The communication gap between humans and our cats is huge. That’s because cats are not human, and don’t perceive or learn our attempts at communication the same way infant humans, or even dogs, learn them. Nick Stockton talked to OSU veterinarian Tony Buffington about the way cats see us.
You hear the unmistakable sound of claws on couch. You snap, shout, squirt water, and maybe even throw a pillow. It’s all futile, because eventually he’s at it again. Your cat isn’t ignoring you, Buffington says. He just doesn’t know how to connect your negative reinforcement with his behavior. This is because cats evolved as solitary hunters with little need for reading social cues, especially those for behavior modification.
“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 says. Without the cognitive ability to connect your outburst to their scratching, cats see only chaotic aggression. “To the cat, you’re this crazy primate who is attacking him for no reason,” he says.
Of course, the cat is right: we are crazy primates. Buffington offers an alternative to “attacking” your cat, plus some other tips on getting down to a cat’s level. While my cats have learned to tell us exactly what they want in ways we humans can understand, they still haven’t figured out what we want from them -or maybe they just don’t care. Read more about a cat’s inner thoughts at Wired. -via reddit