How Cats Think

How cats think has caused many a person to think for eons!



People have always speculated what is going on inside a cat’s head!  It really is total speculation when it comes to what our domesticated friends are thinking or think about us!  Combining the intelligence of its wild ancestors and experience dealing with domestic cats may help to unlock some of the secrets of why a cat is a cat.  Inside of every single little domestic cat is a wild beast out of the jungle.  Every cat in one form or the other thinks it has the abilities of an ordinary mountain lion!  Mountain lions though can get treed by a Coonhound but watch out when the cat comes down!


The majority of cats act or live a solitary life in the wild.  Dogs form packs when they hunt but not the cat.  Domestic cats have it easy now a days.  They really do not have to hunt but you have to admire watching an 8 pound animal hide in the grass getting ready to pounce on a rodent or some other prey.  That solitary, hunter instinct comes clearly through in the life of a domesticated household cat.  In the majority of cases, domestic or wild, the cat is the hunter much more often than the “hunted”.  The cat is at the top of the food chain and it knows it.  Why a domestic cat has to believe this when all it has to do for food is listen for the can opener to come out, is beyond me.  These traits are what endear people to them.


The hunter side of the domestic cat is clearly illustrated by the actual brute strength of the animal!  Pound for pound, there is nothing stronger, quicker or agile than the domestic cat.  This is what makes the big cats out in the western United States and in Africa such effective hunters.  A cat knows it can outlast anything around it.  To do this requires brute, physical strength.  A domestic cat curled up on a bed knows this for a fact.  Most veterinarians find this out early in their careers when it takes them and their staff half an hour to get a spitting, fractious cat out of a carrier!




Probably.  It is this regal thinking that dictates a cat to say to its owners….”Let them eat cake”!  Think of domestic cats as a modern day Marie Antoinette!  A cats abilities are a true delight to watch.  They can stand perched on top of a door watching its people below.  It can chase away the neighbors Pit Bull dog!  Heck of a lot for a tiny animal to accomplish.   Let me wash away some of this thick, gooey cat veneer and discover the real beast inside!


Cats really are big babies.  They want you to think they are ferocious but why can they not figure out how to get out of a tree they climbed earlier?  Why do they cry to come inside and climb to a bed when it is nice and comfortable outside?  Why is it in the dead of winter they are crying to go outdoors but when the door is opened and a blast of cold air emerges, they scamper away to safety?  I think I have blown their C-O-V-E-R….finally!



Domestic cats believe in the fight or flight mechanism.  This is the metabolic process where glucose and Adrenalin provide an immediate boost of energy to the animal to fight it out or scurry away with its tail between its legs.  The cat knows it is in a game of survival; even in a domestic environment far removed from a tropical jungle.  Many times confronted with a fearful situation, cats will recede into the background.  This is easily seen with household cats.  It is called paranoia.  Have you ever seen a cat spooked by just walking around the corner?  Have you ever noticed the “fear” on a cats face when you rearranged the furniture or even (horrors!!) brought a new kitten into the house?  The “fear and horror” of changing the brand of cat litter!?  Everyone has seen traits in a cat where “someone” is out to get me!  This is typical cat behavior.  The animal is always, always on guard.  The only time it is not on guard is when it is splayed out sleeping on its back.  For a cat, this is the most vulnerable position to be caught in.




Yes, cats do think that and that is one thing that gets them into trouble.  Many cats appear to have nine lives when it comes to getting out of trouble.  That is because they are:  small, strong, nimble and quick.  This allows them to get away from cars and other disasters with just a whisker hair missing!  The point is, is that when cats get hurt, they get hurt big time.


This sense of immortality comes through when a cat is sick.  Most people and dogs easily show that they are not feeling well.  Lethargy, lack of appetite or a fever slow down even the most stoic.  Not cats.  Cats will fool their owners that they are in complete control of their lives even though they are extremely ill.  A cat can sit and look at you with a 106 degree fever and INITIALLY act like nothing is wrong.  At this point there is very little margin for error as the animal is a hair away from being extremely ill.  I have said it for years that cats have an ability to mimic perfect health when they are ill.  No, they are mere mortals like the rest of us.

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