Cats are one of the most popular pets and owners regularly keep silent about their cat.
But knowing which cat you can pet and how they want to be treated often seems a mystery.
According to experts, there is an exact science that must be adhered to if we want cats to remain our friends.
Here, in one piece The conversation, Lauren Robin Fika investigates the ideas behind it.
Heritage: domestic cats also show a relatively modest genetic anomaly of their ancestors, meaning that their brains are probably still wired to think like a wild cat
Many of us will have experienced that super-friendly cat that seems to pet one moment, but will bite or wipe us the next time.
At the moment it may be easy to blame the cat, but what is probably happening here is that we are simply not stroking them properly.
To understand why this may be, we first need to know more about the ancestors of Kitty. It is likely that the ancestors of the domestic cat (the African wild cat) were considered purely pest control, but modern cats are often treated as our valued companions or even & # 39; fur baby & # 39; s & # 39 ;.
It is thought that this social change in the relationship between man and cat occurred about 4000 years ago – a little later than & # 39; man's best friend & # 39; – the domestic dog.
While this may seem like enough time to fully adapt a species to the increased social demands, this is unlikely to be the case for your feline friend.
Domestic cats also show a relatively modest genetic abnormality of their ancestors, which means that their brains are probably still thinking like a wild cat.
Wildcats live lonely and invest a lot of time and effort to communicate indirectly – via visual and chemical messages – just to avoid seeing each other.
It is therefore unlikely that domestic cats have inherited many complex social skills from their family members.
Humans, on the other hand, are naturally a social species and promote closeness and touch during expressions of affection.
We are also attracted to infantile characteristics – big eyes and forehead, a small nose and a round face – this is why most of us find the faces of cats so cute.
It is therefore not surprising that when we see a cat or kitten, our first reaction is that they want to pet, hug and smash them.
Although it should also come as no surprise that many cats may find this type of interaction somewhat overwhelming.
Did you know? Our personalities and gender, the parts of the cat's body that we touch and how we treat cats in general, can all play an important role in how the cat responds to us
Although many cats like to be petted, and in certain contexts, human interaction is something they should learn to enjoy during their – between two and seven weeks old.
When it comes to interactions between humans and cats, the characteristics of people are also important. Our personalities and gender, the parts of the cat's body that we touch and how we generally treat cats, can all play an important role in how the cat responds to our affection.
And although some cats can react aggressively to unwanted physical attention, others can only tolerate our social progress in exchange for the good stuff (food and shelter).
That said, a tolerant cat is not necessarily a lucky cat. Higher stress levels are reported in cats that are described by their owners as stroking rather than dislike active stroking.
HOW TO SUCCESS A CAT
The key to success is to offer the cat as much choice and control as possible during interactions. For example, the choice to indicate whether they want to be petted or not, and control over where we touch them, and how long.
Because of our tactile nature and love for cute things, this approach may not come instinctively for many of us. And it will probably require a little self-control. But it can bear fruit, because research shows that interactions with cats are likely to take longer when the cat, instead of humans, initiates them.
Fact: Although many cats like to be petted, and in certain contexts, human interaction is something they should learn to enjoy during their – between two and seven weeks old
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT A CAT IS ENJOYED?
Signs of cat pleasure:
• Stare upright and choose to initiate contact.
• Spider and knead with their front legs.
• Gently waving their tails back and forth while being held in the air.
• A relaxed posture and facial expression, ears pricked and pointed forward.
• Gives you a gentle push if you pause while stroking them.
Signs of aversion or tension:
• Move, move or turn their head away from you.
• Stay passive (don't spin or rub)
• Excessive blinking, shaking their head or body or licking their nose
• Fast, short bursts of care.
• Wavy or vibrating skin, usually along their backs.
• Wagging, lashing or pounding tail.
• Ears flat on the sides or rotating backwards.
• A sharp sudden turn of their head to face you or your hand.
• Bite, wipe or hit your hand with their paw.
It is also really important to pay close attention to the behavior and posture of the cat during interactions, to ensure that they are comfortable. When it comes to touch, less is often more. This applies not only during veterinary treatment, but also during more relaxed meetings with people.
As a general guide, most friendly cats will enjoy touch in the regions where their facial glands are located, including the base of their ears, under their chin and around their cheeks.
These places are usually preferred to areas such as their abdomen, back and base of their tail.
Or cat good & # 39; fur baby & # 39; s & # 39; is therefore very debatable. Many cats like to be touched, but many probably don't – and many tolerate it at best.
But in the end, when it comes to cats, it's important to respect their limits – and the wild cat inside – even if that means admiring their cuteness from afar.
THE CATS OF ERNEST HEMINGWAY
Ernest Hemingway pictured at breakfast with a group of polydactyl cats eating at his feet
Ernest Hemingway was a cat lover who kept them in the house he shared with his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer in their Spanish colonial home in Key West, Florida.
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is home to around 40-50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats.
Polydactyly is a genetic disorder that causes a person to be born with extra numbers. It is inherited from a dominant gene and can occur in multiple species.
The writer received a white six-legged cat from a ship's captain in the 1930s and some cats living on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat, called Snow White.
To this day, many of Snow White's descendants roam the grounds of Hemingway Home, and because Key West is so small, it is not unlikely that many of the cats on the island are related.
About half of the cats in the museum have the physical polydactyl trait, but they all carry the polydactyl gene in their DNA, which means that those with 4 and 5 toes can still have or conceive six-toed kittens.
54 cats live on the property, all descended from Snow White.
To this day, many of Snow White's descendants roam the grounds of Hemingway Home, and because Key West is so small, it is not unlikely that many of the cats on the island are related
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