Sunday 27 February 2011

Reading and responding to the cat nose lick

As good cat caretakers we should be able to read cat body language. We usually do at a basic without realising it.

There is one little bit of cat body language that happens a lot and which almost goes unnoticed; the nose lick.

What does it mean and why is it useful to us?

The domestic cat will lick his or her nose as a displacement activity. It is the same as us biting our nails or scratching our head. We do this when we are unsure about what to do next. Visualise yourself biting your nails or fiddling with something. We all have our little ways of easing the moment when we are unsure and thinking. Worry beads are the Arab equivalent.

If we are interacting with our domestic cat and he licks his nose, we can read that as meaning our cat is unsure about what it happening. Our action has made him a little bit unsettled.

We can ignore this and press on or proceed more gently and back off. We have the opportunity to react to this. We should react to this as it is our duty as good cat caretakers to make life as secure and relaxing as possible for our cat. Our cat will reward us with his best behavior.

An anxious cat is more likely to become defensive and be twitchy. This can lead to defensive aggressive behavior and problems such as litter box issues etc.

Look for that nose lick and you'll be able to understand your cat's feelings and emotions a little better.

Feline Matricalm for Cat Aggression

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