A Kitty's Point of View: Independent Cats!
Meow!! Some people think that us cats are a bit aloof and not very friendly, but I would like to put the record straight! We are not aloof - we are just independent!
Don’t forget our ancestors used to live in the wild and had their own territory that they would survey from safe spots in trees - they knew the best places to rest out of harm's way and from where they could spy on their prey to hunt for food. If it was a large territory, there may have been room for other cats and their kittens too, and this was fine as long as each family had their own safe space and own resources. And like us domestic cats, they used to mark their territory in much the same way as we still do today!
We like our independence!
From our point of view, there are certain things that humans should take on board and remember, to ensure that us cats keep our independence!
1. We don’t like sharing!
As I mentioned before, each of us likes our own resources - we don’t like sharing beds, food bowls, scratching posts and definitely not litter trays! So, please make sure that every cat in the house has one each of their own and they are easily accessible - between us cats, we can work out which belongs to the other - because we mark everything that belongs to us.
2. We can get on with dogs!
Contrary to popular opinion, we can get on with other animal species - like dogs! Dogs rely on their human parents and are not as independent as us felines, but as long as they don’t chase us, we can rub along quite nicely. My human parents read a post on ‘7 Tips to get Cats and Dogs to Bond’ and they have worked quite well! It took a little while, but now we are both quite happy to be alone in the same room. That pooch will sometimes have a sniff as he passes by, but if he gets too close when I don’t want him to, I’ll give him a pat on the nose and he soon gets the message!
3. We keep our feelings to ourselves!
Just because we don’t bark and wag our tails when you come home from work, that doesn’t mean we’re not happy to see you! It’s not in our genes to make all that fuss, but it’s a good sign when we rub up against your leg or blink slowly, and we do like our regular playtimes and to curl up on your lap in the evening.
4. We like to play - but on our terms!
We also like to play with our humans and to chase a fluffy toy on the end of a string or try to get food out of a puzzle - that’s similar to our ancestors who were very good at chasing and catching, but we know when we’ve had enough so we’ll probably slope off to a high spot. We’ll play on our terms and don’t forget we’re independent and can make our own fun in the garden too by climbing trees and hiding under bushes and pouncing on flies or the odd mouse that dares to wander into our territory!
5. Read the signs!
Humans ought to learn cat body language so that you know what we are thinking. I know we don’t give much away, but for example, how we hold our ears can give you loads of clues:
- If my ears are facing forward and my whiskers are relaxed, I am chilled out!
- If my ears are flat and pointing in different directions, my whiskers are facing backwards and my eyes are wide open, I am stressed!
- If one of my ears is to the side and one is facing forward - eyes wide and my whiskers are forward facing - I am worried!
6. I wasn’t always independent!
When I was a kitten, I wasn’t as independent as I am now. But, my human parents looked after me very well when I was a small kitten and I got to meet lots of different humans, and that has definitely meant that I am very happy to spend time with them. I also know that they will always ensure I have plenty of food and water waiting for me and they look after me as best they can; my bed is very cosy and comfy, my litter tray is not next to the washing machine any more, and I have a great scratching post where I can exercise and keep my claws in tip-top condition.
I noticed my human parents are also using something very special in the room where I hang out - and it really makes me feel super-cool and calm! It’s called FELIWAY Classic so I hope they remember to get that refill - even my sister cat seems more serene than usual - it’s just PURRFECT!
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