. Cats are known to get along well in groups, develop norms of interaction for mutual survival, and be fairly good at it. However, they are not scared to do it alone and are capable of surviving on their own wits if necessary. They are very incredible creatures.So, while you watch your cat go about her daily routine, keep in mind that she has a lot of inherited characteristics that motivate her. Whether it’s her scratching or spraying tendencies, roaming her domain, in the same manner, every day to reestablish her scent trail, or squabbling with other pets in your house or neighborhood, she has a lot on her plate (because it is, after all, her territory). She is able to do so because she has learned to survive in a graceful, complicated, and sophisticated manner. And it’s likely that she’ll find it just as difficult to adjust to your domesticated existence as you did to survive in the wild. It helps to keep in mind that you’re both fairly intelligent beings.When someone asks what makes a cat, tell them it’s a cat. Don’t be shy in telling them. “It’s their adorable paws, nubby noses, calming purrs, the way she rubs against your leg when you get home, and so on.” But, as you’ll see, there’s a lot more to understand cat behaviors and what they mean.