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Demystifying feline behaviour

Cats might seem hard to read, but many tell-tale signs will help you understand your furry friends better

Demystifying feline behaviour

Why do cats sit in a breadloaf position?

This is called 'loafing' and it could mean two things. If the paws are tucked in, the cat is comfortable and alert. If the paws are untucked, spine is lifted and the head is down it means the cat is in pain. Loafing with the paws out keeps the cat's organs off a solid object (like a table) and when a cat's organs are shutting down they are very tender. This position makes them more comfortable because of that. However, if your cat assumes the more extreme 'meatloaf' position – slightly hunched, paws gathered under the body, nose resting on the floor, get her to a vet immediately

Why do mother cats sometimes eat their own offspring?

Threat from a predator, kitten suffering from any genetic disease, mother cat starving after birth, prevention from disease could be the possible reasons for that.Also, if the mother cat feels threatened by her kittens, she kills them. If she thinks a particular place is not safe enough to bring her kittens up, then she tries to move them to another place. If she cannot find a more comfortable place, she kills them as she knows that there is no chance of survival.

Some cats become pregnant very early when their maternal instincts are still not fully developed. In such cases, the cats kill their kittens out of confusion, as the sound of the kittens triggers their hunting instincts.

Mother cat also eats their kitten that is suffering from any genetic disease or weakness; she does not want to waste her milk supply to feed them. It may even eat if a cat suffering from starving after giving birth and is too exhausted to get to the food. Some kittens die within minutes of being born, due to some inborn defect. In such cases, the mother cat eats the kitten to hygienically dispose of the body. Also, a dead body might rot, and give out smells that lure predators into her hideout. So, she eats the carcass so that no smell emanates from it.

What does it mean when I pet my cat and then she quickly stands up and arches her back? Should I stop petting her if she does that?

When a cat stands up and arches her back it means that they want more petting in exactly the same way. You can tell when 'enough' is because she'll stop arching into your hand. If she sorts of shrinks away, it's time to stop petting.

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