Decoding a Cat’s Behavior: Part II (Body Language)


Decoding your cat behavior tips part 2

There is a striking contrast between how dogs and cats communicate. If you are a pet owner to both a cat and a dog you will be able to relate to what we say.

A dog will bark, growl, wag its tail, refuse to eat food, dig up holes in the yard, follow you around or snap at you. A cat on the other hand has a more diverse way of telling you what she wants or how she feels. Decoding a Cat’s behavior Part II sheds a light on a few more aspects of a cat’s communicative behavior.


1. Refusing to use the litter box

Your cat has made it clear she won’t use the litter box. You’ve tried to coax her to alter her decision, but she will not budge an inch. If this is the case, you better take a look at the litter box. Cats are very particular about personal hygiene and will never use a dirty litter box. The litter or the litter box may have an unpleasant odor or the cat may be uncomfortable with the texture of the litter used. A medical condition is another factor that prompts cats to soil the house and avoid the litter box.


2. Covering Poop

Rarely will you find a cat not covering its poop. Cats dig a sufficiently large shallow hole, do their job and cover it carefully. Covering poop is an inherent instinct in cats, but it should not be mistaken for a cat’s obsession with cleanliness. In reality, a cat marks its territory by covering its poop. Cats can easily differentiate their waste from that of other cats by means of pheromones, the scent marker present in their urine and feces.


3. Covering Food

Cats are finicky felines. They will not hesitate to reveal their likes and dislikes especially when it comes to food. Pet owners are often baffled as to why their cats bury their food or cover it with a newspaper, flooring or carpet. The first explanation goes that cats bury or cover their food because they dislike it. Some hide as a snack for a later time. However, the most valid explanation is the survival instinct. They cover their food to conceal the scent of the food. Wild cats usually do this to protect themselves from predators.


4. Feeding on Grass

You feed your pet cat regularly, but suddenly she seems to have taken a liking for grass and the green stuff. The cat does not munch of grass because she relishes it. In fact she does so to flush out indigestible matter like bones or hairballs. The grass induces vomiting and the cat thus expels the thrash consumed accidentally.


5. Feeding on Plastic:

Is your cat attracted to plastic? Does she chew on plastic bags, cords and other plastic items around the house? A cat’s habit of feeding on plastic in fact all non-edible items is termed as pica. Gastrointestinal disorders or dental diseases are two main factors causing pica. Chewing plastic is also considered a coping mechanism as cats chew plastic to relieve anxiety.


6. Shaking and Shivering:

Shaking and shivering in cats conveys that your cat is in severe pain and needs assistance. Shaking or trembling may also manifest as a symptom of a serious medical condition. Hence, you should not neglect this indication.


7. Sneezing and Coughing

When you heard a not so loud yet audible enough “achoo” from your cat you hoped everything was alright. In most cases, a nostril tickle triggers a sneeze. However, if the sneezing is persistent, you should visit a vet for it signals a medical problem.


Your fury pet is accustomed to licking herself continuously. Yes, she likes to keep herself clean. But the habit could result in hairballs (an accumulated mass of hair blocking the alimentary canal). Cats eliminate these hairballs from the system by coughing. When you spot your cat coughing, leave it alone. It will cough up the hairball and leave. If the coughing continues, see a vet.



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