Cat Communication
What is your cat trying to tell you?
  • Cats have lots of different ways of communicating with you and other cats.
  • Kittens are born blind and deaf, they donít develop their sight and hearing for a while, so they need some way of communicating with their mother. Scientists believe the mother cat purrs so the kitten can feel the vibration, and can find its way to milk, warmth and protection. The kitten learns to purr back to let its mother know that itís getting everything it needs.
  • Meowing is used when a cat wants something. Most cats will meow when they want something to eat!
  • Hissing is a sound the cat makes as a warning defence system.
  • When a catís tail is flicking back and forth quite forcefully the catís usually angry. If the catís tail is relaxed, then usually the cat is too. But if a cat is flat against the ground and itís tail is twitching back and forth along the ground, itís getting ready to pounce.
  Did You Know?
  • Scientists believe that a catís purring comes from blood vibrating as it passes through a large vein in the catís chest.
  • Before cats became pets they lived in the desert and theyíd bury their poos in the sand to cover their tracks from potential predators so the predators couldnít follow the little trail of poos and catch the cat! Most cats still bury their poo.
  • Cats lick themselves to keep clean and in wintertime licking smoothes the fur down which traps air to keep the cat warm. In summer licking works a bit like humanís sweating. The salvia evaporates off the fur and helps to keep the cat cool. But a very important reason why cats lick themselves is that sunlight causes cats fur to produce Vitamin D which cats need to stay healthy
  • Some scientists think that cats see humans as belonging to them, so they bring in dead mice and birds to teach you how to hunt for yourself.
  • When a cat rubs their head against you, theyíre marking you as their territory. Cats have special glands on their forehead and chin, that produce a chemical called a pheromone and it lets other cats know that you belong to them.
Watch your own cat or a friendís cat. Can you tell how he or she is feeling? Is it feeling relaxed, angry or maybe scared? Whatís the catís tail doing?
Next time you go to the Zoo, or see "big" cats on the television, watch them to see if their actions are similar to small cats. One action that you might recognize is sleeping. Cats do a lot of sleeping!
What do you call a cat that likes lemons?
A sourpuss

What do you call a cat that joins the Red Cross?
A first-aid kit

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