Figuring out your finicky feline
Sometimes, stereotypes exist for a reason. Case in point: cats. Even with the most affectionate cat breeds, it can be difficult to tell whether your cat loves you, likes you, or just kinda, sorta tolerates you – or indeed, whether your cat is happy cat or not. But we have some good news: most of them love you, and science proves it. According to a study from Oregon State University, most cats do, indeed, bond with their caretakers. Researchers looked at 70 kittens between three and eight months of age and found that the majority (64%) had secure attachments to their owners. So, how can you tell if your cat is happy – with you and with life, in general? We got the lowdown from pet experts on how to decode feline behaviour.
They rub against you
Are cats marking their territory when they rub against you – or are they just happy to see you? It’s a little of both, actually. Cats that live together and have a strong social bond typically groom and rub on each other, according to pet behaviourist Professor Wailani Sung. “It has been theorised that they do this to promote a colony scent since this action leaves behind oils from the scent gland on their head, cheeks and chin,” she explains. “When they rub on people, they leave behind oils to mark us, but it is also a sign that they like us and are happy to see us.”
They knead or ‘make biscuits’
You might have noticed your kitty making a strange kneading motion on blankets, pillows or even you. It’s completely adorable, but it’s also a sign that they’re in a very good mood. “Cats are feeling content and safe when they knead,” says veterinarian Shelly Zacharias. “You may also notice they purr and have their eyes half-closed, which are often other signs of feeling safe and content.”
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