Cat Q&A – Common Questions Answered
Why do cats purr?
The soothing hum of purring is comforting to both cats and humans. Purring is both a form of communication and even a way to heal or reduce stress. It can be a sign of pleasure or comfort, but also a sign of being frightened or nervous. Knowing what your cat’s purring communicates can help you determine what your cat needs. If your cat is purring next to you while sleeping, they are most likely very content; if your cat is purring and there is a loud noise or other stimuli that scares them, they are most likely nervous or frightened. In addition to conveying emotions, purring can communicate hunger and is even a method of healing– the frequency of purrs can regenerate bone and tissue.
Why do cats sleep so much?
Cats sleep for an average of 12-16 hours throughout the day to re-energize and relax. Some of their patterns resemble those of their ancestors, big cats like tigers and lions, who needed to rest in order to have the energy to go out and hunt. Although household cats do not need to go hunting, this is just ingrained in their DNA. However, when your cat is sleeping it is not often a “deep sleep.” Ever heard the phrase, “cat nap”? The most frequent form of sleep, this little nap, is when a cat is resting but still very aware of its surroundings, allowing them to spring into action if they need to. This isn’t very restful sleep, which is why they do it so often. Their deep sleep only lasts a few minutes before they are in this more aware “cat nap” rest. Each cat needs varying amounts of sleep, so there is little need to be alarmed if it is slightly more or less than the average.
Are cats and dogs really afraid of each other?
Depending on the situation, cats and dogs can certainly be scared of each other. They each have their own ways of communicating, so their messages to each other could be easily misinterpreted. Dogs are usually larger and louder than cats, and cats hissing and scratching can be pretty intimidating, giving each pet probable cause to be afraid of the other. However, it is very possible for cats and dogs to live together in harmony. Getting used to each other in a safe environment can allow cats and dogs to become the best of friends. Their individual personalities can be a good indicator of if they are likely to get along with other animals.
Why do cats meow?
Meowing has two functions– for a kitten to communicate with its mother, and for cats to communicate with humans. Kittens meow to get their mother’s attention and to signal hunger or discomfort. But, once kittens grow up, they stop meowing to other cats. Meowing then becomes a way of communicating with humans. Meowing at their owner is both a mimic of humans talking, something cats will often hear and then will meow to try to “talk,” and using their baby-like tendencies, meowing at you now instead of their mother. It is important to get to know the tone of your cat’s meowing in different situations so you can tell what it needs. Does your cat want attention? Are they hungry? Are they upset? Do they just want to say hi? By understanding your cat’s communication and needs, you can strengthen your bond with your pet.
Why are cat whiskers so long?
How are cats able to fit in tiny spaces? Surprisingly, it has to do with their whiskers. If you look closely, you’ll notice your cat’s whiskers span the width of their body. These act as sensors, alerting them of what is nearby. If their whiskers hit the sides of a small space, your cat knows it won’t be able to fit. Their whiskers are very sensitive, so it is important to be mindful of their function and how messing with your cat’s whiskers may cause stress.
Cats certainly enjoy their time alone, but that does not mean they do not want attention or to play with other cats. Your cat needs a good balance of time alone and having attention. When a cat wants to play or wants affection, it’ll let you know. For the most part, you should leave cats be so they do not get stressed out by intense social interaction. Even if you have other cats, having their own spaces to eat and rest is beneficial. They can still have playmates and buddies when they want, but they have their own space as well.
Why do cats knead?
Kneading is a motion in which cats move their front paws, or sometimes even all four, in an up and down motion as they open and close their toes in a soft surface such as a blanket. This motion, which resembles kneading dough, pushes and pulls the fabric. Kneading can show comfort as cats often purr while kneading and the motion is similar to how cats used to make nests. They make a blanket nice and comfortable to lay in and signal that they are happy and content. Kneading can also mark territory. If your cat kneads on you, that is most likely a way of them marking you as their territory. In a complete sense, kneading can say, “this is my territory, I am making it comfortable and I like it.”
How long do cats live?
Although it depends on many factors such as breed, environment, and gentics, cats may live for up to 18 years on average. Indoor cats usually live longer than outdoor cats, which may live between 5-7 years. Gender can make a difference as well, as female cats tend to outlive male cats. By feeding your cat a complete, nutritious diet, taking it to the vet for checkups and vaccines, and caring for it properly, your cat can live a long and happy life. Be aware of common health issues associated with old age and your cat’s specific breed to ensure that your cat gets the most out of its life. Being educated about your cat’s family history, breed, and environment your cat lives in will help you determine the likely lifespan of your cat.