Wed, Aug 14, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Cat experts share tips to understanding felines

By Chen Yi-chun and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Cat behavior experts have shared tips on how owners can better understand their pets’ moods and well-being by paying attention to their behavior.

Cats raise their bottoms to signal friendliness, as the posture exposes the scent glands that cats use to identify one another, said Ariel Tan (單熙汝), a Taiwan Animal Behavior Association-certified pet trainer.

That is why house cats often rub against walls and furniture, and why cats mark their territory by leaving their scent, she said.

Cats have scent glands on the face, cheeks, lower jaw, flanks and near the anus, with the last being the most important, said Lin Tzu-hsuan (林子軒), a veterinarian at Duma Animal Hospital.

Rubbing against their owners is a friendly gesture that is roughly equivalent to a handshake between humans, as the exchange of scents is a way for cats to start building a friendly relationship, Lin said.

Exposing their bellies when napping or by rolling over is a sign that the cat is relaxed, and it shows trust, Tan said.

However, many cats do not like being touched on their stomachs and might even nip or claw their owner even if they had just been exposing their stomach by rolling around, Lin said.

A cat’s energy and appetite can yield clues about its health, so owners should look for signs that might indicate their cat is sick, such as lethargy, slowness and lack of interest in food and toys, she said.

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