That Darn Cat

Sheila NewtonStarred Page By Sheila Newton, 19th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2-y7jnvt/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Cats

Have you ever wondered why cats do the things they do?
Below are just a few of their most common behavioural patterns. Cats have a large range of behaviours particular to the feline and it is interesting to note that cats have a secret language all of their own.

Hunting

Many cat behaviours can be traced back to when cats were feral creatures, living in the wild, hunting and eating their prey. Nowadays, the domestic cat is fed by its owner and has no need to hunt – yet those instincts remain.

More often than not, a grown pet cat will continue to use play as a means of keeping those hunting instincts alive. Yet, often, a well-fed domestic cat playing outside will terrorise a bird, a mouse, a frog - anything that moves. Sometimes, domestic cats will even eat their prey.

Purring

A purring cat is not always a happy cat. A cat in pain, distress or giving birth will purr. A little known fact is that friendly cats that are in pain will purr when approached by humans, suggesting that cats often purr to show that they are friendly and approachable, ready to be stroked or helped.

At two to three days old a kitten will start to purr. The purr is very quiet and can be difficult for a human to hear. As the kitten grows the purr gets louder, eventually sounding like a bag of jangling marbles! A kitten purring is a signal to the mother that the kitten is happy and getting enough food when suckling.

Greeting

Cats often greet each other by rubbing faces or sniffing their hindquarters.

A friendly way for cats to greet their owners is to roll on their back, stretching their legs as far as possible, yawning and exercising their claws. The "belly-up" position is a very vulnerable position. It indicates complete trust of the person it is interacting with.

A cat will sometimes rub itself against your legs. Cats have scent glands on their temples, around their mouths and at the base of their tails. So when a cat rubs up against you, it is rubbing off its scent to claim the human as its own.

Kneading

When a cat extends and retracts its claws, usually when it is resting on its owner's lap, or on a soft blanket, it is kneading. This behaviour comes from kittenhood. Kittens knead their mother while suckling to make the milk flow more freely.

Adult cats will sometimes knead when they feel safe and contented. Cats often dribble or suck their owner’s clothes whilst kneading. Adult cats will often retain some of these kitten characteristics - and these behaviours are usually there for life.

Giving Gifts

Owners of cats allowed into the outside world will occasionally be presented with gifts of dead mice and birds.

For the cat, this is perfectly natural and this behaviour should never be punished in any way.

In the wild, a queen will bring prey home to her kittens to introduce them to hunting. For this reason, the behaviour is most often seen in female cats, although neutered cats that have had no kittens and male cats will sometimes bring gifts home to their owners.

Eating Grass

Cats will often eat grass when it needs to clean out its stomach by vomiting or, more likely, to get rid of hairballs.

If a cat does not have access to grass, then it may resort to eating house plants. To avoid your cat eating your houseplants, cat grass is available for house cats in all pet shops and often in the supermarkets.

Vomiting will occur soon after the cat has eaten grass. Some say that cats eat grass to obtain folic acid, something that cats need in minute quantities for their well-being. Folic acid cannot be found in meat products.

Drinking Water

It is essential that cats have a plentiful supply of water. Always make sure that the bowl of water is fresh at least twice daily and that it is kept well away from food, otherwise your cat will not drink it.

It is a fallacy to say that cats should have a saucer of milk. Milk is not good for cats – nor is any kind of dairy produce - and should never be encouraged. It could make your cat very ill.

Taking Food from the Bowl

A common behaviour with cats is that they will take food out of their bowls and eat it off the floor. Although there are several theories as to why cats do this, two of the theories that make sense are that cats find the pieces of food too large and put them outside of the bowl to make it easier to separate into smaller pieces.

If the cats whiskers touch the side of the bowl the cat may find it uncomfortable to eat from the bowl, so will take the food out. So always make sure that the cat’s bowl is large enough.

The Cats' Dinner

The following is a true-life mini story told in haiku verse about dinner time for my two cats, Rosie and Mr Jim. I hope you enjoy it.

The Cats’ Dinner

“Time for dinner, Rose.
Come and get your lunch, Mister.”
Rosie stares and glares

from her soft cushions.
Mister Jim is kitchen bound
ready and waiting.

I smile at my cats
as they lift paws in greeting,
watching me dish up.

“What are we getting?
Is it our favourite meal?”
Claws are out, ready.

“Don’t think you’re getting
more than me.” Hissing, spitting,
not friends any more,

Rosie dives on Jim.
Squealing, she runs out the door
leaving Mister Jim

to eat delicious
tinned tuna all by himself.
He eats it all up

gazing out the door
while watching Rosie prowling
out in the garden.

Then he licks his lips,
lifts up a sweet silken paw
and washes his face.
*
If you are interesting in taking a peek at a comprehensive cat behaviour website, then look no further than this link:
http://www.craftycat.co.uk/

Tags

Cat, Cat Behaviour, Cats And Humans, Cats And Milk, Cats As Pets, Cats Playing, Cats Showing Their Love, Cats Who Live Inside Cats Eating Grass, Purring

Meet the author

author avatar Sheila Newton
A retired nurse and teacher, with two cats, a husband and a grown up son, I write short stories, articles - and I'm an ardent blogger. Catch up with me on my blog at: http://sheilanewton.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
20th Jan 2012 (#)

What a fabulous model!!

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author avatar Denise O
20th Jan 2012 (#)

What gorgeous photos. I never knew when a cat meows it can mean more than just wanting to be loved on. What a interesting page and well written. Congrats on the star page, it is well deserved. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks David and thanks Denise for your lovely, lovely comments. I'm dead chuffed about the star page!

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author avatar Retired
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Like the formatting and love cats... They have seven points of scent on their body and mark their ownership by rubbing against them in a specific way.
It is said that when a cat is purring, it is usually communicating with the Gods above carrying messages to them about their surroundings.

They are also very good guards and the Siamese cats do actually guard the temple and are the most intelligent cats of all.

Kitty Cat

Kitty Cat said Meow
Said I am missing you somehow.
Looked for you just everywhere,
Uncle Jim knew I was there.

Leo Meow was her name,
It was her eyes her claim to fame.
One day brought a squirrel and rat,
And everyone said okay thats' that.

For she had an every growing stomach,
And had a voice as shrill as lark.
Till the doctor came home one day,
And this is what he had to say.

Uncle Jim I have to tell,
Leo Meow played Kiss and tell.
Now I checked the stomach this is it,
She has milk oozing from her tit.

Leo Meow was taken to vet,
Where he neutered his dear pet.
Kept her in confines till it healed,
The fur grown and scar so sealed.

Leo Meow had haunting eyes,
Brought varied animals in cries.
Then slowly went for a walk one day,
And that was the home where it chose to stay.

By Anisha Achankunju (C) 201th January 2012

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Wow, Anisha - thanks for the poem and the extra info. Didn't know that cats were so intimate with the Gods...

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author avatar Songbird B
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Beautiful Star Page Sheila, and fantastic photos too! Informative and beautifully presented..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks, Songbird. Watch out Ms...bird, the cats might just stick out a claw and catch you!!!!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
20th Jan 2012 (#)

In the picture you called the need to knead it looks like the cat is wearing a Santa beard.

A great page for cat lovers, and their cats. Shared on Facebook

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Yeah, it does, Mark. My son took this photo when the sun was shining too brightly through the bedroom window!! Bad pic really, but I love it. And thanks so much for sharing this on facebook, me darlin' - and mucho gratias for the star.

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author avatar Melissa D. Ing
20th Jan 2012 (#)

A beautiful article and i loved the poem! Welcome to Wikinut.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Hi melissa - and thanks for the welcome. I've been around Wikinut for quite a while now, though.

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author avatar Peter B. Giblett
20th Jan 2012 (#)

We have 2 lovely cats and they have some very unique character.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, lovely. Tell us about them, Peter.

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author avatar Clarence Schreiber
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Besides my dog, Lightning, my wife and I also have 2 cats of our own. They are great animals as well.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Good for you, Clarence. I love an animal lover. I love ALL animals to bits.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you, Sheila. This page is so enjoyable. I love cats and have three, one of which looks just like the one in your pictures. Congratulations on the star.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Three cats, eh. I find my two a handful - but they're spoiled ROTTEN!!!!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
20th Jan 2012 (#)

A well deserved star all the way around, The pictures are fantastic.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks so much Jerry. I like that you like the pix.

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author avatar avery sandiego
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Like the cat with a beard! Great article about cat's behavior..

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author avatar avery sandiego
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Like the cat with a beard! Great article about cat's behavior..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

The cat with the beard is Mr Jim - king of our garden and the whole neighbourhood!

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Superb.
It has a fine narrative which is very informative,great pictures and verses too. Although I am not a pet lover, I was immensely impressed. I'm even thinking of changing my ideas about pets.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

So you should. Animals are great to have around - and they always (nearly always) blend into family life so well - cats, dogs, budgies, parrots, rabbits etc etc !!!!!

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author avatar ittech
20th Jan 2012 (#)

interesting writing again . Thnx for sharing .

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Ittech. You always keep up with my latest stuff. Hope I do the same back atchya ??

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author avatar Delicia Powers
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Such a wonderful page... from amazing pictures to the beautiful heart warming poetry...I am always delighted to visit and enjoy your pages, always a real and great pleasure...thanks Shelia my friend...

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw - Delicia - I'm flattered. Thanks.

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author avatar Buzz
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Beautiful article on pet cats, my dear friend. Now I know why once my cat would go out and eat grass! Overall, very informative!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Buzz. Next time your cat eats grass, watch he doesn't vomit all over you. hahaha!!!

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author avatar crystalheart
20th Jan 2012 (#)

very well explained...but i dont agree that cats dont like milk!!!
my cat used to love it!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Didn't say they don't like it. It's just not good for them. Not at all. one of my cats is definitely a dairy cat - but I only give him milk, or cream, or yoghurt or cheese - now and again. Lovely to have your comments. Must look your pages up.

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author avatar richardpeeej
20th Jan 2012 (#)

A lovely poem Sheila and what a great set of pictures too...I loved the read. A well deserved star page for this one my friend..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks, Richard, my lovely writing friend.

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author avatar Steve Kinsman
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Masterfully presented Sheila. Thank you so much. What a wealth of fascinating information you have given us. Awesome pictures too.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Setve. Lovely to hear from you.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
20th Jan 2012 (#)

That should read STEVE - typo, sorry!

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author avatar Randy Duckworth
21st Jan 2012 (#)

A wonderful and informative page! I love cats and have owned several over the years, and yet I never knew the reasons for some of these behaviors! Very interesting!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
21st Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks so much, Randy. Glad I could help!

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author avatar Madan G Singh
22nd Jan 2012 (#)

A wonderful article with lovely photos. However I have never kept a Cat as a pet !!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
22nd Jan 2012 (#)

Oh, you should Madan. They're lovely friends to have around.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd Jan 2012 (#)

WOW! Sheila this has got to be the best cat article I have read in a very long time, bravo!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
22nd Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you so much, Tranquilpen. I'm delighted with your comments

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author avatar Tranquilpen
22nd Jan 2012 (#)

Had to rush back and leave this thought with you. I have been wondering for so long, who your logo picture reminds me of and it came straight to me a moment ago, Sybille Shepard (not sure of the spelling.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
22nd Jan 2012 (#)

Sybil Shepherd - never heard of her. I'll have to google this one!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
22nd Jan 2012 (#)

Just looked her up - WOW! I'm flattered.

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

Wow, cute cats!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

Cheers, Rathna.

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author avatar rama devi nina
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

Cute cats and great star feline page :-)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Rama - nice to hear from you, honey,

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author avatar ppruel
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

This article taught me a lot about Cat with fantastic photos. Congrats!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
23rd Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Paul. Glad you liked it.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Though I don't have pets, I really enjoyed this write up and the fabulous pictures. So much information about cats. Thanks, Sheila - siva

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author avatar Sheila Newton
24th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you so much, Siva.

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author avatar pankajbalodi
25th Jan 2012 (#)

unique observation.

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author avatar aking1614
27th Jan 2012 (#)

Informative piece, beautiful animals and a very clever haiku.... Well deserved star page!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
28th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks. I just LOVE getting stars - don't you??

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author avatar Carol
28th Jan 2012 (#)

Wonderful page Sheila! you certainly know about cats, and what adorable pics too. Many thanks, a very well deserved star!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
29th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw - thanks Carol. Yes, I DO know lots about cats. I've always had cats around me, since I was a little girl. Love 'em!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
2nd Feb 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks Carol. I've always had a cat or two - long as I can remember. It's just awful when they pass on though. I hope my two outlive me. Avoid the grief! Aren't I a coward?

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author avatar Jules, The Cowboy
2nd Feb 2012 (#)

entertaining page!

interesting facts!

cute images!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
2nd Feb 2012 (#)

Aw, thank you Mr Cowboy. Luv ya honey,

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author avatar Jules, The Cowboy
2nd Feb 2012 (#)

and amazing person and author

all made a star page

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author avatar Sheila Newton
2nd Feb 2012 (#)

And this is such an awesome comment. I'm humbled, kind sir.

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author avatar Rorak
4th Feb 2012 (#)

This reminded me of my childhood when I had lots of cats...
Nice guide!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
4th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you Rorak. Lovely to hear from you. We're meeting all over the place, you and I!!!!

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author avatar Rorak
5th Feb 2012 (#)

Seems so :D

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author avatar Funom Makama
10th Feb 2012 (#)

Wow!~~~ These are all True. One more thing, there was a time my Cat gave birth to 6 kittens and after 3 days I sold them all to friends around. She cried for more than 4 days going round the house searching and lamenting... I felt awful and Demonic then. It was as if I did the worst Crime Humanity has ever known. Now she has 7 again and I let her be with them. maybe when they are a little Older, I will give them out but not now.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
11th Feb 2012 (#)

Yeah, Funom - not until they'reat least 6 weeks old. You'll love having them around anyway - climbing the curtains and scratching your legs to pieces! Brilliant.

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author avatar NancyG in TN
22nd Feb 2012 (#)

this is great, loved the photos too!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
22nd Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks so much NancyG. You're a great Wikinut friend.

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author avatar jennyreeve
9th Apr 2012 (#)

Wonderful, cats are just beautiful.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
10th Apr 2012 (#)

yeah - I KNOW you love cats too. You and I can't resist writing about CATS - beautiful CATS!!!

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author avatar Bets
30th Sep 2012 (#)

Hello Sheila, It has been awhile since I have been around wikinut. Nice reading your kitty article here. I sure smiled all the way thru and it warmed my whole being. I thought I heard a purr off your page, Ha-ha. I love cats & this reading so much. Good job Sheila. Smiles, Bets :)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
2nd Oct 2012 (#)

Thanks so much - glad I made you smile, hon!!

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