Clues to a cat’s body language
Have you ever wondered what exactly your cat is thinking? I know that many times I have wished my cat could talk to me. Recent research has provided a means to visually identify your cat’s mood by using his body language. There are subtle changes in cats’ postures that are visible and can be indicators of their state of mind.
The 10 emotional states that have been identified are: neutral, relaxed, happy, focused, playful, confident and content, fearful, anxious, relieved and friendly. Most cats spend their days in a neutral position. They could be lying down or curled into a ball.
When cats are stretched out lying on their sides, they are feeling relaxed. They have a sense of safety and don’t need to be alert. When you see a cat lying face forward with her paws tucked underneath her body and head erect you can be sure that she is a happy cat.
A focused cat is one on the prowl. As he stalks, his body is low to the ground and ready to pounce. When cats are playful, they wriggle on their sides or back. Sometimes they will meow, trying to interest you in playing. My cat always gave little bites to get me playing.
We’ve all seen fearful cats. They arch their backs to make themselves appear larger, and their fur stands on end. An anxious cat drops his head lower and flattens his ears. He may crouch into a tight ball and try to appear smaller. If a cat has been fearful or anxious, you can be assured the crisis is over and he is relieved if he stretches. Stretching releases the tension from stress.
A friendly cat will stand alert with his head held up and a slightly arched back. His fur lies flat and he welcomes your touch. I hope giving away the secrets to cats’ body language isn’t too catty, but I must admit that cats are purrfect pets.
WHO’S WHO AT CAPS?
Diane Peters has been volunteering for the past tqo years. The director of our 2014 Murder Mystery Dinner, Diane is an animal lover who rescues cats. She also takes on many different duties: walking dogs, playing with cats or various other necessary duties. Kudos to Diane and her commitment to the CAPS guests and Fallon’s community!
WHO’S NEW AT THE CAPS ZOO?
This week’s pet is an older lady, Sammy, a beautiful black-and-white ragdoll cat. She is 13 years old and was surrendered to CAPS when her owner passed away. Poor Sammy has lost the love of her life. She is the perfect cat for someone who is looking for a loyal lap pal. Sammy would cherish the chance to be your one and only. We also have frisky kitties and puppies. CAPS’ policy, however, prohibits adopting out puppies or kittens under the age of 6 months to a home with children under 5 years of age. This is to protect both the children and the animal.
CAPS NEWS AND EVENTS
CAPS will be at Walmart tomorrow with Ki and our Kissin’ Booth. Ki really looks forward to being there and seeing friends. Don’t disappoint Ki, because he’s waiting for his fans. If you didn’t get a chance to buy that special shirt or cap at Bark in the Park, we will have them for sale. Please come by and check out our special designs.
Flower Tree Nursery is raffling a 15-gallon Prairie-Fire crab apple tree. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. Be sure to get your tickets soon. The drawing date will be announced later, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win.
CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. Please visit the CAPS website (www.capsnv.org) and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.
Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.