Tags: decode | cat | behavior

How to Decode Your Cat's Behavior

Tuesday, 14 April 2015 10:35 AM EDT

The curious behavior of cats has puzzled and amused humans for at least 10,000 years, when felines first became domesticated from wild animals in the Middle East, scientists say.

But despite their reputation for being aloof and independent, cats bond closely with their human owners and often engage in a serious of behaviors to communicate affection, anger, agitation and other emotions, scientific studies show, Scientific American reports.

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Here are some common cat behaviors and what they mean:

Purr: This curious guttural sound that cats make has many meanings. It can signal contentment or distress, hunger, fear or even injury.

Meow: Cats rarely make this sound to one another, but use it to communicate with their human owners. Typically, cat owners can decode their own cat’s wide vocabulary of meow sounds in ways others can’t — in the same way mothers can understand a newborn’s unique vocalizations.

Ears: When a cat’s ears are pulled back, it generally signals fear or aggression. Ears forward: interest and curiosity.

Tail: Unlike a dog’s wagging tail, which indicates contentment, a cat will whip its tail back and forth when agitated or distressed. A tail straight up indicates fondness; a puffed out tail may indicate fear; and a tail tucked between the legs usually signals insecurity.

Rubbing behaviors: When a cat rubs its face on you or an object, it’s not necessarily a communication of affection. Cats have facial glands that issue secretions they use to mark territory.

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Kneading: This instinctual behavior develops in kittens to stimulate production of its mother’s milk. In adult cats, kneading is thought to communicate affection.

Licking: Cats lick themselves, one another, and their human owners for grooming, but also to demonstrate affection.

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The curious behavior of cats has puzzled and amused humans for at least 10,000 years, but scientists say cat behaviors signal a variety of emotions and mind states.
decode, cat, behavior
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 10:35 AM
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