Cats are often seen as aloof and distant. But that is not necessarily true. The latest research indicates that cats are social creatures, capable of forming bonds with other cats and humans.
More importantly, felines are not totally independent. They might be clever, nimble, and crafty but from time to time, they will not hesitate to ask for help. And when that time comes, you need to be ready to respond.
How cats ask for help
But how exactly do cats communicate their need for human assistance? That depends on the situation. Because felines cannot speak to people, they rely heavily on their vocalizations, body language, and actions. The tricky part for their humans is trying to decipher the messages they are trying to convey.
Here are a few ways that cats try to ask for help.
Some cat owners associate purring with contentment and happiness. And to a large degree, that is correct.
However, cats use purring in a variety of ways. Cats will sometimes purr when they are hungry or when they want something. This type of purr is often called the solicitation purr and is usually combined with a unique meow.
A cat can also purr when he is injured or sick. According to some studies, a purr has some healing properties. It can help facilitate quicker recovery and the buildup of stronger bones, muscles, and joints.
If your cat has utmost confidence and trust in you, he will use this purr because he wants you to stay by his side while he is healing himself.
Cats use their paws in a variety of ways, from showing affection to claiming ownership of their humans.
Your pet may also paw at your arm or leg or even exhibit the figure-eight motion between your legs because he wants to get your attention.
3. Inappropriate urination
If your house trained cat begins urinating anywhere else but his litter box, he might be telling you that he is in distress or is ill.
When your cat is peeing outside of his box, watch out for other symptoms like crying and scratching. These might indicate that he is suffering from a urinary tract infection.
On the other hand, if he pees on the bed or a piece of furniture, it may mean that your cat is stressed. A cat may be stressed by different situations and factors like the addition of a family member or pet, moving houses, or even the slightest of changes in your home or routine.
The longer your cat stays with you, both of you develop your unique language. In fact, according to some studies conducted on cats and their humans, the owners understood what their pets are trying to communicate while other cat owners cannot decipher the meowing of the other cats.
Like purring, meowing can mean any of a variety of things. For example, if your cat is ill or injured, he may yowl to show that he is in a state of discomfort. Here, your cat is showing that he trusts you to check him and provide him with some measure of comfort.
5. Behavioral changes
There is the misconception that cats cannot be trained. That is far from the truth.
Felines are imbued with intelligence that enables them to adapt to the habits and routines of their humans. That is why even if they are crepuscular, they can be trained to follow the sleeping patterns of the people in their homes.
But cats can also be creatures of habit. Even the slightest changes in their homes and routines can upset and stress them, often manifesting in behavioral changes.
If your usually gregarious and affectionate pet suddenly becomes shy and withdrawn, it may mean that your cat is telling you that he is stressed.
Although it may be tempting to draw him out of his hiding, the better option would be to find the root cause of the issue and then assure your cat that you are there for him.
Do cats like when you talk to them?
That depends on how you talk to your cat. You have to realize that felines are sensitive creatures. Although they cannot fully understand the words that you utter, they do pick up on the tone and loudness of your voice.
If you talk loudly in a harsh tone, your pet may feel threatened. As such, if you feel angry, wait for your feelings to settle down before talking to your cat. In short, cats prefer being talked to by their humans in a calm and soft tone.
If you must use a strong tone to discourage your cat from doing something mischievous, do not use his name. A simple “no” would do.
Understanding how cats communicate
Dogs have earned the reputation of being the more expressive and more communicative pets. A lot of that has to do with the sheer volume of studies done to decipher doggie language.
But contrary to popular belief, cats can be just as expressive as canines. Cats are often misunderstood because of the dearth of studies done to understand how they communicate and the messages they convey to their humans.
Take purring, for example. While it is true that cats purr to show happiness and contentment, this vocalization can also be used in a variety of ways, including asking for help.
And like dogs, cats are just as happy to see their humans arrive home from school or work. Does your cat come running to you the moment you arrive, rubbing his body against your legs while curling his tail around you?
This behavior is typical in feral cat colonies. Once a member of the colony arrives after a hunt, the other cats rub themselves against that cat to welcome him back.
It is also worth noting that cats do have facial expressions. Unfortunately, most cat owners rarely notice these because they are simply unaware of them.
One popular feline facial expression is the slow blink. Although it remains unclear why cats do this, experts suggest that slow blinking is an automatic response they do around the people they feel comfortable being around.
But if you are looking for definitive proof that cats do talk to their humans, look no further than the meow. Although feral cats do meow, they rarely do. Compare that to the average pet cat. Most likely, your day starts with a meowing feline, asking you to feed him.
Experts suggest that cats have learned to meow to communicate their needs with their humans, something that they rarely do with other cats.
Heeding your cat’s call for help
Your cat does not need to utter a single word for you to fulfill his needs. You are always ready to provide your cat everything he wants and needs.
But it is always good to know that your cat is always trying to communicate or even reciprocate the affection you shower him with.