January 22nd is National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day.
Cats are complex creatures. Some of their actions may indicate they are nihilists (“I can knock this vase off your night stand and watch it shatter because morality is a false construct,”) others suggest they take pleasure in withholding, like when they walk over to be pet, bite you, and walk away. Cats’ bizarre behaviors only make us wonder even more: what could they possibly be thinking about? Our feline friends may be independent, but we are sure there are a few things they would ask us if they could.
Why are you yelling at me for scratching the very large, soft scratching posts throughout the house?
Scratching is 100% normal for cats; expensive, imported Scandinavian furniture is not. To cats, your new love seat is a very large, intricate scratching post to help keep their claws from getting too long or to stave off boredom. Scratching is also used as a stress reliever for cats. Your cat probably has questions about YOUR stress reducing habits, like that bottle of red stuff you read while looking at a glowing box.
Why do you insist on taking literally a hundred photos of me daily?
You’re cute, cat. Deal with it. To keep your cat from avoiding your Instagram tactics altogether, opt out of using a flash. And be sure to get them at their best – nobody wants to see a photo of your cat looking miserable or in distress like when their claw gets caught on something.
Why do you bring strangers over to my home?
I always have to hide because they want to pet me and *shudders* pick me up. New humans in a familiar environment can be very confusing to your cat. To reduce anxiety, try letting your cat meet your guests on his or her own terms. After all, your cat doesn’t invite a bunch of his friends over and expect you to be 100% chill with it.
I am always trapped inside – can’t I go outside for just a LITTLE bit?
You should have just named me Rapunzel. Just like human children, your cat may not understand when you are making a decision that seems to suck but in reality is in their best interest. If your indoor cat looks like he or she is pining for the great outdoors, consider getting them a window perch or a nice cat tree near a window so they can get a glimpse of the other world. If you have an outdoor cat, be sure he has free access to get back inside your home.
Why do you take away my personalized heating pad?
I like laying on it and don’t get why you’re frustrated. In the cat world, laptops and other electronics are heating pads, not communication or work tools for their humans. We take it away because we need it to work so we can continue to feed you and buy you all of the catnip you deserve. If your cat keeps climbing on or laying on things that he is not allowed to, consider some training to break the habit.
Why do you keep petting me when you know I want you to stop?
Don’t you see my tail flicking about and feel me trying to squirm away? While we always want to give our cats plenty of love and affection, force-petting or holding your cat is not the way for them to understand your love for them. Be sure to train yourself in cat body language so you can tell when she is enjoying being pet or brushed – and when to back off.
Why do you freak out if you can’t find me?
Sometimes I just need my space! Cats are crafty and will find a way to hide in the least expected of places, such as a large pot underneath your sink or in the lining of a futon. If scared or unsure of their environment, cats will hide. As long as you are positive they have not found a way outside, there is no need to panic. Let your kitty hide in peace until they feel comfortable enough to come out.
What is that loud demon machine you run across the floor?
Vacuums, while terrifying to you, dear kitty, are a necessity to any cat owner. Fortunately, there are ways for us to help keep your fur from everywhere, like feeding you nutrient-rich food to keep your coat silky and brushing you regularly to keep shedding to a minimum. To keep your cat from freaking out too badly while cleaning, give your cat a safe space from the vacuum, like a cat tree.
That was my next question – what’s with the brushing? I can groom myself!
We know you can groom yourself, but we don’t want to live in a fur covered environment, much like you don’t like using the litter box when it is too dirty. We take care of that, too.
Why are you obsessed with my poop?
Seriously, you scoop it out daily and put it in a little bag. This question can be avoided all together if you are up to the task of training your cat to defecate in the toilet. For most people, that isn’t going to happen, and some things, like your mysterious poop obsession, will forever remain a mystery to your cat, no matter how many times you try to explain it.
Jokes aside, it is important to educate yourself on the way your cat can actually communicate to you – via body language, little chirps, and meows. Is there something your cat is dying to know the answer to? Leave it in the comments and we will use all of our kitty knowledge to answer it.