why does my cat like to sit on me
Q. Why does my cat like to climb on me and lay stretched out on top of my torso when I'm in bed. Obviously, there's a duvet between me and her, so I'm not sure if she's doing it to get the warmth from my body. Or is it a dominance thing? Jacqueline Davis, via e-mail
A. Dominance в having or exerting authority or influence. This is a part of being a pet owner. It does not mean that your furry companion controls you. Do we not feed our companions when they are hungry or stroke them when they want affection? Dominance is such an old-fashioned word. I wouldn't be concerned with your cat's behaviour at all. When we bring kittens into our lives they look for a new mother figure. One part of this bonding is laying on you for the warmth and also to hear the heartbeat (when they are babies and suckling they sleep very close to the mother to feel secure and warm). You should be honoured that you have such a close relationship with your moggy and that she feels comfortable enough with you to display this behaviour as cats can be very independent and aloof. Even with the duvet between you two, the cat will feel the warmth of your body with the added bonus of the comfort of the duvet! You express concern that your cat might get under the covers with you, but this is one of the bonuses of having a pet, your own personal hot-water bottle. Your cat may just want to get warm and usually в as my dog did в they get out in the middle of the night because they get too hot. If you don't already, get into a routine of cleaning her paws and hind area before she gets into bed to avoid any cleanliness issues. I would only start to get concerned if you wake up to find your precious moggy holding a pillow over your head!
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort an early visit to the vet is always recommended petscorner@independent. co. uk Listen to the audio version of this article If you talk to people who donвt like cats or who arenвt familiar with them, theyвll probably be quick to tell you cats donвt show affection. They may praise the way show affection but refer to cats as snobby or aloof. I think a big part of the problem is people are trying to compare dog behavior to cat behavior. It may seem ridiculously obvious to you, but there are so many people out there who still need to be told that cats arenвt dogs. One species isnвt better than the other в theyвre just different. So it makes sense they would show affection differently as well. Every cat is an individual so there are many ways your particular cat may display affection, but here are just some of the common ways they show their love: This isВ the name for the displayed when a cat seems to literally butt his head against you. He may come up onto your lap and his head against your chin, nose or forehead. Cats have glands on their face and itвs a very common social behavior for one cat to bunt the head of another familiar feline buddy. This isnвt just a scent exchange behavior but also an affectionate display. Cats also have glands along their cheeks and they may rub against people, another cat friend or even an object. The pheromones (scent chemicals) located along the cheek and on the cat s head are associated with friendliness, affection and familiarity.
Cats facially rub on people or objects when they feel comfortable or familiar. Also known as the tread, this behavior consists of the cat flexing and relaxing his front paws against a soft object. It originated when the cat was a kitten and used the milk treading behavior to stimulate the release of milk from the motherвs teat during nursing. Many adult cats maintain that behavior when theyвre on a soft surface or feeling very content. Purring is complex because it is something cats do when theyвre happy, content and relaxed but they also do it when theyвre scared, sick or injured. It has been theorized that purring is something cats do when they are very content or as a self-soothing mechanism in a tense environment, as well as an attempt to soothe potential attackers. Purring is also believed to have healing qualities as the frequency of the purr may help the acceleration of bone mending. If your cat is curled up in your lap and youвre stroking him as he purrs, thereвs an excellent chance heвs content and is letting you know by the sound of that beautiful, velvety motor. Cats who have a good relationship may engage in mutual grooming. Itвs a way they show affection to each other and it also helps create a communal scent. In an environment, this is important since scent plays such a huge role in recognition. Grooming is also a -reliever and displacement behavior so allogrooming may help keep each other calm. When your cat starts grooming you, itвs often his way of showing affection and mixing his scent with yours. This common affectionate display is one way a cat may convey that he is relaxed and comfortable with you.
Many cat parents also return the favor by doing a slow back at the cat. When a cat takes a stretched out position for resting, it shows he feels comfortable with you. When a cat is uncertain, he tends to tuck his limbs under his body and tightly wraps his tail around himself when resting. For a cat to leave his limbs and tail totally exposed means he feels very secure near you. If the cat is not in a confrontation, he may also stretch out so much that heвs on his back with his tummy exposed. This is the ultimate in trust and relaxation because he is exposing a very vulnerable body part. Donвt confuse this posture with a cat who is exposing his tummy during a battle. In that particular situation, itвs a defensive position displayed to warn an opponent that should the battle continue, all weapons (teeth and claws) will be used. So when interpreting body postures, you always have to take the immediate into account. A catвs can tell so much about what the cat is feeling. A tail held high with a little hook at the end usually means your catВ is happy and confident. Many cats will also give the tail tip a little flick as a greeting when they see you. Your cat may sit on your lap, sit next to you, lay on top of you when youвre in bed, or he may just lean his back against your arm as you work on the computer. Just the fact that he wants to be in close physical contact with you is quite the compliment. Cats can carry on all kinds of conversations and there s no such thing as a simple, but many cats issue a special mew or aВ little В when their cat parents enter the room. В
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