There are few things in this world that can truly break your heart. One of those is when you realize that your beloved cat has lost its sense of awe for you and the rest of the human race.
If you’re thinking about giving up cats, don’t! Even though it may be hard to believe, there are many ways that even very domesticated cats retain some respect for humans.
Here are eight proof-positive examples of how cats recognize people.
1) They watch us while we sleep
Most owners know that sleeping with a dog or cat is not a good idea. Dogs will usually wake you up by nudging or nuzzling you, whereas most cats will climb onto your bed and try to get into a position where they can lick your face.
Some experts say that dogs subconsciously associate being licked during sleep time with getting food, but no one really knows why cats do it.
2) They listen to you
Just like people, different types of animals have different levels of sound perception. Some are far more sensitive to sounds than others.
A lot of pet parents feel guilty because they think their animal doesn’t seem to respond to what they say. However, many times, these pets just aren’t listening well due to loud outside noises.
3) They look at you
Many owners talk about how their cat never makes direct eye contact with them.
Touch your face
We usually recognize other individuals when they look us in the eye, but did you know that they may be looking at something else? When we greet someone, one of their first things to do is touch their own face!
This is because our hands are covered in skin which has lots of interesting patterns and textures. The pattern changes with weather conditions so it isn’t really meant for touching, but it can help identify who you are.
Some people have been experimenting by rubbing their hands together or washing them, but never actually touched their faces.
Put your hand on your face
If you put your hand close to your mouth or nose, they may try to lick it! This is how most cats get their own taste of food. They learn that by doing this, someone has enough for them!
Some people believe this happens because cats are naturally curious and want to see what you have in your hands. However, this theory does not seem plausible to many experts.
It’s more likely due to something called mirror-neurons. These are special cells in our brain that connect what you think about with what you do. When you look into a mirror, your body automatically mimics what you are looking at. For example, when you yawn, your body also moves up and down.
When cats watch humans moving their mouths, these mirror neurons cause them to feel hungry. In fact, some animals (like dogs) use this process as an indicator that their owners are running low on food.
Another myth about cat facial recognition says that it only works if the cat looks directly into the person’s eyes. But studies show that it doesn’t matter whether the cat is looking at your eyes or somewhere else on your face, they will still be able to tell who you are.
Rub your face
When you wake up in the morning, start with a soft wash and apply some natural oils like coconut or olive oil to your hands. Then gently massage your own skin all over, including under your eyes. This is a common beginner’s mistake that can be tricky to avoid unless you are very careful about how you groom yourself.
Some people believe that if your cat looks at your forehead as you wake up it means she wants a head rub! Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Some cats lose interest quickly because they find the motion boring. For other cats though, it’s totally interesting.
They love watching humans do things with their faces and rubbing around their nose and mouth is one of the most popular ways to greet another creature. So when your cat is looking at you while you sleep, try doing something similar instead of avoiding her gaze.
You could also hold your hand out for a few minutes before getting into bed, but don’t wait too long or your cat may decide it’s time to eat it.
Brush your teeth
While most people think that cats only care about themselves, this is not true! Many experts believe that socialization with other animals helps shape how well individuals bond with others as adults.
Socialization starts early in life for many creatures. This includes interacting with of other species, such as dogs or monkeys.
Some studies have even shown that having exposure to other animals as a child can help reduce fears and stress levels as an adult.
For example, one study found that kids who were raised around other children became less likely to be afraid of strangers later in life. They also learned more about self-confidence as they grew up.
Cat owners may already know that grooming is one of their cat’s favorite pastimes, but did you know that it’s actually a way to connect with them?
Grooming is a natural behavior pattern that almost every animal does. It’s a way to soothe their nervous system and establish bonding between you and the cat.
When you groom your cat, she will usually lie still while you work on her nails and undercoat. Letting yourself become distracted by something else (like watching TV) is a way to break the rhythm.
But don’t forget to check out her paws — some cats like to hide parasites there.
Hold their paw up for them to sniff
When your cat looks at you with those big, soulful eyes, she is trying to tell you something. She wants to be loved and needed, and she may even feel insecure or uncomfortable.
When her paws are raised and she’s looking at you, she’s asking you to pay attention to her.
Give her some time to focus on that soft nose of hers so that when she lowers it, she can relax and know that you have listened.
Cat owners often wonder how they could help their feline friends find more love in the form of a new owner. The answer is by spending quality time with your cat!
That means playing, grooming, feeding, and just being there for her. Not only does this show an interest in her well-being, but it also gives her someone to look up to.
She will learn what behaviors earn your affection and what don’t.
If your kitty doesn’t seem to be warming up to you yet, try investing in some toys or books that appeal to her as a passive reminder of who you are. Also, ask yourself if you're showing enough interest in her needs — food, water, shelter, etc. - and whether these things are readily available to her.
Put your hand on their body
If you hold your hands still, most cats will not interact with them unless they want to be closer to you or take longer baths than they are currently taking. This can sometimes make going after a bath very difficult!
Many people believe that if a cat approaches your hands, it means that it wants to be petted. While this is true for some breeds of cats, this is definitely not the case for all.
Some types of cats feel threatened when exposed to human hands and will try to get away from them as soon as possible. Others rely heavily on touch for socialization which makes it hard to enjoy being touched by them.
If you really like touching dogs or horses, then there are things you can do to include more interactive play styles for any type of cat. But for general touches, just remember that not every cat loves having their paws licked or scratched.
Give them your hand to hold
If you ever feel like trying to grab someone’s hand or paw, give some tips here! First, make sure their paws are fully exposed by lifting the foot off of the floor. Next, offer your hands at a comfortable distance- don’t stick yours right through theirs!
Once they accept your handshake, try mixing up the grip. Some prefer using just your index finger while others use all five. Whichever one feels better for them is totally okay!
Some cat breeds seem to be more advanced when it comes to human greetings than other types.
Put your hand on their leg
If you put your hand on a cat’s leg when they are not looking, she will usually swipe or claw at it. It is important to note that this behavior does not always indicate fear or anger- some cats love attention!
That said, if the cat retreats rapidly or hisses as he touches her leg, then something was definitely wrong.
If possible, try to see what the cat is running from or towards. Is there someone around? Is there food missing?
It may be difficult to tell whether these behaviors are due to fear or desire for affection, but by observing the patterns, you can figure out which one it is.