Do you share your house with a cat? The behavior of these domestic felines has probably surprised you on several occasions, because one of the main characteristics of this animal is its independent character, which does not mean that it is not affectionate, although it is, of course, completely different from dogs.
Surveys carried out so far to study the behavior, communication and thinking of animals have yielded surprising results, especially those devoted to the approach to feline thinking and behavior of cats.
Do cats have a conscience?
Few animals need to have as much control over their environment as cats do. That’s why cats are the animals most subject to stress and the dangerous consequences of this state when it extends over time.
But how can such a sensitive animal ignore its own existence? Well, the truth is that this is not exactly the case. What happens is that scientific studies of consciousness in animals mainly use a mirror to observe reactions and determine the degree of consciousness, and the cat does not react.
However, cat lovers argue (and this seems very reasonable) that this lack of reaction is due to the fact that cats do not perceive any scent in the mirror and therefore nothing attracts them sufficiently to approach their reflection and interact with it.
Cats don’t see us as humans
Biologist Dr. John Bradshaw, from the University of Bristol, has been studying cats for 30 years and the results of his various investigations are surprising since he has determined that cats do not perceive us as humans, nor as masters, but as giant versions of themselves.
In this sense, cats see us as just another cat with whom they can or cannot socialize, depending on the moment, their interests and appetites, but in no case do they believe that we are a species that can manage to dominate them.
This characteristic is obvious if we compare cats to dogs, since dogs do not interact with humans in the same way as they do with other dogs, on the other hand, cats do not modify their behavior when they are facing a human.
Cats are not domesticated animals.
It is obvious that a cat can be trained to know what it cannot do with its human family and, like a dog, reacts well to positive reinforcement, but this should not be confused with a domestication process.
Experts believe that the domestication of the first dogs may date back 32,000 years, while cats began their relationship with humans about 9,000 years ago.
The important thing is to understand that during those 9,000 years, cats did not allow themselves to be domesticated, but learned to coexist with humans in order to enjoy all the collateral benefits that we, the “giant cats”, can provide them with, such as food, water and a comfortable resting environment.
Cats are the ones who train their guardians.
Cats are extremely intelligent animals, so much so that they are able to “train” us without our even noticing.
The cat’s senses are constantly observing humans, seeing them simply as giant cats. They know, for example, that when they purr, it is very possible to awaken our protective instincts, which most of the time ends with a reward in the form of food, so they do not doubt to use the purr as a means of manipulation.
They also know that by omitting certain noises, we go looking for them or, on the contrary, we leave the room where they are, and it is by continuous observation towards its human family that the cat adapts our responses to its needs.
But that’s not all, cats can also feel protective instincts towards us… Has your cat ever left you a small prey in the doorway? He does this because, although he sees you as a giant cat, he also sees you as a clumsy cat who may have difficulty obtaining food, and, in a very endearing way, he then decides to help you with this important task.
The cat considers that he has to train you, in a certain way because, as we mentioned, he thinks you are clumsy (not weak or inferior), it is also for this reason that your cat rubs against you, marking you with his pheromones, as if you were his property. Other times, he just wants to groom you or use you as a scratching post, but this is a good sign, as it indicates that he doesn’t consider us as a hostile rival.
Psychology of the cat
What’s a cat thinking? Cats’ thinking is due to different factors, although generally the most determining factors are their instinct, the interactions they make and especially the register of experiences.
It is important for you to know that all studies that try to decipher what a cat is thinking conclude that you should only interact with the cat when it asks you to, otherwise it will be stressed.
Do cats recognize their owners?
Although we don’t really like the term “owner”, the answer is yes! Cats are perfectly capable of recognizing their guardian. But how do cats recognize us?
As we said before, cats are very intelligent animals, and they are able to recognize and decipher very quickly the behaviors, habits and lifestyle of the humans in their home. In addition, and thanks to the famous pheromones, cats are able to recognize the scent of their guardian and mark it to communicate to other cats that this person “belongs” to them.
Emotional signs of the cat
Do cats love us? The cat and its behavior towards humans has been the subject of many studies, as we have seen in this article, for a very long time. “How do cats love us,” you may ask. The way cats express their feelings is very different from the way humans or other animals express their feelings. Cats have a very special character and it’s not always easy to understand what they want to communicate through their body language.
If your cat massages you with her paws, comes close to you and lifts her tail, purrs, brings her prey to you, or even bites you, among other signs, this may indicate that she loves you!