Experts Say Cats Actually Love Their Humans, They’re Just Misunderstood
Does your cat hate you? While many cat-owners have contemplated this thought, it’s highly unlikely that cats hate their owners. It’s more likely that cat-owners simply misunderstand their feline friends. Here are a few insights behind even the feistiest cat behaviors, as explained by experts.
Behind Love Bites
So, you happen to have a cat that bites. While some may interpret this as negative behavior, it may also be what’s known as “play aggression.”
“Cat-play is normally very rough, and sometimes people raise cats in such a way that they learn to attack human hands and feet,” said Sharon Crowell-Davis, a professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. “It’s fun— you tickle them, and they bite you and scratch you.” To avoid this type of behavior as much as possible, avoid playing with cats with your hands. Instead, try using toys.
Short And Sweet
Perhaps your cat likes to cuddle for a few brief moments, then runs away after a few seconds. Does this mean your cat hates you? No, no it doesn’t. It’s simply a misunderstanding between how humans like to show affection and how felines like to receive it.
“People like to show affection by hugging and kissing but few cats appreciate that kind of love,” said Stephanie Bornws-Weil, a clinical instructor in Animal Behavior at Tufts University. “Also, people tend to be low frequency, high-intensity interactors whereas cats tend to be high frequency, low-intensity interactors. That is to say, people work all day and want to spend the evening petting and playing with the cat. Cats tend to prefer brief petting sessions and bouts of play that are short and active.”
Making The First Move
OK, what if your cat hisses or growls at you? Surely they hate you, right? Wrong.
“A lot of the behavior of cats is driven by their need to be safe, and to not be killed,” Crowell-Davis continued. “If you try to approach your cat and he gets all hissy and growly, again, I don’t think that necessarily means he hates you— it probably means that he’s scared of you, but he’s prepared to defend himself against you.” The important takeaway here is to let cats approach you first. This way, the cat can decide whether you’re dangerous or not and proceed accordingly (hopefully without hissing).
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