The Secret Language Of Cats

I got to thinking about the secret language of cats because I find Ivy to be so interesting to watch and live with.

So I looked up some of my questions.

Ivy asleep on her side on the couch

Q: What are a cat’s toes called?

A: The dewclaw is the toe and attached claw forming your cat’s “thumb.” Your cat uses their dewclaw to get a good hold on their toys!

Q: Why does my cat curl her toes when I talk to her?

A: Experts say that this action beckons your adult cat back to a safe, welcoming memory when she was nuzzling her mother for milk as a newborn kitten.

She is being affectionate and a bit nostalgic.

Ivy laying on my dining table with one  leg extended over the side

Q: Why does my cat stretch in front of me?

When cats stretch, they’re saying they feel comfortable and relaxed. If a cat stretches in front of you, it means you make him feel content!

While cats sleep, their brain paralyzes most of their muscles to keep them from acting out their dreams.

(Wow! That last bit of info was interesting. Who knew?)

Q: Why doesn’t my cat like me to touch her paws?

A: Their paws are extremely sensitive. Because of these receptors, cats can feel changes in texture, pressure, and possibly vibrations through their paw pads.

Q: Why does my cat touch me with her paw?

A: Your cat is gently reaching out to you hoping that you will brush her, pet her, and show her more affection.

Ivy in her rope basket I bought for her

Q: Why does my cat lift her back end when I’m petting her?

A: Although elevator butt may seem rather insulting to us, it’s actually the cat’s very positive response to the fact that you’ve hit just the right spot when petting her.

Not all cats enjoy being scratched or petted along the spine or at the tail base, but if yours does, you’ve probably witnessed that elevator going up.

Q: Why does my cat gently bite me when I’m petting her?

A: This is called petting-induced aggression. This sudden bite occurrence happens when a cat reaches his or her tolerance level when being handled.

It could be triggered by overstimulation or that she is particular about where she likes to be petted.

And what I’m most curious about when it comes to Ivy…

Q: Why does my cat sleep so much?

A: Cats are natural predators. Their prey is quick and elusive. Sneaking up and pouncing—repeatedly—is undoubtedly exhausting.

Cats in the wild work hard in order to meet their dietary needs, and expending that kind of physical effort requires a lot of recharging.

My cat Ivy sleeping on one of my dining room chairs

Q: But why does my indoor cat sleep so much?

In a word: heredity. As a species, cats—whether they sleep on the street or cuddle on a sofa—are all hardwired to the same internal clock.

For cats, laziness is a way of life. When cats aren’t eating, scratching, or asking to be scratched, they are usually catching 40 winks—or 60 winks or maybe 80 winks.

Q: How long is it normal for my cat to sleep?

For cats, laziness is a way of life. Cats are among the top sleepers in the animal kingdom.

The average adult cat may spend 16 to 18 hours per day sleeping. This is normal, but much of that sleeping is “catnapping.”

Deep sleep tends to last about five minutes, after which the cat goes back to dozing. This dozing-deep sleep pattern goes on until the cat wakes up.”

Q: Does my cat dream?

When they are in their deep sleep, cats can dream, reports Catster.” If you’ve seen your cat’s whiskers or paws twitching while she’s asleep, there’s a good chance she’s dreaming.”

Ivy sleeping on the couch with her head leaning against the arm

Well, I can see that cats are complicated creatures. And at the same time very interesting creatures.

I love the term “elevator butt”! Sure never heard that before.

Let’s learn about these adorable creatures together.

What behavior does your cat display that you wonder about?


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  1. My Tan Kitty is a former stray – so he came to me as a full-blown adult male (intact), and that’s been the case now for 2, going on 3, years. Lately, he gets what I call “kitten attacks” – if I didn’t know better, I would swear he has gotten into catnip! He bites and chases his tail, goes after the laces in my sneakers, and does other strange ‘kitten’ things!!! Where did this come from, all of a sudden?!

  2. I read that cats show you their butt to prove they are healthy, and do the same with their mothers. We have had many cats before but none of them wanted to be petted as much as our present cat. She also likes to sleep on top of me and sometimes cuddled up. In the daytime she sleeps in a closet in her own little bed. She comes out at feeding times, though.

  3. Very interesting post Brenda. I especially love the first photo of her with her paws up in the air – she’s a gorgeous cat!

  4. It’s been a long time since I had a cat (he looked something like Ivy), and he did sleep a lot. He was a lot more affectionate than most cats; I think he thought he was a dog. My other dog was a scaredy cat and hid most of the time. He was always spooked about something.

  5. “Elevator butt.” Haha! That’s so funny! I’ve never heard it called that, but it’s perfect!

  6. Interesting post about cats. I haven’t had a cat in a very long time. The last one we had was a named Trouble! LOL

  7. That was interesting! Your Ivy is so healthy looking and her coat is so lush. I’m glad you have her to keep you company.

  8. Ivy is a very special cat. I’m so glad you have her in your little family, and she is very lucky to have you. I have loved cats all my life but don’t currently have one as our last cat died about a year ago. I’m not sure I can handle the old age thing again even though I desperately miss having a cat in my life (I do have a little chihuahua mix, Basil). I love to kiss their noses. Cats are very special creatures, some more loving and communicative than others. Ivy and you are a great couple!

  9. My cat pets my face, mimicking what I do to him. I take that as his saying he loves me. He crawls up and puts his feet around my neck and I tell him “Dizzy’s a beeoootiful boy” or “Mama Loooooves Dizzy” and that gets me a nose bump. I don’t cut his claws because he does love to hang out in the yard and out here in the country I want him to be able to defend himself, so sometimes his petting me is a bit painful but I grit my teeth and act like it makes me happy. What we won’t do for these babies we love!

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