Foreword by Dr Sam Taylor – vet and specialist in feline medicine
“People often ask me what drives their cats’ more curious behaviours.”
• Why do they sleep in such strange places?
• What are they trying to tell me when they meow so much?
• Why do they go missing, only to emerge hours later with a ‘present’ left ceremoniously on the doormat?
This report offers guidance on getting ‘instinctively closer’ to your pet – understanding why they do the things they do and why they’re not as far removed from their big cat cousins as we might think.
It also explores why wilder natural instincts can sometimes leave them vulnerable and how a little preventative care can help them roam the suburban jungle and the great indoors in safety.
Each section in this guide focuses on a different behaviour, alongside advice to help your family and your cat live together harmoniously.
‘How can I tell if my cat loves me?’
While we may have to earn their trust, it’s a myth that cats are cold and unloving. They simply show affection in subtle ways, using a combination of body language, postures and vocalisations.
- If your cat looks at you with half-closed eyes while slowly blinking, it’s a sign of trust. These special eye blinks are known by some as cat kisses – they convey relaxation, contentment, and affection.
- Head-bumping and cheek rubbing are also signs of affection and invitations to socialise.
- Kneading on your lap is a sign that your cat associates your relationship with the maternal bond. When feeding, kittens tread with alternate front paws at their mother’s teats to stimulate milk flow.
What if they seem frustrated or annoyed with me?
- Patting or biting you could be a sign they are bored and trying to initiate play, but may also be a sign that your cat needs some space.
- It’s always a good idea to make sure your cat has somewhere in the house they can retreat to if they are feeling stressed, where they feel safe and secure.
45% of cat owners believe their cat understands how they feel, and 47% believe their cat can understand what they are saying.2
Did you know...
Female cats tend to be right pawed, while male cats are more often left pawed.3
2 Elanco Survey Cat owner survey 2017 (v1.0)
3 Fact Retriever Fact Retriever 104 Interesting Cat Facts 2020 (v1.0)