Has anyone ever told you that cats are aloof, arrogant, grumpy, or don't have feelings? Some people are just not cat people!
It's clear to any cat lover that none of the above ideas are true. Consider these facts:
Just exactly what emotions they feel, and to what extent is up for debate, but there is no denying this evidence:
Purring: The most obvious of all the behavior clues is purring. We know cats and kittens purr when they feel contentment. Occasionally a cat will purr in a fear or pain situation often to soothe himself.
Contentment is an emotion, a feeling! Here are some synonyms: Pleasure, fulfillment, peace, and gladness.
Growling and Hissing: We know cats do this when they are scared or threatened. Fear is most definitely an emotion.
Have you ever gone on vacation, and had a caretaker for your cats? We have, and even if the caretaker is a familiar family member, staying in the home, the cats were very off. What emotion is this? It's hard to say. Perhaps they were worried, confused, or even sad. But it had nothing to do with being fed!
Studies have actually been done to see if cats recognize their human owners. (Well, we already knew that of course they do!)
In these studies, cats were presented with different voices. They exhibited tell-tale behaviors only when hearing their family members.
Some people claim that cats 'manipulate' their owners. They claim that the rubbing, purring and other behaviors coax us to fawn over them and care for them, and in this way cats ensure they are fed and catered to.
There's a major flaw in this theory though! Our feline friends sleep with us, snuggle with us, greet us at the door after work, yes even miss us when we're gone, and the hours and hours spent in happy companionship are certainly not a "game plan" to get their food dish filled! They do these things because they enjoy it as much as we do.
Meowing: Maine Coons love to have conversations with their people. It reminds me of the movie "Guardians of the Galaxy."
A character in the movie, named Groot, is only able to verbalize one phrase: "I am Groot." So no matter what he said, it came out as "I am Groot." It was interesting and fun to note that the other characters knew exactly what he meant even though he always said the same thing.
This often comes up when comparing cats to dogs. Dogs have been bred and trained for thousands of years to obey commands. Cats have been domesticated as well, but as companions.
An intelligent Maine Coon will greet you at the door every evening (like a puppy-cat!), will come when called, often from anywhere in the home - even upstairs fast asleep on the bed!
They are as social and interactive as most dogs, even more so than many!
Why do cats have a reputation as being stoic? In the wild, when weak or injured or in pain, a feline will hide it so as not to become a target by a predator. It's nature's way.
Even though we would help care for a cat in need, instinct takes over. They are also more independent as we know, loving our company but able to spend a day alone without complaining.
One more contributor to the aloof misnomer is the sleep factor. As cats spend 16-20 hrs a day sleeping, they are often off sleeping (and in many cases snoring!) while their canine counterparts are eager to play and obey.
What does your Maine Coon do to let you know he or she has real feelings, loves you? Please share in the comments!
Does your Maine Coon hold the key to your heart? Declare your Coonie Love here!