Cats sometimes do what we might regard as the strangest things, and we wonder why they are doing them and what they are trying to tell us (if anything).
A lot of meowing can mean a number of things. If you have an un-spayed female (known as a queen) or un-neutered tom you will hear a lot of yowling. Queens yowl when they are on heat, and toms yowl when they smell a queen on heat. The way to get them to stop doing this is to have them neutered or spayed.
Meowing can also be a result of illness or other distress, so if your cat is normally quiet, but suddenly starts excessive meowing a trip to the vet is in order.
Meowing In Hope Of A Treat
Some cats meow when you go into the kitchen, in the hope of some food. The answer is not to offer a treat. If your cat gets very vocal when it is mealtime, wait until he quietens down before feeding.
Cats may also meow when they want some attention and others will meow when you come home because they are just pleased to see you.
Another cat behavior is playing rough, or biting. All young cats like to play and play is divided into two types. There is solitary play when they attack paper bags, toys, boxes, and other inanimate objects. Then there is social play when they turn their attention to another cat (if you have one) or you, if you don’t.
All cats like to socialize, and you should play with your cat for ten minutes twice a day. You can use toys, dangle feathers on a piece of string, buy small plastic balls which flash different colored lights when they are moved about, fake mice, and more. Cats like to stalk and pounce on things and moving toys will satisfy that urge.
Head butting you is a sign that your cat likes you and he is being affectionate. Also, you will find that your cat may sit looking at you closely and blink slowly: these long blinks are sometimes called cat kisses, another sign of affection. He will also stroke his head against you where the base of his whiskers is on each side of his face which releases a chemical pheromone from the glands at the base of the whiskers. Doing this indicates that he is marking you because he likes you. A cat will also mark his territory by doing the same thing on certain objects.
Another behavior is kneading you with his paws. This is a reversion back to when he was a kitten. A kitten will knead its’ mother’s teat in order to help express milk: when he does the same to you it is because he is contented and happy, and you should accept it as a compliment. As most people know, purring also indicates contentment, many cats beginning to purr instantly when you put their food down.
There are various body postures that indicate different things. When your cat does a very big stretch, he is comfortable and happy. However, if he is crouched down on top of his paws and is shaking, with his tail curled very close to the body, the cat is fearful or anxious. If it then stands up, the body is stiff and the tail will often twitch considerably. Cats will typically avoid conflict if at all possible, but can become very aggressive if they feel cornered.
Of course, cats are like humans in that they are not all the same. It is worth spending some time watching your cat’s various behaviors in order to understand what it is that he is trying to tell you.