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Your Cat Doesn’t Understand You: Here’s How Feline Lovers Can Deal With Their Solitary Pets

Oct 31, 2016 04:48 AM EDT
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Don't take it the wrong way, but your cat doesn't get you and is maybe even a bit scared of you. You may love them unconditionally, but cats are natural solitary creatures with no understanding of social cues and human behavior, according to a report from Wired.

There are dog people and cat people as a report from Reader's Digest classified, but the key is understanding how to treat both animals according to their natural inclinations. Tony Buffington, a veterinarian at Ohio State University, explained that few so-called cat people know how to really listen and understand their companion felines.

When dogs -- pack animals from the wild to the home -- do something wrong and humans yell at them, they exude an air of pitiful regret. On the other hand, cats are charmingly yet frustratingly indifferent. Buffington explained to Wired that it's not indifference; your cat just doesn't understand you. Cats can't connect the yelling with their behavior simply because they are creatures who evolved as solitary hunters and did not develop the ability to catch social cues.

"How the hell is your cat supposed to know that you're yelling at him because you want him to stop scratching the couch?" Buffington pointed out. They do not have the cognitive ability to understand, so they think humans' outbursts are chaotic aggression. "To the cat, you're this crazy primate who is attacking him for no reason."

Actions like these make humans objects of fear to cats, making pets afraid, stressed, and frustrated during these situations.

Instead of being aggressive, the key is to make your cat adapt to their environment. Buffington suggested putting double-sided tape on the corner of the couch or tinfoil on the kitchen counter to discourage scratching, then placing better alternatives nearby such as a scratching post covered in catnip. Positive reinforcement works better like rewarding them with a treat when they did something you want.

"You let the house provide the negative reinforcement, while you provide the positive reinforcement," Buffington explained.

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