What personality does your cat have?
When you have a kitty and you’ve spent time with him, you get to know his personality and behaviours which coincide. You tend to know when he is upset, happy, agitated. You understand his meows and all the small sounds that come out of his little mouth. You understand his purrs and the way he looks at you. You understand him. Or so you think! Cats are complex creatures, and every cat has a personality of their own, and their environment creates certain behaviours which can get influenced by the smallest changes. Over the past 10 years, I have had 5 cats, all of which have had very different personalities. But, one thing I have noticed with all of them is that they all carry one very certain type of characteristic within their individuality. Either confidence, lack thereof or just quite happy as it is, whatever “it” is.
The Confident cat
Sancho and Dizi. How to identify the confident cat is simple, they are the cats that always greet you as you come home, their tail is always straight up, with a slight bend at the end. They are curious, but not cautious. They are comfortable in their own skin; they know that they own the place they’re in. They own you! If you had to put it into a human’s perspective, he would be the guy that greets you at the door at a party, holding a tray of your favourite drink, dressed to the nines, and brags about how fabulous he is all night. In a cat’s world, he is feeling quite good and content with life, but there could be a down side to this behaviour. He is territorial, he would potentially mark his territory by spraying, scratching on furniture, just not portraying great behaviour in general. But when he is happy, oh is he happy! Not a bad thing, but it can be an extreme behaviour.
The confident cat can experience behavioural issues when the slightest change occurs in his environment, but if you do it right, and ensure you keep his thought process of this world in mind, then it should be smooth sailing.
The Timid cat
Travis and Scotch. You can’t help but feel pity for the timid kitties. There is nothing worse than seeing a cat run for the closest hiding spot when they hear something remotely different to their daily surroundings. Travis was very feral when we got him at 12 weeks. This is not because he was feral, he was just surrounded by cats with this temperament that it got engraved into his personality, 6 years on, he still displays this behaviour. Travis runs at the sound of thunder, hates strangers, and loud noises. His biggest hate, is the vacuum cleaner. When this comes out, he runs for his hiding place behind our dishwasher, and does not come out until he knows for sure that everyone is sitting down, which could be hours later. Scotch is still so small; he is timid at the moment at anything that just generally freaks him out. But over time, I’m hoping to get him to grow out of this behaviour. The only way you can do this with a kitten is to build trust. When there is a loud noise, talk softly and gently, reassuring him that all is okay. Nobody is going to hurt him! He is safe. With an older cat, unfortunately this trait is difficult to change. Travis is Travis, and as much as I would love this trait to eventually disappear, the only thing I can do for now is to ensure that if there is anything that freaks him out, to deal with it, and reassure him as it happens. With the vacuum cleaner for example, I will put him into another room and shut the door until I am done vacuuming the house. The room he's in will just get swept and mopped, no vacuum. It is the little things that help! This trait could also lead to marking, and Travis has done this. He has marked on our bed, if towels are left on the floor, he marks. But we manage it and ensure our bedroom door is closed when we aren’t around. He hasn’t marked since Scotch has been here, but I will not test him!
The Total chill out
This is the most ideal behaviour for a cat to have! This cat is in complete comfort mode, all the time. Nothing freaks him out, there is no need to mark. He knows that he is safe, he is happy. Ideally all cats should get to this point, but it is not always easy. As I mentioned above, when they have timid behaviours as adults, it is very hard to get them to a point of total relaxation, with everything. Don’t get me wrong, all my cats are happy, I know this because I know them. You will know when your cat is happy, or on a complete melt down! The total chill out cat is just at ease with life, nothing freaks him out, nothing irritates him. But, let’s be honest, how many of us have known cats like this? I know for sure that all of my cats have this, at some point of their day. They aren’t always freaking out, running for the dishwasher hideout, or marking furniture. But, it is my daily routine to ensure they stay in the total chill out mode. As little stress as possible. That is the key I guess… one thing at a time, one day at a time.
It is a cat’s life as they say, but it is up to us to ensure that they live as much of a cushy life as we can possibly provide for them. Get to know your kitty, understand what gets him flustered, anxious and what makes him happy. Happiness is key, love is free!
As many of my followers on the Kattak Facebook page have probably seen over the last couple of months, I love to look for quotes and pictures of cats that relate. I find it very interesting to see what people who are somewhat influential, think about our feline companions. The other day as I was looking for the daily quote I came across one that I thought would be a great topic for my next blog. The quote was this: “Cats understand humans; they just don’t care to show it.” This sparked something in me because over the past 10 years of enjoying the companionship of cats I tend to disagree! Here’s why.
Cats and kittens alike have very finicky personalities. We all know this, since we have and love cats. But sometimes, you notice the odd behaviour which to you is not accepted but to your cat, the environment is simply not acceptable. Here are ways to make your space more acceptable for your cat: