Thursday, 21 April 2016

The playful curiosity of cats

The Simon's Cat Logic series of videos examine why cats behave the way they do.

In the latest video in the series, Simon’s Cat creator Simon Tofield and Cats Protection’s behaviour expert Nicky Trevorrow look at the behaviour of the cat in the videos ‘Let me in!’ and ‘Let me out!’.


Simon Tofield says: “I think it’s fair to say that if you are a cat owner that you can basically say goodbye to privacy, because they will follow you everywhere, especially if they are an older cat or a lap cat, they’ll want to be with you 24/7.”

He explains that the ‘Let me out!’ video is based on the behaviour of his own cat, Jess who follows him around the home. When he goes to the bathroom she will sit outside the door and call out repetitively. Similarly, the ‘Let me in!’ video shows Simon’s Cat resorting to increasingly desperate measures to get indoors.

But why do cats do this?

“Cats are renowned for having a natural curiosity so it’s understandable that they’ll want to know what’s on the other side of the door,” says Nicky Trevorrow, Behaviour Manager at Cats Protection.

“Over time, cats may learn that if they do a particular type of miaow that the owner will respond as they know what it means. They may do a particular cry to say ‘let me outside’, and a different cry to say ‘I want some food’ and a different one again to say that they want some attention.”

Without realising it, when we respond to the cat we’re often reinforcing their behaviour. As the cat’s plea has been successful, they know it works and so will do it again!

It is the very nature and behaviour of cats that makes them one of the UK’s most popular pets today. Their independence, playfulness and curiosity are among the traits that make many cat-lovers melt.

By understanding their behaviour, we can learn how to best provide for our cats, meet their needs, maximise their welfare and ensure long-lasting friendships for happy cats and owners. You can find out more by reading our leaflet Understanding your cat’s behaviour.

Does your cat plea to be let in or out? Do they miaow when they want particular things? Let us know on Twitter by using the hashtag #SimonsCatLogic.

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