Cats do often treat humans like other felines, using gestures like licking or rubbing on both feline friends and human caregivers, she says. “In a way, cats think of us as bigger cats,” Bonk says. “They might not necessarily know that we're a different species or they just don't care.”
Unfortunately, your cat sees your pet-owner relationship much differently, according to the new book Cat Sense by English biologist Dr. John Bradshaw. It actually thinks you're a “larger, non-hostile” cat.
Believe It or Not, Cats Do Care
If you've ever asked yourself, “Does my cat know me?” you can rest assured: your cat knows you. In fact, she may even know you better than you know yourself. Animal behavior experts and pet owners have both observed that cats learn their human housemates' habits.
You really are more than just a source of food to your cat: A study published Monday finds that cats see their owners as a source of comfort and security, too. In other words, they do love you ... even if they don't show it.
Cats See Us as Parents
They actually see us as parents. A 2019 study revealed that cats have the same attachment to their owners that babies show to their parents. Kittens in the study acted distressed when their caregivers left and happy and secure when they returned.
After several years, they can still remember people, places and events from the past. So maybe next time you find your cat staring blankly at a wall or closet, it may be possible that she is thinking of the past and replaying it over and over again.
Sleeping near you
If your kitty likes to sleep near you - or even on you - this is an indication that they have total trust in you.
Sorry to break it to you, but human meows mean nothing to cats. At most, you can get your cat's attention and they may even appreciate your attempts to communicate by purring or even meowing back. But to most cats, human meows sound like human language.
Cats tend to favor one person over others even if they were well-socialized as kittens. Cats are expert communicators and gravitate towards people that they communicate well with. Look for communication cues from your cat, such as your cat approaching you in search of food or petting.
Cats lack the cognitive skills to interpret human language, but they recognize when you talk to them. To put it another way, cats comprehend human language in the same way that we understand meowing. It's similar to how you interpret your cat's language by "reading" how they arch their back or swish their tail.
Clearly, cats are good at visual recognition — except when it comes to human faces. Instead of facial recognition, cats may use other cues, like our scent, the way we feel, or the sound of our voices to identify us.
As explained by Popular Science, cats actually don't recognize themselves in the mirror, despite what you see in those cute cat videos or in your own home.
Providing your kitty with healthy cat food and fresh water is an essential part of being a pet parent, but you'd better do it on her schedule. Your cat thinks she's the boss (or rather, she knows she's the boss) of what you do and when you do it. (Not all cats have this mindset, of course.)
Within the encephalization quotient proposed by Jerison in 1973, values above one are classified big-brained, while values lower than one are small-brained. The domestic cat is attributed a value of between 1–1.71; relative to human value, that is 7.44–7.8.
When cats don't feel threatened by other cats, they will show affection by rubbing on them, sleeping near them, and being in their presence. If your cat replicates those behaviors with you, Delgado says it has officially imprinted on you. They rub against you.
Your furry friend might be more of a copycat than you thought. According to a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE, these notoriously independent creatures were found to mimic their owners' personalities, particularly with traits like extroversion, openness, and neuroticism or emotional stability.
Although a cat may not care (as that word is generally used) about human morals, cats can and do distinguish between good and bad people, and are excellent judges of human character and emotion.
According to a study done by the nutrition company, Canadae, they discovered that the person who makes the most effort is the favorite. People who communicate with their cat by getting to know their cues and motives are more attractive to their cat companions.
This person is likely to sit extremely still, look down and away from the cat, keeping their hands on their lap and maintaining absolute silence. The cat finds this latter display of body language far less threatening so may well move towards the 'non-cat' person to explore further!
Go for the Slow Blink
You can say “I love you” to your cat by looking at them with relaxed eyes and slowly lowering your eyelids. Your cat may offer a slow blink in return, letting you know they love you, too!
Observant creatures that they are, cats sometimes feel inclined to explore outside the boundaries of their territory, especially when left idle. Your cat may think that venturing outside is a ticket to paradise, but the hazards are plentiful.
Cats developed their language to talk to humans. They built the set of signals to tell them what they need and what they don't want their cat parents to do. However, when your cat talks back to you, especially if they do that often, they may need your attention.
When your cat is curled up near you, they're simply letting you know that they feel safe. This is your feline friend's way of letting you know that they trust you.
The bathroom is full of the smells of you: your cat's favorite human! You spend time there doing important things, or at least it may seem that way to your cat. Your cat may be intrigued by watching you do all the little things humans do in there.
Cats are often thought of as being independent creatures who are happy in their own company. But your cat can get lonely. Interacting with the human they love helps to enrich their lives (and yours). If your cat sleeps with you this indicates that they enjoy your company and want to spend time with you.