Humans, for the most part, are pretty nice. I can say that because I’ve met lots of them, and it has nearly always been a good experience. But they can be really mystifying! There are a lot of ways humans behave that confuse cats, and I thought I would list a few of them. Can you see how illogical these are?
- They tell us we’re not supposed to be on the table/ counter/ other random place. We’re cats and we can pretty much go anywhere as long as we can jump or climb on it. We have no idea why some spots seem to be okay with humans, and then they get upset about others. The rules regarding food and imagined dangers seem really arbitrary.
- Scratching furniture. We cats have solid preferences about scratching surfaces. They are based on paw and claw feel, positioning (some cats prefer vertical, others prefer horizontal), and scent (either leaving our own or covering up someone else’s). Whatever comes closest to what we like, we will scratch. We have no concept of furniture or value, so when a human gets upset about us scratching one thing without providing us something that in our estimation is better, we don’t get it.
- Showering. Most cats don’t like getting wet. (And even though I get regular baths, they are not my most favorite activity.) So how can humans not only tolerate getting under running water daily, but also do it willingly? Some cats get really upset about this. The occasional cat, on the other paw, chooses to join their human in the shower, but they’re weirdos.
- Rub our bellies when that’s not what we’re asking for. Granted, I do like my belly rubbed, and I often appreciate it. But a cat exposing her belly is a sign of comfort, trust, and indicates that she feels safe. It’s actually rude to invade her space when she’s showing herself at her most vulnerable. Which is why so many cats will automatically turn into biting and clawing wildcats when you go in for the belly rub.
- Gardening. Isn’t digging around in the dirt meant for, um, something else other than moving plants around?
- House cleaning. Scent is an important part of communication and marking territory for a cat. So it baffles us that humans go out of their way to remove their scents (not to mention ours), and replace them with with something meaningless and flowery.
- The whole talking thing. Cats don’t need to meow to communicate with each other, so it is really puzzling why humans vocalize so much with each other — and with us too! You have to give us credit for learning to vocalize back. And while we may not speak your language, exactly, we are pretty good at making our wants and needs known that way. It’s the easiest way to communicate with humans. But honestly, your cat wishes you could twitch your ears, blink, and use body language and scent like a proper cat.
These are just a few things that humans do that cats find confusing. What do you do that confuses your cats?