Communicating with your cat is normally straightforward: if you spend time with them, talking and stroking, they will respond to you. But there can be circumstances when you may have to adopt a slightly different approach. This is very relevant in the case of those particular breeds such as the British Shorthair where there are pure white cats with blue eyes. Thanks to a congenital deformity, these cats are deaf. The way a cat was treated as a kitten establishes its attitude to its owner.
Should the way in which cats communicate with us affect my choice of breed as a pet ? This needs to be considered, because you may feel more at home with a placid Persian than a demonstrative Siamese for example. The ancestry of the breed can give an insight into how it communicates with people.
Q. Why is my Maine Coon such a determined hunter, bringing back all manner of creatures? This communication problem can often arise in breeds with strong hunting instincts. Your cat feels compelled to bring back offerings for its human family. Accept them with good grace and make a fuss of your pet rather than scolding him. However, for hygiene reasons, it is worth adjusting the cat flap to prevent him wandering freely into the home with rodents. Deafness in cats is not always easy to detect. Although clapping your hands near the ears and looking for any reaction on your pet’s part may seem an obvious test, this method is far from reliable since not only may your pet see the movement and react accordingly, but its whiskers in particular are likely to detect the breeze generated by your hands. Deaf cats may appear to be rather stubborn or stupid, unless the underlying cause of their condition is determined, because they will frequently fail to react to being called or to loud noises in their vicinity.
This handicap leaves them vulnerable to passing traffic. Odd-eyed cats, with one blue and one orange eye are also deaf, but the deafness in such cases is restricted to the ear on the side of the head corresponding to the blue eye, so they do have some hearing.
SHOW OF AFFECTION
In contrast, although Siamese cats are characterised by blue eyes, they are not afflicted by deafness. Females are especially vocal and can be extremely noisy when calling, seeking to attract potential mates from around the local neighbourhood. They are quite demanding by nature, and will play very readily with their owners, as indeed with other closely-related Oriental breeds. Other breeds tend to be quieter by nature, and some, such as the Russian Blue, will not take readily to strangers visiting the home, although they form a strong bond with people they know well.
- The early exposure of kittens to people has a lifelong effect on their friendliness, and ability to integrate in the home.
- Toys are a means of communication. By patting a ball around on the floor, a cat is signalling its willingness to play.
- Cats, like dogs can soon recognise their name and can be trained to come when called.