For some unknown reason Teddy has made it quite apparent that he has quite the fear of any cat we come across. We were out on a walk the other day when he spotted one standing by a bush and he just started screaming and absolutely ran for the hills (his pushchair!). I was trying to think of a time where he may have had a bad experience with one but couldn’t come up with anything and it got me thinking even more.
I feel like cats aren’t so dissimilar to humans. By that, I mean they’re very good at showing their feelings but, much like reading a human’s facial expression, I wondered how you could work out if the cat was happy and content before approaching it. I absolutely don’t want Teddy to be scared of cats especially as there are people within my family who own them and I think it’s really important that he’s familiar with all sorts of animals, domesticated or otherwise.
Removing The Fear
WHISKAS are known as the experts when it comes to cat care and, following on from Kitten College, is WHISKAS K.I.T, The Kat Institute of Technology. This brand new YouTube based platform will be a haven for anything you want, and need, to know about cats from their behaviour to nutrition and how to care for them at every stage of their life.
I’ll be totally honest and say that, despite having a childhood neighbour who took in every stray cat on the street, there was so little I knew about them before I watched these new videos. The one that really stuck with me the most was how to know if a cat is happy or not.
I thought that if I could familiarise myself with certain signals then I can work with it try and reintroduce Teddy to cats so that if ever a cat approaches us while at a relative’s house, or even while we’re out on a walk again, we can try and knead out this fear and that makes me really happy.
I think, as a parent, I strive not to pass on fears to my children and I think I’ve been successful so far (spiders be gone!), but when either of them display a fear that is mostly unfounded then I feel like I want to remedy that.
How Do I Know If A Cat Is Happy?
WHISKAS has taught me that cats display body language just like humans do! A lot of ‘cat parents’ will be much more familiar with their own cat’s ‘happy cues’, and how they show it, but there are also some much more generic clues that give away cat happiness in general!
Signals such as rubbing their head up against you can indicate that they’re happy or that they’re really pleased to see you if you’ve been gone a while.
Cats can show trust by lying on their backs which any normal person would take as a cue for a tummy rub and if they’re curled up and half asleep they probably won’t mind a full stroke from their ears right down to the end of their tail.
If cats are interested in something they will often follow it; something such as a finger, a toy or even a bright dot that’s projected on to the floor – we found this particularly amusing when the neighbour’s cats used to pop in through the door and go mad chasing it round.
One thing I didn’t know is that cats might even like a game of ‘peek-a-boo’ which is pretty cute when you think about it. Cats vary from weird to adorable but they are usually just happy, domestic animals who love a bit of attention! You can’t deny it when every other video you see is a ‘whacky’ cat video – the internet really has gone crazy for them!
In this case it’s definitely that knowledge equals power. Knowing what I know now about cats, even from that short video, makes me so happy that I’ll be able to tell when a cat is approachable with Ted around! It’ll mean that I can encourage him to not run away from them and, hopefully, remove the fear once and for all!
Where Can I Find Out More?
The WHISKAS platform offers a seriously cute collection of cute videos with a feline host to answer the most commonly asked questions by cat owners. There are also dedicated pages on Facebook (Cool Cat Group) and subreddits on Reddit dedicated to cats.
I’d really love to know how your cat signals that they’re a happy cat to you! Do they have any quirks or give aways? Maybe they give you the silent treatment if you’ve been ‘ignoring’ them all day! Join in on social media using these hashtags – #Whiskas #AllAboutCats
*This post is in conjunction with WHISKAS® but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website and their KIT hub for more information on cat happiness and their Youtube channel for fantastic KIT videos.