Does Your Cat Love You? 12 Ways Cats Show Love

4 Jun

how-cats-show-love

When you own a dog, you pretty much know exactly how they’re feeling at all times—it’s written all over their faces, and it’s part of what makes the human-dog bond so incredibly strong. But then, there’s your cat. What do they think of you? While the emotions of a cat can be mysterious and fickle, here are 12 things cats do to show they really do love their owners.

1. Bringing You Gifts

It’s the thing every owner of an outdoor cat hates, but endures anyway—that moment when your feline companion brings some tiny animal into your home, sometimes alive, and sometimes…not. As natural hunters, cats like to show the love by showing what they can offer you. Sometimes that’s a steady supply of small terrified creatures that you then have to shoo out of the house or dispose of. And sometimes, for indoor cat owners, that means always checking your shoes to make sure your cat hasn’t left you a dead bug in there.

2. Showing Their Bellies

Like most animals, cats aren’t going to show their vulnerable underside to just anyone. Cats only roll over and let you rub that soft belly when they’re feeling especially loved and protected. Or, they’re just tempting you into a rousing game of bear trap. Pet with caution!

3. Head Butting

The gesture is one part love, one part claiming territory. Cats like to bump and rub their heads and faces on anything they want to claim as their own—so they can deposit their facial pheromones on the object of their desire, and that includes you!

4. Nibbling On You…Lovingly?

Yes, play biting is also a sign of affection for your cat. If you’re cat gently nibbles on you, it’s a sign they’re feeling playful and affectionate. If their biting actually hurts…well, those aren’t love bites. Your cat may be trying to kill you.

5. Following You Around

Cats generally like to linger where ever their owners happen to be. If your cat is constantly underfoot and usually poses a major tripping hazard, it’s just because they love you so much. Sometimes in these moments, we’d rather they love us from afar—usually right after a tail gets stepped on.

6. Kneading You

If your cat often sits beside you and slowly drifts into a trance-like state as they knead or “make bread” on you, that’s another sign that your feline companion loves you. It’s a love that sometimes hurts, if you don’t have a nice blanket barrier between you, or their claws haven’t been trimmed in a while.

7. Tail Twitching (But Not Too Much!)

One look at a cat’s tail can give you valuable insight about their mood. A tail that’s twitching at the very very end means your cat is pretty pleased right now. Just watch out—if that tail starts twitching a whole lot, your cat might be feeling more feisty than friendly.

8. Purring (Duh!)

We all know this one, right? Purring is a strange and mysterious noise that has fascinated people for a while now. A cat’s purr is usually their default response to feeling happy, in the same way that humans smile and dogs wag their tails.

9. Napping On You

There’s a standing rule in our house that if the cat is sleeping on you, you may not get up until they leave. Cats gain a lot of comfort by resting in contact with their loved ones, be they other cats or people. So do them a favor, and let them sleep on you a while.

10. Blinking Slowly

Cats only make direct eye contact with those they’ve developed a great sense of trust with. If your cat locks eyes with you, and slowly blinks once you meet their gaze, that’s their version of giving you a kiss.

11. Grooming You

Some cats are more the mothering, doting type, in that they prefer showing their love by treating you like the dumb, hairless cat they think you are. This includes doing things for you—hunting for example, and grooming for another—to show their affection.

12. Greeting You When You Get Home

That’s right! Some breeds of cat can be as affectionate and loyal as your average dog, and greet their owners at the door when they come home. Our Maine Coon, Cooper, is one such cat—he’s usually running right alongside Topher to greet Bryan when he comes home from work. That, or he’s waiting in their usual cuddle spot, ready for attention and petting.

How does your cat show their love?

Why You Should Adopt An Older Cat

3 Jun

adopt-an-older-cat

There’s not getting around it—kittens are basically one of the most adorable animals on the planet. How can you say no to those faces?! SO CUTE. But today we’re going to sing the praises of those older cats who are also desperately seeking homes and affections.

Adult cats make amazing pets for many reasons—and many adult cats that are passed over in shelters are often barely out of kittenhood! Our cat, Karmina, was only about a year and a half when we found her at the shelter; yet she was only days away from running out of time and being put down, having been passed over time and time again for the kittens around her. Here are a few more reasons why you should consider adopting an older cat from a shelter.

You Know Exactly What You’re Getting

Adults cats have already settled into their personality. When you meet them in the shelter, you see exactly what you’re getting: how affectionate they are, how outgoing they may be with people, etc.

They’re Less Destructive

Adult cats are usually less prone to testing their new environments in the same way kittens do. Kittens tend to chew and scratch a lot more than adult cats, purely because they’re still exploring their world and finding out what their limits are.

They Won’t Annoy Your Older Cats

If you’re looking for a second (or third?) feline companion, a playful new kitten may cause more stress to your other cats than an adult. Kittens can be too playful and bold for older cats, rather than acting as companions.

They’re Great Companions For Netflix Marathons

After a long day of work, you’re probably looking forward to a few good rounds of Netflix. But a kitten would rather you spent the evening frolicking, and may even spend the wee hours of the morning waking you up for more games, or attacking your toes through the covers. An adult cat may be more your speed if you’re looking for a companion to chill out with when you get home.

They’re More Patient With Kids

Even though all kids want a little kitten companion, adult cats are usually a much better choice. Kittens can be much rougher during play—they haven’t learned any better, and their teeth and claws are much sharper! Adult cats are more mellow, and often more patient with young children. Many shelter volunteers will already know which of their cats are the best for kids, and would be happy to point you in their direction.

You Might Be Their Last Chance

Many adult cats available in shelters have ended up there through no fault of their own, and the majority of them have come from previous homes—not as strays, like some may think. Older cats may look less appealing in shelters than their bouncy, cute counterparts; in many cases, adult cats have usually been recently separated by loved ones, and are unused to their new life of being confined in the shelter. However, that makes them no less deserving of love.

You might be an adult cat’s last chance at a home, where they can live out their later years feeling loved and safe. Typically, older cats will remain active and playful throughout their lives. All they need is a little time to adjust to a new home, and then an adult cat will offer you as many years of faithful companionship and unconditional love as they have in them.

Why Are Cats So Picky About Their Water?

2 Jun

I couldn’t think of a better topic to discuss for Cat Week here at Good Dogs & Co. Quite honestly, it’s a question that I only just learned the answer to recently, despite having had a cat in my life since the tender age of 7. Even then, I knew one thing: cats are weird, and always wanted my water—but rarely their own.

So what’s the deal? Why are cats so picky about their water? Not just the water itself, but where it’s located, how high the water level is in their dish, if its running water, etc.

A Brief History

The ancestors of our modern cats came from the desert. Back then, they were pretty good at getting the bulk of their water intake from the food they ate. This, perhaps, led to the theory that cats hated water, or were afraid of it. A lot has changed since then, and cats’ diets revolve more around crunchy food than live prey. With their dry crunchies, they need more water. While it’s difficult to monitor a cat’s daily water intake, it’s important to make sure they are indeed getting enough water. If not, it’s time to try some alternatives!

Never Together

What really started this foray down the rabbit hole of cat quirks was being told that cats prefer their food and water dishes separate. For whatever reason (reason: cats are weird), cats don’t like to have their food source too close to their water source. Quirk or evolution, I have no idea, but this notion seems to be true of every cat I’ve ever owned.

Ever have a cat steal your water for itself? Consider this: if you’re drinking it, your cat knows it’s safe. You are, in effect, your cat’s poison-detector.
We have a raised feeder for Ace, with two separate bowls side by side. Shortly after filling her food and water, she would—without fail—immediately contaminate the water with a few pieces of her crunchy food. Surely, I thought, no cat was so clumsy as to bring over a mouthful of their food into their water bowl. This cat was ridiculous.

But I was tired of constantly cleaning out her water bowl, so we ended up moving it to another location. Bingo! The cat was happy.

Multiple Locations

To make matters more difficult, cats seem to like options when it comes to their water. Especially in multiple-cat households, it’s a good idea to place a few water bowls around your home. With multiple cats, it’s important to provide at least two locations for their food, as well as their water, as a means of limiting their need to cross into another cat’s “territory”—if your cats are bossy like that.

Running Water and Pet Water Fountains

The other thing that drove me nuts was that Ace always licked around the bathtub after someone showered. This worried me, because who knows what residues were leftover from cleaners, shampoos, soaps, whatever. This wasn’t good for a cat to be drawing water from. But Ace loved it when we turned the tap on and let her drink. Actually, she would demand it every morning before we left for work and, despite her size, she can be very persuasive.

Whether it’s a matter of the cleanliness of running water versus still water, or just a preference for the opportunity to play with it (pawing at the running water), cats seem to enjoy water from faucets. More than dogs, I find pet water fountains to be ideal for cats but the caveat to that is finding the right one (not too noisy, and with the right flow pressure) and keeping it clean. If it’s dirty, your cat will know, and find a new source of clean water.

Pet Fountain, Cat Mate ($47.95)
Highly praised as the fountain of choice for cats, this pet fountain runs on a low voltage power supply (woo! for energy saving!) and offers multiple levels for cats to drink from. It’s quiet, and best of all easy to clean with the parts easily disassembling. Bonus: it’s dishwasher safe.

Stainless Steel Fountain Raindrop Design, Pioneer Pet ($69.99)
In a word, this fountain is beautiful. If you’re worried about having a strange pet fountain on display in your home, this is the one for you. Beautiful stainless steel with an elegant raindrop shape, this pet fountain includes a replaceable charcoal filter for purified water, is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.

Hey, we go to extravagant lengths for our dogs’ happiness, so why not do the same for our cats? (Oh, but also these pet fountains are usually great for small dogs to enjoy, too!)

Adoption Story: David, Andrea, & Bootsy

2 Jun

bootsy

Story submitted by David

My wife Andrea has wanted a kitty for as long as I’ve known her. We knew that we wanted to adopt an adult cat from the Humane Society. Kittens are cute and all, but we wanted a cat that was a little more calm. Plus, kittens always get adopted so quickly and we really wanted to help out an older animal.

Andrea had a particularly bad day at work, and to help make us feel better we decided to go look at some kitties. We weren’t planning to adopt yet, just to take a look.

We met a number of adorable cats at the Humane Society before one of the workers introduced us to Bootsy. She was a 7 year-old cat who had previously been adopted and then returned to the shelter after only a few weeks. We were allowed to sit in a private room with Bootsy for a few minutes to get to know her. Immediately, she jumped up on our laps, tried to head butt us, and then flopped on the floor. She was so incredibly affectionate that we fell in love right away.

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We asked if we could put some kind of an “adoption-hold” on Bootsy and come back in a couple of days (we had no food, no litter box, or anything). We were told that they couldn’t do that and if we wanted to adopt Bootsy, we’d have to do it right then. So we did. Andrea held her in the car and we swung by the pet store to pick up whatever we might need. Bootsy became a part of our family at that point and was already curled up in our laps that same night.

Favorite Quirk?

She drools everywhere when she’s happy. It’s adorably gross.

Favorite Toy?

Lately, Bootsy has become enamored by the strings of some balloons that we have around the house. She also loves her lobster.

Any struggles or successes you’d like to share?

The only struggle that we have really faced has to do with something that we didn’t realize when we adopted Bootsy: she is almost completely deaf. We just thought that maybe she wasn’t used to us at first and that she was just scared when she walked around our house screaming and mewing. It turns out that she’s had some issues with her inner ears at some point in the past. She can’t hear herself, so she’ll cry loudly and often.

It’s taken us a while to get used to it and to realize when she’s actually crying for a reason. We give her her own space at night and we have to be extra careful about not letting her get outside (she has her claws, but she would never be able to hear anything sneak up on her). But we’ve learned to live with it, and would never want to be without our Bootsy.

David and Andrea are enjoying the fruits of young adulthood: getting married, having a house, and becoming pet-parents. They live in Roswell and enjoy nerdy pursuits with friends, trying to stay active, and alternately harassing and being harassed by their cat.

Good Reads for Cat Lovers

1 Jun

cat book round up

Cat ownership is a strange and wonderful thing. Cats are weird. They’re independent, but still want your love (on their terms, never yours). Naturally, others have discovered this phenomenon and have written books on the matter.

We’ve rounded up some of our favourites for you. Whether it’s for yourself, or as a gift to a cat lover, these books are filled with the hilarious, hard truths of what it is to live with a cat.

How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by The Oatmeal ($8.99)
Possibly the quintessential cat book for cat lovers. Know a friend with a cat? This is a great gift. This book is a compilation of new and old works by famed internet comic The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman). Included are careful instructions on how to pet a cat, adventures of two office cats called Bob, and much more. It’ll make you laugh, but also seriously consider whether or not your cat is indeed plotting to kill you.

I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano ($8.50)
It’s a collection of ridiculous poems, in the voice of a cat. All sad truths of the cat lifestyle, and all hilarious in their own quirky way. For best results, read in a serious and poetic tone. Enjoy the laughs!

Sorry I Barfed on Your Bed (and Other Heartwarming Letters from Kitty) by Jeremy Greenberg ($6.31)
A hilarious collection of excuses and suggestions from cats for the people who love them. It’s the cat’s point of view in the eternal cat vs. human struggle. And yes, the struggle is real.

Get out of There, Cat! by Kristina Knapp ($10.67)
Based on the blog of the same name, this book pairs some great photos with funny captions of cats where they do not belong: hanging out in the dryer, sleeping in trees, taking bubble baths , eating Sun Chips, and more. When you hear a strange noise in your house, does your mind immediately race to “Oh shit, the cat’s into something again!” then this book is for you.

Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book by Grumpy Cat ($7.48)
Can you feel the grumpiness? Surely, you know Grumpy Cat well and what better way to share all his grump than a book about the internet’s most lovable grouch.

Lil BUB’s Lil Book: The Extraordinary Life of the Most Amazing Cat on the Planet by Lil BUB ($11.61)

All the cute you can handle and more!