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Feline Friday: Cat Behavior, Felinese and Saving Shelter Cats

 Persian kittens on chair

It’s Feline Friday, and I have some kitty-talk tips for you! Ever wonder what goes on between your cat’s furry lil’ ears, especially when they look like airplane wings? Does a kitty’s wagging tail mean the same thing as the dog’s bottom-wiggles? And what’s with all the loud-mouth cats—just what do all the meows, chirps, hisses and growls really mean?

We love our cats but don’t always understand cat communication. Our feline friends use a combination of vocalizations, body language and smells to talk with each other and their special people. I call cat language felinese, and my latest Paw Nation article explains 12 ways cats communicate.

Thanks once again to my Red Room buddy Gina Misiroglu who connected me with the fine folks at Paw Nation (wonder if she used felinese?). That’s one way she’s sending readers to Red Room and its authors—meeeWOW! 

There are many additional weird and wonderful ways our cats “talk” to us, too, and some of them don’t make a whole lot of sense. For instance, does your cat indulge in elevator butt—you know, when the front goes down and the tail elevates, especially when you scritch-scritch-scritch the base of the cat’s tail? And Just what is Sheba thinking when she sticks her butt in your face, how rude! Actually, butt-presentation means just the opposite, as explained in this article. 

Here’s another one—does your kitty drop-and-roll like she’s trying to trip you, or put out a fire? I call it flipping, and there’s a very good explanation for the behavior here.

I’m sure a number of y’all either got your cat friend from a shelter, support a shelter, or possibly even work with shelters and rescues. So this next tip goes out to you and the tireless human angels helping feline waifs find forever homes. About 4 million cats pass through United States shelters annually, and most never make it out alive. A top killer of cats in shelters might surprise you—it’s kitty colds! My latest Pet Peeves radio show guest, Dr. Kate Hurley, from University of California–Davis shares the latest results of shelter cat studies that can not only save cat lives, but also save shelters $3 million a year! Here’s the link to listen to Shelter Cats & Kitty Colds: Saving Lives & Money.

Purrs and trills,


About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

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