The Vet Experts
Four Myths About Cat Behavior
Cats, along with dogs, are among the most popular pets, and because of this there are a ton of jokes and memes out there regarding their behavior. But are any of the jokes based on fact? Or are they just stereotypes?
Here are the top four cat behavior myths that we hear about most often:
1. Cats are malicious.
How many memes are out there where the cat is playing the calculating mastermind? Way too many. Unlike humans, cats do not act out of spite. Their behaviors usually mean that they are experiencing stress, fear, anxiety, or they are sick. If your cat is doing something out of the ordinary, give your urgent care vet or emergency vet a call just to be safe. It’s much better to be proactive.
2. Un-like puppies, kittens don’t need to be socialized.
Wrong again, it is equally as important for kittens to be socialized. Poor socialization can result in unnecessary behaviors like fear, stress in new environments, and fearful aggressive behavior at the vet. As your local urgent care vet and emergency vet, we have seen our fair share of felines that do not approve of their time with us.
It’s no fun for them, no fun for us, and definitely no fun for their owner. Socializing your kitten can alleviate a lot of their stress responses in new environments and at the emergency vet's office. And trust us, they will appreciate it in the long run.
3. Un-like dogs, cats are not trainable.
Not true, cats can most definitely be trained, so there is no need to assume that poor feline behavior should just be accepted. Cats are very smart and usually respond better to positive training, meaning focusing on the positive behavior that you want by reinforcing it.
Showing your cat what you want them to do instead of telling them no when they do the wrong thing is much more beneficial for both you and your cat. It keeps the training fun and encourages learning.
4. Your cat showing their belly means they want it rubbed.
Not always, so pet-er beware. Depending on the situation, there are three common reasons that your cat is rolling on their back and exposing their bellies:
They feel safe in their environment. They don’t feel the need to watch for predators and don’t see any danger in exposing their body's most vulnerable part.
It's a defensive maneuver. The abdomen is a very vulnerable area because it contains all their vital organs. When a cat feels trapped in the wild, they roll on their backs to maximize the use of their teeth and claws. And least be honest, pretty much every cat owner who has rubbed their cat's tummy has received a very nice tooth and claw greeting with even a few bunny kicks from their back legs.
They are playing and want to practice their skills. As fun as it may be, we recommend avoiding using your hands to play and instead use one of their toys. You don’t want to teach your kitty that your hands are for play and that they should attack them.
Just because these four examples are myths doesn't make the jokes or memes any less funny. Cats do provide an excellent source of humor, and we definitely share in your enjoyment of cat memes.
Hopefully, all jokes aside, your feline companions are always in good health but if you ever find that they need to be seen by an urgent care vet or emergency vet, just give us a call.