Understand cat language

The cat hisses

When cats hiss, cat owners are often confused. What is my cat trying to tell me by hissing?

Contrary to the popular belief that hissing in cats shows aggressiveness, cats actually only hiss when they feel cornered. The hissing is a warning signal in cats. They want to scare off their opponent. By paying more attention to the cat’s hissing, you will learn a lot about your cat’s needs.

How do cats hiss?

Already kittens master the hissing. The cat inhales deeply, opens its mouth and raises its upper lip. With upward rolled tongue it expels the inhaled air. Thereby the typical sound of hissing is heard. If the cat feels very disturbed, it can even spit while hissing.

Understanding the hissing of cats

Cats hiss in response to a threat. The cat feels that its privacy has been violated. It is in a situation that it does not like. Cats may hiss when a painful area on their body is touched or when territorial claims are violated. By hissing, the cat is asking to keep its distance. Cats hiss when you play with each other and the game is perceived as exhausting, when cats are frightened and when they are angry.

Cats hiss, what to do?

If the cat hisses when socializing with another cat, it feels very stressed and overwhelmed and also asserts its ancestral rights by hissing. Ensure that each cat is given its own belongings such as the litter box, toys and food bowls to counteract the hissing in defense of possessions. Provide adequate means of escape if it becomes too much for the cat. If two cats hiss at each other, there should be peace between the velvet paws again afterwards. If the cat snarls at a male cat, the male cat should be inspired to keep more distance. Male cats often chase cats in play, but cats do not like this. If the tomcat then passes the cat, it hisses prophylactically when it wants to be left alone.

Other reasons when cats hiss

If the cat hisses at its owner, it may be a sign of anxiety. Have you changed the routine, acquired a new household appliance with a new noise or often strangers visit? In such cases, speak gently to the cat to help it relax. If the cat hisses when you try to touch it and there is no other reason, this may be a reason for a disease.

Cat hisses: Touch or rather not?

The hissing clearly shows: I do not want to be touched now. The cat wants a greater distance between other conspecifics or its human. Wait with the stroking until the cat has calmed down and comes to you of its own accord. Talk to her gently and tolerate the cat’s chosen privacy. Try by holding your index and middle fingers in front of the cat’s nose to see if she wants to be petted. If yes, she will rub her fingers. If no, she will turn her head away. Pet the cat anyway, and a paw swipe or bite might follow the hissing. Also ask visitors not to crowd the cat and wait until the cat curiously approaches on its own.

Cat cooing

When cats coo, it almost sounds like a pigeon is sitting on the roof. By cooing, cats express positive feelings, unlike hissing. When the cat coos, it feels good. It is in a relaxed mood, circles your legs and feels like cuddling and being petted. Meanwhile, if the cat coos at the food bowl, then it wants to be fed. If the cat is sleeping or dozing and cooing, then it would like to be stroked. But this should not mean that you can wake up your sleeping cat. If the cat coos and is in a good mood, then it would like to play or be otherwise occupied.

Cooing has several reasons

The cooing of the mother cat is used to communicate with the kittens. It animates the kittens to drink mother’s milk or later to go to the food bowl. Thus, already kittens associate cooing with positive feelings. In addition, the mother cat coos to get the attention of her kittens. If, on the other hand, a cat in heat coos, it wants to attract the attention of a crater. It indicates that she is ready to mate.

Cats purr

When cats are comfortable, they purr. Purring is generally a sign of contentment. With the purrs cats can also express negative emotions such as fear or pain. In addition, it is possible that cat calms itself with the purr. Especially during childbirth, purring serves to ease the pain of childbirth and not lose control of what is happening. By purring the kittens find the teats faster, because the purring puts the whole body of the cat in vibration.

Why does the cat purr?

Cats can purr when they breathe in and when they breathe out. How exactly this works is still a mystery today. On the one hand, scientists assume that the sounds originate in the larynx, and on the other hand, the non-extensible hyoid bone of the cat is supposed to be responsible for the purring. Currently, the research is on the state that the impact of the vocal cords produces the purring. Besides cats, lynx, pumas, ocelots and cheetahs can also purr. Lions, tigers and leopards can purr but cannot sustain the sound. Cats purr at a frequency of 27-40 hertz when inhaling. When exhaling, the frequency is 18-26 hertz. Therefore, the purr sounds longer and quieter when exhaling.

Purring: positive effects for cats and people

By purring, the cat sets its whole body in vibration. These stimulate the muscles and support the growth of the bones. Medicine is taking advantage of this. For some years now, patients with muscle or bone weakness have had their bone structure strengthened by training in the frequency range between 15 and 60 hertz. Cat owners receive this training free of charge. Purring simultaneously lowers blood pressure, has a relaxing effect and reduces stress. Sleep disorders can also be alleviated.

When the cat stops purring

If the cat suddenly stops purring, the owners wonder if the cat is probably sick or not feeling well. Cats can express their satisfaction in other ways than purring, by rubbing their head against you and stroking around your legs. If the cat is doing well, it will seek your closeness and will gladly lie down on your belly. She blinks at her human and lifts her head when you stroke the cat’s chin. If the cat is sick, there are additionally other typical behavioral changes:

  • Eats less
  • Uncleanliness
  • sleeps more
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Then present the cat to a veterinarian. If he finds no reason, the cat may have mental problems, depression or trauma. Cats that are under stress also temporarily do not purr.

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