Pet owners are passionate about the relationship they have with their pets. This is especially true for cat owners. Our cats are part of our family, but what do they think about us?
Cats don’t give a lot away so it’s hard to tell if they think we are an alien creature or a mother figure, or maybe even another cat.
Despite the fact that people neither look nor act like cats, cats do in fact think that we are also cats. The behaviors cats display towards people are the same as they display towards other cats. However, this is not the only way we can tell that cats think humans are cats.
If you’re interested in knowing about how we know that cats think people are also cats, common cat body communication methods, and cat societal hierarchy, read on.
We discuss all these things and, in the end,, you should feel even closer to your cat than you do now.
Are You The Alpha Cat Or The Mother?
Although cats are known as independent pets, they still rely on you, their owner, to take care of them and make sure they are safe.
This dependent relationship can mimic the hierarchy that cat groups can develop in the wild. You may be familiar with the term alpha dog, but you might not know that there is a similar structure in cat families.
For many years, scientists thought that only big cats showed hierarchy in their groups. Lion prides have one male as the head of the group with a family of females and young lions.
However, cat behaviorists have started recognizing this structure in house cats as well. Although there are cats that prefer a solitary life, that is not the general preference for all cats.
Cats Have A Matriarchal Society
When it comes to cat society, the female is the true head of the household.
This is even true when it comes to big cats. After all, female cats are the hunters of the groups. The rest of the family relies on the women to keep them fed. Female cats also protect the young against predators and intruders.
Think about what your relationship is with your cat. Unless your cat is primarily an outdoor cat, you are the one responsible for keeping it fed and safe from predators.
While cat owners may joke that their cat is the one that runs the house, in fact, just by virtue of you taking on the role of food provider and protector, you are acting as the mother of the pride.
Does Your Cat Think You Are a Cat?
Thanks to cat hierarchy, you have a special relationship with your cat. Does that mean, however, that they think you are also a cat?
The short answer is yes.
Cat behaviorists believe that cats see us as a type of cat. The aloofness that a cat gives off is evidence that cats see us as equals that don’t require too much attention from them.
Unlike dogs, who know that humans are a different species and treat us accordingly, cats treat humans the same as they do other cats.
Since we are bigger than they are, we come off as clumsier than other cats, but cats nonetheless. We can tell that they think we are the same as them because of the body language they use.
Learn How Your Cat Communicates
The body language your cat uses around you is the same that they use around other cats, which is pretty good evidence about how they view humans.
Most of what your cat does, from body movements to vocalizations, are things that cats do with their mothers. This is another indication of who your cat thinks you are.
Here are some of the common ways your cat will communicate with you and what it means.
Meowing Is Only For People
According to the ASPCA, cats meow to communicate with people. They can meow for many reasons, including:
- Saying hello
- Telling us something is wrong
- Asking for things like food
- To be let in or out of a room
This is one thing that adult cats only do with humans and not with other cats. It stems from their time as kittens.
They would meow to let the mother know if they were cold or needed to be fed, but as cats grow older, they stop meowing. Unless they need you to feed them or take care of them. You are fulfilling the role of mother, even when they are no longer kittens.
You may be thinking to yourself, “But wait! I’ve heard cats meow to each other before.” What you’ve actually heard is yowling, which is louder and more drawn out.
Cats are most likely to yowl at each other when they are looking for a mate.
Kneading Your Belly With Its Paws Is Comforting
If you’ve ever had a cat knead at your belly or on a bed with its paws, you’ve probably wondered what they were doing. This is another behavior learned as a kitten. When they nurse from their mother, kittens rub their paws against the teat to increase milk flow.
Cats eventually no longer need to nurse, but the motion can be comforting and creates a connection with you.
Rubbing Against Your Legs To Say Hello
This behavior is one of the clearest examples of how your cat thinks that you are also a cat.
Unlike meowing, which cats don’t do to each other, rubbing against one another is one of the main ways that cats communicate affection with each other. When they rub against you, they are showing how much you mean to them.
When cats rub against each other, with their tails raised up, they are also performing a social ritual. Usually, a younger and smaller cat will rub against a larger, older one. They are letting the bigger cat know that they mean no harm and want to be friends.
You are the older, bigger cat in this scenario.
Purring To Tell You They Need Something
When you are scratching a cat and it starts purring, then you can be pretty certain that it feels content and safe.
However, this is not the only reason that a cat might purr. Cats also purr to let humans and other cats know that they are not a threat. It’s also a way of signaling that they need help with something.
When kittens nurse, they purr to let the mother cat know to lay still while they suckle. Cats learn from this that purring is a way to get attention and help with what they need.
So if your cat is purring, stop and pay attention to what they are doing. You will be able to focus on their needs and strengthen your relationship.
Bumping With Their Head To Leave Scent
Cats have glands behind their ears and when they rub or bump their head against something, they leave their scent behind.
Therefore, when a cat bumps their head against you, they are marking you with their scent and claiming you. This is a clear sign that your cat sees you as one of their kind and part of their family.
The Two Of You Are Family
Since so many cats are aloof and independent, cat owners wonder if their pets are happy. Now that you know that your cat sees you as another cat and treats you as such, you can be more secure in your relationship.
If your cat communicates with you using the methods discussed, then they think of you as their family.