How well do you know your cat?

One of the joys of owning a cat is learning about all the individual traits that make up your feline’s personality. All cats are different, and they all have their own foibles as well as more lovable characteristics. There’s more to owning a cat than just supplying it with food, shelter and other means of living – it’s a complicated friendship that’s affected by a huge variety of factors. So read on to find out how well you know your cat, and how to improve your relationship.

Origins of Your Cat’s Personality

There are four basic aspects to how your cat became the character it is these days; its genetics, its environment, its history and its age. The genetics of the animal will account for the character traits of the breed that it is, which might affect how active it is and how much attention it likes, though it can only account for the more basic aspects of its personality. The environment it lives in is important too; whether you live in a hot or a cold climate will affect its energy levels, as well as things like altitude and humidity. However, environmental factors also include the mood of the house, how much alone time the cat has, and how busy the lives that go on around it are. The history is important too; if your cat is a rescued animal then it may have suffered abuse that will have affected its personality, and abuse is a far-reaching term covering anything from violence to neglect – each of which will have different outcomes for your cat’s character. The age of a cat can also explain a lot. For example, contrary to what many people think, older cats depend on playing just as much, if not more, than younger cats.

A Cat’s Life in a Multi-Cat Household

If there are multiple cats in your house, then you’ll notice the many ways that company affects their behavior. For example, there is likely to be a dominant ‘alpha cat’, and also possibly a ‘beta cat’, who call the shots among the others. These hierarchies are natural and nothing to worry about, except when you identify bullying. Are any of your cats being denied the chance to feed at regular times, or are you noticing scratches on their skin? Although it isn’t very common, bullying can be serious in households with a lot of cats. If you have several cats, then you’ll also notice that some will become more indoor cats and some will prefer to spend more of their time outside. While this could be a sign of bullying, it is something that will happen naturally and is a telling sign of what kind of personality the cat has.

Does Your Cat Love You?

Of course your cat loves you, but it’s common for cats to be thought of as cold, unloving animals who are really only interested in the food you give to them. However, there are many ways in which your cat can show affection for you. It might be that they often want to sit on your lap, or they like to put their face close to yours, and rubbing themselves against your leg, though sometimes annoying, can also be a sign of affection. Even some of their gentler bites can be ways of showing affection in a playful way. Although cats do like to be looked after, and you often will discover that some of your cat’s motives are essentially just getting more food, more cuddles and more time outside – there’s something strikingly human, and even admirable, in the ways they’re able to manipulate.  

The Ways Your Cat Likes to Play

All cats of all ages need to play, and you can learn a lot about the individual character traits of your cat by observing how they like to play. Some cats love to practice acting in stealth, and these will appreciate tunnels and tubes to take cover in; they will also appreciate the nooks and crannies of your house, whether that’s hiding under sofas and beds, or getting into any cupboard that has been left open. Some cats are more aggressive in the way they like to play, and these cats will appreciate toys they can hunt and sink their claws into. This kind of playing will involve you a lot more, and if you want to keep your feline happy, then you’ll need to make regular time to play these games with them. Cats are complicated, but whatever their personality type is, they’ll need top rated cat toys to keep them happy – even if they seem to prefer to spend their time cuddling and being more affectionate. 

What Is Your Cat’s Outdoor Experience Like?

If your cat’s personality is a mystery to you, then it might be because you don’t see what happens when they’re you of the house, which can be a big portion of their time for some cats. What they’re spending their time doing can explain away quite a lot of behavior. It might be that your cat has made good friends with some admiring neighbors who have also taken to feeding it, which might explain why they’re eating less food if that’s what they’re doing. It’s also possible that your cat is either fighting on a regular basis with other cats or else being bullied. Do they often return home with scratches, or can you hear them from your window? It might be that you have seen a local cat coming into your garden to fight with your cats. These can all be stressful for your cat to deal with, and it might explain some of how they’ve been acting around the house, but there are things you can do. You can change the times you let your cat outside, or you could even speak to the owner of the aggressive cat if you know where it lives. However, it’s very easy to worry about your cat, and there are other ways they can pick up scratches. It might be that there’s a rose bush or thorn bush that it likes to hide in, in which case you should consider removing the sharp vegetation. 

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