Cat Speak, and other animal languages

  1. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    In honor of Danger's talking cat...

    I have never seen the blinking thing discussed anywhere before. I've found this works not only with cats, but with dogs, and deer as well. But the blink rate is different depending on the animal. Integral has a dog that would go nuts if I gave her a slow blink...not sure what that was all about. Three other dogs also got all worked up by a slow blink, so it must mean something in Dog Speak. Fast blinks seem to be okay. :uhh:

    I think most pet lovers get pretty good at reading their four-legged family members.
  2. jcsd
  3. Can a human win a stare down with a cat?
  4. No. Even when you "win" in human terms -- meaning that the cat looks away -- you've "lost" in cat terms because now you've annoyed them and they can't be bothered with you any more. Dogs get defeated by eye contact. Cats get bored and walk away. It's a victory only if the other side knows they've been defeated. The cat's not defeated. Really, you gain nothing. :biggrin:

    I've read about blinking as "cat kisses" before, Ivan. My cat and I make squooshy faces at each other fairly frequently. I don't know if that constitutes "kisses" exactly, but I do know that we're bonded. And I do know that she doesn't look away from me when I do it. Sometimes she even blinks back. Mostly she just stares at me with that inscrutable expression on her face. So, I liberally anthropomophise and believe that, in her mind she's thinking, "Okay, now what's the human up to?"
  5. Office_Shredder

    Office_Shredder 4,487
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    I wouldn't characterize it as blinking. They slowly close their eyes, and it looks more like they're either going to sleep or squinting depending on the situation
  6. CRGreathouse

    CRGreathouse 3,497
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    In terms of WWPD?, I wonder if there's any way to express the OP as a falsifiable statement.
  7. My cat's intimate look reflects the "flattery" of her human's gaze.
    Kitty has a black mask which makes her a formidable poker player in low light.
  8. Cats react oddly if your eyes exhibit the typical saccade patterns, if you notice, that is the source of the "predatory stare" which people find unsettling, cats don't do the small scanning eye movements.


    They focus on a target... I know this because I also unsettle people if I try to exhibit eye contact. I don't saccade normally either, I assume it is due to AS in my case... but as they say: "all cats have Asperger's".

    Another way to identify a compliment from a cat is when they trill or chirp at you, cats don't meow at other cats, they either yowl, or trill.
  9. Schizophrenia-spectrum disorders display one of the few physical traits for that category of diseases -- the inability for eyes to track steadily.

    Kitty doesn't seem to mind.
  10. That's gorgeous.
  11. Danger

    Danger 9,663
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    In addition to the "kissing" thing, of which I was unaware, a single slow blink is taken by a cat as an invitation such as to join you in your chair.
  12. Prior to diagnosis with AS, I actually assumed I was a large housecat.

    Cats make sense, humans seem insane.

    Go figure.
  13. True. If you're around feral cats they won't attempt to communicate with you. Cats who live with you, and especially ones who are bonded with you, work at verbal communication.

    Also, if a cat "head-bumps" you, or really especially, if a cat licks you. If your cat licks you, they're all about the relationship with you. Grooming each other is a big deal in cat world.
  14. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    tmi! Tmi! :biggrin:

    Us cat owners are pathetic.
  15. No joke.
  16. Danger

    Danger 9,663
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    Mine instigated a form of "mutual grooming" which I haven't encountered with any of my previous pets. You know how a cat licks its dew-claw, and then uses it to comb its forehead. Lucy licks the web between my thumb and index finger, then shoves her head into position for me to rub it.
  17. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    Isaac was a total head bump kitty.

    As a bonding ritual, I make a point to groom our cats, but it takes hours to get the hair off of my tongue.
  18. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,122
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    Ever since we got Little Tyke, because we got her so young, and because she's so small, we've informally adopted the habbit of calling her "Baby" [as in "cute little baby", not "oh baby, oh baby!" :biggrin:]. As she got older and started getting into trouble, I ended up with "You are an eeeeeeeeevil little baby! Eeeeeeeeeevil Baby!".

    Cracks Tsu up every time. It reminds me of Letterman's list of ten things you never thought you'd say. Course Little Tyke just twitches her tail and squints at me now when I say it.
  19. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,541
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    I'm a cat-lover with allergies.

    Drives my friends bonkers (all of whom seem to have cats) because they know I'm allergic and get all upset when their cats are all over me. I am always saying "If I wanted your cats to leave me alone, I probably wouldn't be following them all over your house trying to pet them, now would I?"

    Question: Cats love to have their cheeks stroked. I know they have their scent glands where their whiskers are, and this is a big part of the stroking thing for them.

    But it always seems like they are moving their heads so that I'll scritch them behind the head or their ears. But if I scritch their ears too much, they shake it off and want me to stop. It always seems like they're trying to maneuver into just the right psotion so I'll scritch the right spot and I never quite seem to get it right.

    What's the secret?
  20. Feline feedback.
  21. I'd say that (really depending on how you're doing it, but I've seen the maneuvering you're talking about, Dave) it might not be so much the "where" as the "how". The scritching need not be big movements. Actually, the smaller the area covered the better. It seems to have quite a bit to do with the length of fingernails involved and one's ability to hit just the right spot and remain precisely there until you've created a mat of their fur. Really.

    I've been holding my little girlie (yeah, I know) with one hand under one back foot and the other hand scritching behind an ear and felt the toes of her foot curl around my fingers. And she gets squooshy face. I have medium-length nails that both dogs and cats seem to appreciate. But find the sweet spot and stay there.

    That method seems to work with dogs too, but dogs are really demanding and aggressive. The moment you stop, they think nothing of whacking your arm with their nose to get you to continue. They're pushy.

    Other cat language that a lot of people aren't familiar with is the scratching/clawing thing. Cats have scent glands in their feet, too, so when they claw things, they're marking territory. A lot of people think that cats are just destructive of their favourite stuff. Not so.

    The very first thing my little cat, Bean, does when entering new territory is claw the carpet. She's finally satisfied with her marking outside of my condo door that when we go for walks in the hallway, she no longer claws the carpet. But that used to be her opening move the moment we stepped out the door. I'm convinced that she believes the whole building is her home, because any other door that opens is an invitation for her to enter. And the first thing she does? Claw someone's carpet. Jeez.

    Anyone who's watched her do it (before I see her and run in and grab her) inevitably remarks, "Oh, she's sharpening her claws". Um, no. She's just let you know that your apartment is her territory. She's such a sweet little cat, but really, she's very aggressive in terms of cat language. In people language, she's just adorable, if a bit of a pain with the carpet initially.
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