Hattori, otherwise known as ‘the Cat Saviour’, catalogues the body language of a cat in his latest book, What Cats Want.
“All I want is for more people to realise what’s special about living with cats,” he tells The Guardian. “If you know what to look for, you can begin to understand what puts your cat at ease.”
The book goes into detail with the use of charts and diagrams to showcase a range of facial expressions and tail positions. Turns out tail straight up is a greeting and lowered is for caution.
If you’re a first-time cat-owner, there are some common signs that your cat is behaving normally, according to Hattori.
A healthy, happy cat is likely to sleep all day and then keep you awake at night when bursts of activity. Every cat owner understands this one.
If you’re introducing a new cat to another, a good sign they’re getting along is when they rub up against each other. This means they’re establishing trust.
Don’t get this confused by what it means when a cat rubs up against your leg, as often this is a form of territorial marking rather than showing affection.
Hattori also advises not to confuse a long miaow as meaning ‘help’ with a short one which you’d assume means ‘hello’, as they often mean the opposite.
Another telling curious cat behaviour is how much your cat eats.
“The best way to tell if a cat is content is when it has a big appetite and a willingness to relax completely,” says Hattori.
He warns against picking your cat up in a quick, tight embrace as they often feel panicked when they can’t make a quick getaway.
Instead he advises cat owners to have patience and take it slowly.
“You respond to a cat’s needs, not the other way around,” he says. And don’t we all know it!
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, this is a cat’s world and we’re just living in it.
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