Think You Are A Cat Person? These Are The Common Misconceptions And Facts About Cats
March 23, 2018 12:00 By Fabiosa
Do you fancy yourself a cat whisperer because you get cats purring when they see you? Contrary to popular opinion, this is not exactly a sign that you are great with cats.
Why cats purr.
It turns out, cats are even more weird and complex creatures than you think they are. The usual interpretation when an animal purrs is that it is feeling content or friendly, but for cats, the opposite is the case.
[caption id="attachment_243142" align="alignnone" width="800"] By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]The furry creatures purr when they are in pain, hungry or stressed. For mother cats, purring is simply a way to give their kittens a sense of where they are and where they should be walking towards.
Tony Buffington, a cat expert and veterinarian at Ohio State University, says understanding what a cat is trying to say is a matter of history, context, and expectation.
These are not reasons to stop making your cats purr though. It turns out, purrs release feel-good endorphins for cats. Experts think cats use the vibrations to soothe themselves. Who knew?
Want to find out what each cat sound means?
Let's start with the Trill. This sound is somewhere between a purr and a meow. If you get cats to make this sound, then you are doing the right thing. The trill is the 'happy to see you' sound.
On the other hand, the growl is the back-off sound. Chattering is a sign that your cat is feeling excited or frustrated. It is possible that there's a rat beyond its reach that it wants to chase.
The meow which most people consider the common cat sound is actually a kitten sound. Adult cats rarely meow. When they do, it's to communicate with humans.
Before a cat growls, it is very likely that it will hiss first. The is the first sign that a cat is afraid or angry.
[caption id="attachment_243148" align="alignnone" width="800"] By Cindy McCravey [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]The yowl is a female cat thing. It is what they do to attract tomcats. Another cat sound very close to the yowl is the scream. Just before a cat fight begins, this is very likely the sound you'll hear.
Other sounds cats make include the wail, the beep, and the burble.
Are you suddenly feeling like you know very little about cats and realize you have a fear of missing out that you didn't think you were capable of? Worry not. We've got you covered.
These are the top ten things you need to know about cats:
- Just in case you have been wondering about this, a group of cats is called a clowder.
- Cats sleep 70% of their lives. That's a no-brainer, right?
- Best believe that your cat is incapable of tasting sweetness.
- If you were ever told that milk is for cats, you were lied to. Cats are often lactose intolerant.
- And this: All those cartoons with cats yearning for raw fish, lies too.
- Dog people are not going to like this much: Cats make more than 100 different sounds whereas dogs make around 10.
- Cats have 1,000 times more data storage than an iPad.
- This here is hard to believe, but a house cat is faster than Usain Bolt.
- Cats and humans have nearly identical sections of the brain that control emotion.
- If you are a cat person, it is very likely that you are more open to new experiences than the average dog person.
There you have it. If you are already into cats, this will probably endear the furry pets to you even more. And if you can't stand cats, we bet you understand them a little more now.
[caption id="attachment_243141" align="alignnone" width="800"] By Peter Forster [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]You probably need to know this too: There's a science to why cats are unfriendly. They have a lower social IQ than dogs. But, their cognitive problem-solving ability is up there.