Veterinarian Fox Chapel | What Is your Cat Telling You Part Six
In part six, the final of our cat communication series with veterinarian Fox Chapel expert, Dr. Linkenheimer. We previously discussed what a cat’s vocalization means and how to read their body language. In part five, and part six, this final article, we put it all together, deciphering the meaning of various cat behaviors. In the last article we learned about grooming and love nibbles to name a few behaviors. In this article, we learn about scratching, climbing, licking and more!
Hopefully by the end of this series, you finally understand of what is your cat telling you. Read on to learn more about your feline family members. Does your cat lick you? While you may or may not enjoy the feeling of your cat’s dry, rough tongue on your skin, hair or clothes, this is common cat behaviour, according to veterinarian Fox Chapel expert Dr. Linkenheimer.
This is actually a way your cat creates a social bond with you, their family. It’s called allogrooming, and a way that social grooms establish social order. However, another simplistic explanation can be that your cat also simply likes the way you taste.
Why Does Your Cat Lick
Although cat owners should always pay attention to the licking. If it starts happening all the time, or in response to the same stimuli, it could be caused by anxiety. You will want to take your pet to veterinarian Fox Chapel clinic like River Valley Veterinary Clinic to find out your cats triggers, and what can be done to stop them from being so anxious. In addition to medication, pet owners can give their cat new toys, establish a regular routine and feed your cat at the same times, every single day.
Other cat behaviours cat owners often see as problematic include scratching and climbing. Both are natural instincts for cats. Climbing is an instinct in cats, because they are hunters, and have been known to hunt birds, and birds are found in trees. As well, being up helps them feel safe from any would be predators. Your cat’s instincts tell them to climb, and up they go! While cats can and will climb just about anything, including on top of the refrigerator, shelves and cupboards.
Should You Stop Your Cat From Climbing
Rather than trying to stop them from climbing, ensure that have safe things they can climb on. Dr. Linkenheimer of veterinarian Fox Chapel clinic says giving them a cat tree will often curb them climbing on anything else. You can find many different cat trees, with built in scratchpads and climbing toys, with lots of platforms to explore. It’s also quite interesting to note that many of the larger “big” cats also climb. It helps them gain a great vantage point to hunt from – many hunters know this.
They will set up blinds in a tree to be able to see better and farther. It also helps keep them out of the way of other likely predators. While not all big cats clumb, such as cheetahs, due to the fact that their claws don’t retract, most of them can when they need to, proving that your cat’s instinct to climb is built into their DNA.
Scratching is another kitty instinct, says Dr. Linkenheimer, they get many cat owners visiting veterinarian Fox Chapel clinic, wondering how to keep their cat from scratching. Again, the answer is not preventing them from scratching, but giving them something they prefer to scratch. Cats tend to scratch when they are excited, stressed, or to mark things with the scent glands in their paws. As well as to remove the dead outer layer of their claws. Cat’s claws grow in layers, and as the new nails grow underneath, the older nail loses its blood supply, and sheds, leaving a sharp and healthy claw in its place.
Veterinarian Fox Chapel | Many Options To Prevent Scratching
While pet owners can clip their cat’s claws, which helps prevent destroying furniture. As the new claws grow, the clipped claw eventually gets shed, and the new, sharper claw is revealed. Plan to get them clipped approximately every three months. You can also get claw caps – silicone covers that slide over the cat’s claws, and come in fun colors. As your cat’s nails grow, and eventually shed, keep a supply of claw caps on hand to simply replace them as they fall off.
Another great tactic is to ensure your cat has enough toys to scratch on. Scratching is instinct, and preventing them from scratching does not give long term results. There are many cat trees that come with scratching areas, toys, scratch pads and more. Visit your favorite pet supply store to see the wide variety of engaging toys that help your cat scratch in more productive ways. In addition to scratching poles, cardboard scratch pads and more. If your cat continues to scratch at things they’re not supposed to, just continue to divert their attention to what they are allowed to scratch.
Divert Your Cats Attention
Cats, even though they don’t appear to be very trainable says Dr. Linkenheimer of veterinarian Fox Chapel. They are quite smart, and will get the idea. In fact, ensure that your cat has enough toys as well, they need lots of stimulation, and in addition to scratch pads and cat trees, toys help keep your little hunter’s mind engaged. They will be happier and less likely to play with things that are not toys, like your clothes, bedding and rolls of toilet paper.
Does your cat get the zooomies? Also known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods, or FRAPs are characterized by frenzied, often repetitive, and shortlived outbursts of energy. Since cats are nocturnal, you may notice this, as you head to bed, your cat will start to play! While the noise may be annoying while you try to sleep, it is not a strictly nighttime activity. Simply pay attention to how often and how long your cat has these outbursts.
If it’s happening too often, it may be a sign that your cat isn’t getting enough play time during the day. While in some extreme cases, it can be a sign of hyperthyroidism. Always mention your cats habits to the veterinarian Fox Chapel at your annual exam, so the veterinarians can run tests if necessary.
Did Your Cat Flip You Off
Have you ever noticed that your cat will sometimes shake their front paw? While they will sometimes do this when they have water or debris stuck to their paw, says Dr. Linkenheimer from veterinarian Fox Chapel clinic River Valley Vet. If they had nothing stuck on their paw, this is often seen as a sign of dislike for something. Cat owners often refer to this as “getting the kitty flip off”. If your cat is trying to initiate play, and you don’t start playing with them, if you change your food, or when they no longer wish to be pet, they often will pick up one of their paws, and give it a shake before walking away.
This is kitty speak for “I’m not a fan of this”. Although if they are shaking it a lot, and they don’t have anything stuck to it, it may be an indication that their paw is in pain. Take them to veterinarian Fox Chapel to get them checked out to be sure.
Ultimately, there are many ways a cat expresses themselves. We hope you enjoyed reading all the ways your cat communicates, from vocalizations, body language and their actions. Start paying attention, and respond accordingly. You will be very surprised at how your cat starts to interact, and how you two will bond differently. Owning a cat will be one of the most meaningful and beneficial things you do.
Contact Us Today!
And whenever you have a health or medical question or problem, contact the kind and caring experts at veterinarian Fox Chapel clinic, River Valley Veterinarian Hospital. They will love to meet your pet, and help you get all the answers you need.