Friday 23 April 2021

My cat instinctively lay down on a book to keep cool

It was quite warm today. It was interesting to see that my cat Gabs lay down on a small book that was on my bed. He could have avoided it. It looks a bit uncomfortable. But he chose deliberately to lie on top of it. The only reason why he did would be because he decided that the book was cooler than the sheet. He just wanted to cool off and he obviously recognises that a hard surface is likely to be cooler than a soft one. It's a very small aspect of feline behaviour and slightly trivial in terms of feline knowledge but I think it is worth mentioning which is why I captured the image. I suppose that if it teaches us one thing it is that cats are probably smarter and more switched on than we give them credit for.

My cat chose to sleep on this small book because he decided that it was cooler than the surrounding sheet. Photo: MikeB.

In addition to finding a cool object to lie on in warmer weather, cats might lie on a book for the purposes of scent exchange. The book has your scent all over it because you have handled it. They want to merge their scent with yours so they lie on it and all over it. Sometimes a cat might rub his cheeks against the book for the same reason. Scent exchange makes a cat feel reassured. It is almost like merging two bodies into one. It is a very cute and loving form of feline behaviour. It is a bonding process. If body scent is merged it becomes one and the sense of smell is vitally important to domestic cats. It's like a signature to them. It is as strong in identifying a person as a visual image.

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