Domestic cats, especially young kittens, are known for their love of play. This behavior mimics hunting and is important in helping kittens learn to stalk, capture, and kill prey. Cats also engage in play fighting, with each other and with humans. This behavior may be a way for cats to practice the skills needed for real combat, and might also reduce any fear they associate with launching attacks on other animals.
Owing to the close similarity between play and hunting, cats prefer to play with objects that resemble prey, such as small furry toys that move rapidly, but rapidly lose interest (they become habituated) in a toy they have played with before. Cats also tend to play with toys more when they are hungry. String is often used as a toy, but if it is eaten, it can become caught at the base of the cat's tongue and then move into the intestines, a medical emergency which can cause serious illness, even death. Owing to the risks posed by cats eating string, it is sometimes replaced with a laser pointer's dot, which cats may chase. While concerns have been raised about the safety of these lasers, John Marshall, an ophthalmologist at St Thomas' Hospital, has stated it would be "virtually impossible" to blind a cat with a laser pointer.
Cats have a reputation of being loners, but try telling that to owners whose feline follows them around like a shadow. Some domestic cats even become so attached to their humans that they crave nonstop attention. If “Mrrrrooooow! Mrrrrrrow! Mrrrrow!” followed by a friendly, yet forceful, head butt, have ever altered your plans, you might share your home with such a devoted, needy pet.
Signs of a Clingy Kitty
According to Jacqui Neilson, DVM and DACVB, “A clingy cat will follow the owner around constantly.” For example, she says, consider the cat that persists in jumping into whatever it is you are focusing on. “It is not easy to type on a keyboard or read a paper if the cat has positioned itself on that item.”
Your attention-craving kitty may do the same action over and over again. “Repeated attempts to relocate the cat often fail as the cat just jumps back up,” says Dr. Neilson, who runs a behavior referral specialty practice at the Portland Animal Behavior Clinic. In some cases, cats may become demanding only “when they want a specific item, such as food or interactive play.”
Clingy cats are difficult to ignore, agrees Sherry Woodard, an animal behavior consultant at Utah’s Best Friends Animal Society. “When you arrive home, he or she is at the door vocalizing.” Your demanding cat may attempt to climb up your legs, then “follow you everywhere, in and out of every room.” In addition, the needy pet might “help” you “work, clean, cook and read.” If this happens, you might discover kitty hopping onto your shoulder to “groom you” or even “chew on you,” Woodard adds.
Too Close for Comfort
If you’re dealing with a cat that seems to crave your attention all the time, try thinking outside the box. A needy cat may decrease its demands if you offer “some mental enrichment and physical activity,” according to Dr. Neilson. For example, try “creating a treasure hunt around the house with treats, or moving furniture around, so they have new things to investigate,” she says. You might also install a window perch, where your cat can become a “bird watcher.”
Investing in one or two DVDs designed just for cats, such as a movie of birds flying or fish swimming, might also keep kitty busy when you need some quiet time. Tip: Many online stores that sell such products offer previews. Test your cat’s interest level for free by showing the clip to kitty. You should also be sure that your cat has plenty of other diversions at “paw,” Woodard suggests, such as “cat toys, yummy edible plants, other cats, a huge cat tree in the living room, cat tunnels, beds and catnip.”
Cat daycare could also help your needy cat, according to Woodard. “Have someone come to your home and spend some quality time with your cat so he or she receives more attention,” she says. Another option: “Teach your cat to enjoy trips to a friend’s or family member’s house where someone is home to enjoy the cat’s company during your workday.”#gif #caturday #catoftheday #catlovers #animallovers #funnygifs #caturdayeveryday #Adorable
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