A Dog Person's Guide to Cats
Cats can be enigmatic creatures to humans who lack experience with them. Dog people, or those who have only had experience with dogs, can have a hard time adjusting to the stark differences between dog and cat behavior. At Pampered Pet Resorts, we know that cats are oftentimes misunderstood and hope to help every animal lover see that you can be a dog person and a cat person at the same time!
The first thing you must understand when interacting with a cat is their body language. While they do use vocal communication at times, body language is the main way that cats communicate their thoughts and feelings. When approaching a cat, it helps to get down on their level and offer out your hand for them to smell to familiarize themselves with your scent. Stay very still for a moment, and the cat will signal to you whether they would like to be touched or not. Cats are all about boundaries, and crossing them too early on can leave them fearful of you.
While most of our doggie fur-ends love to be held, pet, and played with, cats are gentle creatures that prefer to come to you first. Only when a cat is completely comfortable with you will they show off their playful side and allow cuddles. Below, you’ll find a helpful infographic detailing cat body language.
I’m Not Mean, I’m Just Cautious
If you ever find yourself in a situation where a cat wants nothing to do with you, don’t take it personally. Cats are extremely independent and cautious animals that like to have the upper hand in all situations. Natural predators, they do not take kindly to loud noises or being cornered or chased.
Dogs thrive off of obedience and routine. They love to please their parents with their good behavior, and thrive off of a schedule. Cats, on the other hand, act as a lesson in giving up control. Interacting with a cat is more of a conversation, allowing them to communicate their needs or wants, and the human responding. Some cats can be trained to perform tasks, but they have to want to perform the task for the training to stick.
A good rule of thumb when interacting with a cat is to treat them as you would another human person. Give them their personal space, introduce yourself, and allow them to introduce themselves to you. Each cat has their own unique personality, and will respond to you in their own way. When they want to hang out with you, they will. When they want to be alone, they will. If you really want their attention, though, usually a treat won’t hurt!
We hope to educate our clients about all of the pampered pets that we serve. If you'd like to learn more about cat behavioir, click here.