Cats are often stereotyped as aloof, but the truth is that cats can be just as protective of their people as dogs are of theirs.
A feline’s first instinct is to run from danger, but the security you provide as that cat’s colony might compel your cat to stick around and fight to protect you.
Cats are very protective of their territory and whoever is providing them with care, love, shelter and food.
In a groundbreaking study conducted by University of Vienna in 2011, researchers showed that “cat-human relationships are nearly identical to human-only bonds”.
Cats value their social group.
This includes their human companions. If they notice a threat or see their humans come under physical attack, their instincts to fight and protect will be instigated. There are many reported cases of cats protecting humans from dogs, other cats, and even other humans.
Cats are more protective of female owners
A study by Kurt Kotrschal published in the journal Behavioural Processes has found that cats share a strong bond with women. The study found that women tend to interact with their cats more than men do, and cats find women’s softer voice tones to be more appealing. In response, cats approach female owners more frequently.
Cats can sense a bad person
Cats are not psychic, and they cannot read the minds of the people. However, cats have acute senses, making them able to read people’s intentions. For example, cats are known to be excellent at interpreting body language. While humans may miss out on cues such as tense muscles, increased breathing patterns, and increased heart rate, the ever-observing felines can detect these micro-gestures.
Cats are constantly on guard and exceptionally reactive.
They will read our body language and pick up on cues that tells them whether we are safe or dangerous to be around. Cats are also able to smell things that we humans cannot smell. Outwardly, you may be being welcoming and friendly to a person, but your cat will notice tiny, subconscious signals that you are not completely comfortable around that person.
Your cat can sense when you are nervous because your body produces certain stress-related chemicals and hormones that have distinctive odors. The most obvious of those would be sweating and the releasing of Adrenalin. Keep in mind that cats can detect fear in humans.
When we are fearful, we change a bit. We breathe heavily, we tense up, our pupils dilate, and perhaps we tremble a little. It’s on full display and our kitties can sense that. Interestingly, a study published in Animal Cognition found that cats look to humans for cues about whether a situation is concerning or not.
Cats can smell serious illnesses
Both dogs and cats have been known to save numerous lives by detecting illness in humans. Some diseases cause chemical changes in our bodies, which can produce unique smells that some animals can identify in a person’s breath or skin.
Cats and dogs have an acute sense of smell, and so have the ability to sniff out a chemical change in a human body caused by a disease. There are many anecdotal reports that cats respond to a sick individual by becoming clingier and more attentive.
How long can a cat remember a person? While it’s impossible to put an exact time on how long a cat’s memory can go back to, it’s believed that a cat’s long-term memory is indefinite. Keep in mind that cats have associative memories. Your cat, for example, might associate the sound of can opener with you giving them a can of yummy food. Your cat may not remember the specific interactions she’s had with you but she will remember how you loved them and brought them joy.
Cats can predict bad weather
Cats are more sensitive than humans to changes in barometric pressure and atmospheric electricity that come with storms or hurricanes, and their heightened senses can allow them to pick up hints that a storm is coming well before their owners catch wind of it. If there is a storm of any type on the way, cats who dislike storms tend to yowl or meow loudly. They may also pace restlessly around the house.
Cats can interpret facial expressions
A study by Oakland University researchers revealed that cats are more likely to show “positive” behaviors such as purring if they see that their owner is smiling. Frowning on the other hand was met with less enthusiasm. And if you’re stressed, it’s common for cats to become stressed in response.
So if you think your cat is more likely to lie on your chest or rub up on your legs when you’re feeling blue, it’s not just your imagination. Your faithful, furry friend is probably responding to your mood. Many felines will respond to their owners’ sad mood by becoming more sympathetic.