Although there are more than 80 million cats being kept as pets in the U.S., they remain a mystery to their owners. The behavior of a cat is often unpredictable. They keep their owners guessing what will happen next. Here are 5 facts about your cat that make them such a unique household pet.
1. We don't know why a cat purrs.
This is still a mystery, and researchers can't even agree on how the purring sound is made. Some theorize that it's the vibration of special blood vessels in the throat. Many owners say their cats purr because they are happy. But a cat will also purr when it's frightened, hungry or nervous. Regardless of how or why, purring makes your cat almost unique. The North American Cougar is the only other cat known to purr. The close cousins to your cat, the lion and tiger, cannot purr. They can only roar.
2. The cat fighting you for that candy bar does not have a sweet tooth.
Some cats get interested when you unwrap a candy bar. It's not because they have a craving for chocolate, because they can't taste sweets. The genes responsible for taste didn't give your cat a sweet tooth. Their obsession with your candy bar is likely the crinkling sound the wrapper makes. All cats do have one taste craving, though - meat.
3. Your cat will never be a vegetarian.
Your cat's body evolved to need a specific amino acid called taurine. But their body doesn't manufacture this material. It must come from animal protein. Whether it's a lion, a tiger or your lap cat, they must have animal protein to survive. Review the diet that you're giving your cat with your veterinarian. If it's full of grain, you're wasting your money on food that is not doing your cat much good. The vet can point you to wet and dry foods that focus on animal protein as the main ingredient. Your cat would give you a "thumbs up" for that kind of diet, if they had thumbs.
4. Your cuddly cat needs its alone time.
Your cat may love the attention from family members. It may play with the other household pets and curl up with fellow cats to nap. In spite of these behaviors, your house cat needs space and time for itself. The only truly social cats are lions, who grow up and thrive in families called prides. Give your cat its own little hiding place, away from the people and activity in the household. If your cat hisses or takes a swat at you when you try to pet it, it may be trying to tell you that it needs to go lounge in its special out-of-the-way place.
5. Cats love routine and will tell you when they don't like a change.
Don't worry that you've fed your cat the same food in the same bowl on the same spot on the kitchen floor for years. Your cat wouldn't have it any other way. Change the dish, the food, or where you put it, and your cat may stop eating. Change the type of litter you use, and your cat may go outside of the box onto the floor. Some cat behavioral problems can be narrowed down to a change in their environment or routine. If your cat suddenly acts differently, look for what has changed in their lives. Correct the change and all will be right with the world again. At least in your cat's mind.
For more information, contact Bodily Veterinary Clinic or a similar location.