Friday, August 25, 2006

Cat Body Language

Kuro.shiro.Neko was suggesting that it's good to have a guide to teach people how to read body language of cats so that people know when to stay away. It would be great if most people could get to learn the basics about cats, and here's a guide :-

Cat Body Language

The problem is this (1) it's just a guide. Reading it, yes you can see some signs when you should leave cats alone, but it's only with experience that you really know what to do. For example, by the time the cat is hissing as in the photo, I think most of us would have left that cat well alone because it's about to strike (2) people who don't really like/are not interested in cats are the ones who may benefit the most, but will they read it, when information is already out there? Furthermore, there's no substitute to experience and that you can only learn from coming into contact with a cat. People usualy feel they need this information when its too late - ie after the fact.

Really the one thing you need are parents who are prepared to show the children what to do - and the problem is that most parents have never had experience with animals themselves. I know people with children and some of these two to three year olds handle cats far better then their adult counterparts do. Children are naturally drawn to animals, and in at least some cases I think cats actually put up with more from a child then they would for an adult. I have seen an unfriendly, timid cat but who lets the child in the family happily use her for a pillow, gently pull her tail, etc. The mother corrects the child but the child is still very little - he doesn't mean harm, and the cat knows the child well enough to know that too.

So there's only one rule of thumb :- don't corner a cat or frighten it and that includes not making sudden movements that scare it. That's it. If you don't particularly like cats then try and stay out of their way. They'll definitely try to stay out of yours.

For the rest of us, we learn through experience. I'm sure most, if not all of us, have gotten scratched at some time or other if you come into contact with a cat but few of these scratches are serious. You learn to read the cat and try to stay out of the way as best as you can in the future. Of course, each cat is also different - come to think of it, just as people are.


Post a Comment

<< Home