I know I have dedicated this blog to dogs and Downtown... but I have a cat and sometimes I read things or see things I feel compelled to share about my feline friends. I love my cat, but he is also the one that can get on my last nerve by using the wrong thing as his scratching post or choosing 4am as his play time. So, when I read this article that Petside put out about understanding cat body language, I felt like I got some great ideas on how to tweek these problem areas. I hope you find as interesting and helpful as I did.
Do you know how to talk with your cats? Are you fluent in feline body language and do you understand what your kitty is trying to tell you with his actions? Do you know why your cat rubs up against you, slowly blinks at you or suddenly launches an attack on your feet for no apparent reason? At times does your cat’s behavior drive you up the wall?
Helping to unfold a wealth of feline mysteries is Jackson Galaxy, the host of Animal Planet’s remarkable series, “My Cat from Hell". A real man who truly loves cats, Jackson is both an extraordinarily perceptive feline behaviorist expert and cat “listener” extraordinaire. His deep understanding of the feline psyche, coupled with his ability to communicate with them, provides cat lovers with a great deal of insight into the minds of our small furry predators.
Jackson’s 16 years of delving into cat psychology has taught him that what appears to cat owners to be a troublesome problem may often simply be resolved by making simple, small changes in the way they interact with their kitty.
Since cats are "wild" at heart and are programmed hunters, giving them the opportunity to safely unleash their "wild" behavior with interactive play, using toys that mimic prey such as feather flyers, releases excess energy while giving them exercise, catering to their instinctive behavior. It’s a lot more fun for both the cat and their human companion than tossing a toy across the floor for them to chase, a game with which cats quickly get bored. And a bored feline is an unhappy cat who will generally find a way to entertain themselves in a way which may not always be acceptable to their human companion.
According to Jackson, it’s an excellent idea to experiment with a wide variety of toys in order to find the ones that tickle your cat's fancy. He also recommends playing with your kitty for about 30 minutes before bedtime to help him/her to wind down their excess energy and to satisfy their "wild" urges. And since cats prefer hunting at dawn and dusk, tiring kitty out later in the evening may result in a better night’s sleep for all concerned.
Jackson frequently reminds cat owners that what he refers to as "play therapy" is one of the best ways to prevent cats from behaving unacceptably. By bearing in mind that to a cat, play and prey are identical and understanding a feline’s instinctual need to "hunt", offering them outlets for their "wild" side will help reduce the stress and anxiety which often leads to those upsetting "bad" behavioral issues.
For additional information about all things feline and cat behavior visit Little Big Cat.I know I will be starting the late night play time tonight. My cat has a tenancy to go to sleep at about 7pm and wakes up about 2am for a snack is in full play mode by 3am or 4am. My fingers are crossed that this will help and will make him a bit happier. There are nights he snuggles right by me all night... I want that to be every night!