There’s an art to communicating with cats. Some of us have an innate understanding of cat behavior, but some of us have to work hard every day to understand why our cats do the quirky things they do. Many of your cat’s communication cues are very subtle, and if you miss them (or disregard them) you may accidentally be offending her. Oops! Here are some of the most common ways your could be ticking off your kitty.
#1 – Too much eye contact
Despite all of your lovey feelings, cats tend to view prolonged eye contact as aggressive. By staring her down, you may be making her feel anxious. Instead of holding steady eye contact, look away after she makes eye contact with you. You can also try blinking slowly at her when she makes eye contact with you. These slow blinks, which many cat lovers call “eye kisses”, can communicate trust and affection since cats will only close their eyes when they feel truly comfortable.
#2 – Too much holding
Many cats like to be held but many don’t. Being picked up and held can make a lot of cats feel vulnerable and trapped. Pay attention to your cat’s body language while you’re holding her. If she’s purring and visibly comfortable, keep at it! If she’s squirming or showing signs of stress or anger (ears back, wide eyes, growling, etc.) putting her down will help keep both of you safe.
#3 – Too much touching
Some cats love to be touched all of the time, and some like to be touched rarely if ever (I have one of each). Some kitties like to be touched only in specific places on their bodies. You know your cat best and will understand her touch tolerance better than anyone. To keep your cat on your good side, it’s important that you respect her boundaries when it comes to being touched and to not let it get to the point where she’s lashing out at you for overdoing it.
#4 – Inconsistent mealtimes
Cats love routine and consistency, and I think if our cats could talk they’d insist that consistency is never more important than when it comes to mealtimes. Most of us have varying schedules, especially when it comes to our workweek versus our weekend, but doing your best to dish out your cat’s food at around the time each day can go a long way in helping her feel comfortable and happy.
#5 – Leaving the litter box dirty
When it comes to the litter box it’s crucial to remember that your cat has an extraordinarily strong sense of smell– in fact, her sense of smell is about 40 times stronger than yours! If you think the box stinks just imagine how bad it must smell to her! Show her that you care by being sure to scoop the box at least once per day.