Research by British charity the Cats’ Protection League has revealed that the majority of cat owners do not understand their pet’s body language.
The research surveyed over 1,000 cat owners on their perceived feelings of their feline companions, and the research revealed that when it comes to understanding how our moggies are feeling, we’re no Dr Doolittles.
As a result, the Cats’ Protection league has launched an initiative to educate cat owners how to better understand their feline friends.
The most worrying information uncovered in the research was that some 65 per cent of cat owners thought that their cat's body language suggested they were happy, when in fact they were in pain.
Some 76 per cent of people failed to understand a cat's upright tail is used as a greeting, while one-in-20 believe that a cat rubs its face on things because it is itchy, as opposed to the real reason of marking its territory with facial gland oils.
However, not all the news was bad. There are some key signs that owner's mostly recognized, like when a cat blink slowly, it means that it is relaxed in our company, or when a cat is lies on its back it is greeting its owners.
Cat owners often perceive cats as being more independent and needing less attention and care than dogs, however the Cats' Protection League claims that this is a myth. Cats need their owners just as much as dogs, so they therefore merit the same attention. The charity has posted several informational tools on its website to help owner's identify key feline behavior. Some of the key body language tips include:
- The slow blink, which is a signal that you cat is relaxed;
- The flattened ears, which is a sign of stress of fear;
- The exposed belly, which is a greeting sign, not a sign for a belly rub; and
- Purring, which can be a sign of happiness, but also a sign that your can is in pain.
Cat owners can watch the charity’s educational videos to get a better understanding of their feline friends.