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If Your Cat Could Talk, This Is What They’d Want You To Know…

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We’ve all got secrets– even your cat! In her case, letting you in on the secret can help you understand why she does some of the mysterious things she does, and will ultimately help you care for her better. Here are some secrets your cat would divulge if she could speak your language.

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Image Source: Anton via Flickr.com

“I like to purr, but it doesn’t always mean I’m happy.”
The purr is a cat’s most iconic feature– and the best too, if you ask me! There’s nothing more soothing than the vibrating song of a purr. That kind of comfort and love is contagious. Did you know that the purring sound doesn’t always mean your cat is happy? Some cats purr to self-soothe in stressful situations, such as traveling to and visiting the veterinarian. Don’t worry though. If you’re in tune with your cat you’ll have no problem telling the difference between a happy purr and a stressed purr.

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Image Source: Brandon Shea via Flickr.com

“I’ll be healthier if you give me some wet food.”
Even though your cat is domesticated, she still holds strong to her wildcat instincts. Wildcats get the bulk of their hydration through food (since freshly hunted prey contains a lot of water) so they don’t have to consume as much additional water as your domestic cat does. Since cats are still half wild (in their hearts, at least) and hang onto the belief that they can water from their kibble, they may not drink as much extra water as they need. To ensure your cat is staying properly hydrated, add some wet food to her meal routine and make sure fresh water is available to her at all times.

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Image Source: Bruno Caimi via Flickr.com

“My meow is all for you. Well, mostly.”
Without domestication, most cats will stop meowing after kittenhood, when they no longer have to use those types of vocalizations to communicate their needs to their mothers. Some cats who grow up without humans don’t remember how to do it at all. That’s why you’ll rarely (if ever) hear a feral cat meow.

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Image Source: Takashi Hososhima via Flickr.com

“Be flattered if I show you my belly… but it’s not necessarily an invitation to touch it.”
In most cases, you should be flattered if your cat exposes her stomach to you. Being belly-up puts her in a very vulnerable position with all of her vital organs accessible, so the exposure is a sign of trust. It means your cat has decided you’re not a threat– a pretty big compliment from an animal that instinctually believes almost everything is out to get her!

All of that trust doesn’t necessarily mean she wants you to touch or rub her belly though. For many cats, having their bellies touched can trigger a natural protective reflex which will cause her to bite and scratch you. Ouch!

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Image Source: Cory Barnes via Flickr.com

“I need to be able to perch above my kingdom.”
In the wild, cats lead double lives as both predators and prey. Even in your safe home, your cat maintains all of her instincts to hunt and stay safe from predators. Lots of vertical space– like cat trees, window perches, etc.— is important to your cat because it mimics the trees she’d be climbing in the jungle. From up there, she can stay out of reach from predators while also keeping an eye out for her next snack.

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Image Source: Jill Allyn Stafford via Flickr.com

“Scratching is good for me.”
Despite how it can feel when your cat is scratching the arm of your brand new couch, she’s not doing it to spite you. Scratching actually an important part of keeping your cat healthy. It helps her shed loose layers from her claws and it gives her a good stretch. Cats also scratch to mark territory with the glands on their paws. Keep her away from your couch by providing a few good scratching posts!

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Image Source: Takashi Hososhima via Flickr.com

“Most of my senses are a lot stronger than yours and they effect how I make choices.”
Cats have a reputation for being finicky, especially when it comes to their food, water, and litter box. They’ve got a good reason for it though! Your cat has an incredibly strong sense of smell thanks to the 200 million odor-sensative cells in her nostrils (for scale, you only have around 5 million). It’s no wonder she sticks her nose up to food that’s not fresh or a litter box that hasn’t been cleaned in a while!

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