How to Understand Your Cat’s Behavior

There are many cat behaviors that puzzle humans but are just normal behavior for a cat. Here’s an explanation of many of the behaviors and what they mean.

What Your Cat’s Eyes Reveal About Their Mood

The pupils of a hungry cat’s eyes will dilate up to five times their normal size when he spies his food bowl, even if it’s empty. They’ll also appear as big black pools when frightened or threatened. Half-closed eyelids say that he’s totally relaxed; when fully closed, he’s very satisfied or asleep. He will shut his eyes for protection against a dominant rival. When forced into submission, he shuts out the image of his tormentor. The victor perceives this as defeat and usually walks away.

Why Cats Are Hard to Train

Cats aren’t that tough to train; they just refuse to perform for a pat on the head. They’re indifferent to the process and learn tricks only because they want to. Because they’re not renowned for their obedience, we think they’re defiant. However, if there is something in it for them, they are quick to learn. Cats learn by association. You can’t bribe them with sweets because their taste buds don’t have any sweet receptors (as meat eaters they don’t need them). They can’t tell the difference between a sugar solution and plain water. As with all animals, coaxing them includes much love, patience, consistency, authority, repetition, and reward, but never punishment. Dogs are trainable because they are born to follow leaders; cats, on the other hand, take care of themselves.

Cats are Smart

In the animal kingdom, the cat’s IQ is surpassed only by monkeys and chimps. Cats think and adapt to changing circumstances and learn by observation, imitation, and trial and error. Interestingly, cats seem to learn more quickly from their own mothers than from examples set by unrelated cats. They have been shown to exhibit greater problem-solving abilities than dogs. Tests conducted by the University of Michigan and the Department of Animal Behavior at the American Museum of Natural History have concluded that while canine memory lasts no more than 5 minutes, a cat’s recall can last up to 16 hours, exceeding that of monkeys and orangutans.

How Cats Think

A cat’s intelligence is confined to cautiousness with a guarded view of the world. They’re smart enough to know danger and remarkably well-equipped to avoid it. Their curiosity is related to their high intelligence. They will work endlessly to get the results they want – food, for example.

Why Cats Eyes Glow in the Dark

There is a simple explanation for that characteristic green or gold shine. A membrane, called tapetum lucidum, coats the eye and reflects light. When a cat is in the dark, his pupils open wide and light is reflected off them, but they aren’t glowing. This ability, along with their extraordinary sensitivity to ultraviolet rays, enables them to see very well in the dark.

How Cats See in the Dark

They can’t see in total darkness and their daytime vision is only fair, but they can see far better than humans in semi-darkness. They can also distinguish brightness 7 times better than we do. As nocturnal hunters, their eyes can scoop up even the smallest scrap of available light. Their vision generally is blurred at the edges, and they see best at 6 – 20 feet. When it comes to movement, though, the cat doesn’t miss a twitch. An aside: a cat’s diet without taurine, a substance crucial for his eyesight, will make the cat go blind. Dog food lacks taurine, so never feed it to a feline.

Cats Are Not Colorblind

It was once believed that cats are colorblind, but now it is known that they can tell the difference between certain colors. Basically, they see the world in shades of blue and green. Though they see color, cats don’t pay much attention to it. In nature, color isn’t particularly necessary for a cat’s survival success.

Why Tabbies Have an M on Their Foreheads

Since most of the world’s cats are tabbies, the distinctive M is a genetic feature passed on from generation to generation. This feature is part of the fur pattern. An Italian legend tells the story of a young cat being in the stable in Bethlehem during the Christ Child’s birth. As the Child lay crying in the manger, none of the animals present could soothe Him to sleep. When the tabby jumped into the manger, snuggled close, and began to purr, the Infant Child responded as if to a lullaby and soon drifted off to sleep. Mary gave the tabby a gentle pet on the forehead. Where her fingers had touched, the little tabby was marked with an M as a symbol of the Madonna’s eternal gratitude.

Why Cats Flick Their Ears When They Sleep

The cat’s remarkable ears each have 30 muscles that control the outer ear (our ears only have 6 muscles). These muscles rotate 180° so that they can hear without moving their head. Even though they may appear to be sleeping quite often, most of the time they are only dozing, constantly searching the air for sound.

The Purpose of The Looking Pad Midway Up the Cat’s Rear Leg

It’s called the carpal pad and its function serves as an anti-skid insurance policy for any crash landings as they race around full hilt.

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