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Cat Psychology: How to Understand Cats
Cats Behavior

Cat Psychology: How to Understand Cats

Do you wonder what is inside the mind of a cat? Well, cats are beautiful yet mysterious creatures that have fascinated humans for years, and if you want to understand cat psychology to comprehend their unique behaviors, you must pay attention to their cues and vocals, with which cats communicate their needs. 

In this article, we are diving deep into cat behavior, emotional needs, and cat facts to better understand their psychology.

Human Psychology vs Feline Psychology 

Human behavior comprises an interplay between actions, cognition, and emotions; the actions, feelings, and thinking contribute to our behavior, which the environment can influence. We usually express our feelings and thoughts through clear words and actions.

However, humans truly communicate through their body language and tone, according to research, words only comprise 7-30% of communication; the rest are tone and body language.

Similarly, your cat’s emotional needs navigate their behavior, and they communicate through cat body language. To understand their emotions or moods, you should pay attention to their facial expressions, tail positions and movements, body postures, ear positions, and vocalizations such as purring.

These cues help understand cats' psychology, whether they want to play, are feeling relaxed, anxious, or defensive, which is crucial for better communication and strengthening your relationship.

The Importance of Context in Cat Psychology

Cats’ environment greatly influences their behavior, so it is essential to understand the context when reading your cat’s behavior. Recognizing contextual signs in cat psychology can help you learn their vocalizations and body language. You will be able to foresee and prevent behavioral issues in your cat. 

Inside a Cat’s Brain

Domesticated cats are descendants of wild cats, and their instincts and needs are passed on from them. To keep the cats emotionally healthy, we should take care of these needs. The three types of needs or essential positive systems of cat psychology are:

  1. The reward-seeking system

  2. The care system 

  3. The play system

Cat Psychological Needs

The reward-seeking system

The reward-seeking system in cats drives them to chase necessities for life, such as food. This system motivates cats to have pleasurable feelings or feelings of accomplishment. 

So, when your cat hunts for food (although you give them a balanced diet), you do not need to worry because it is just their instinct. You can play different games with your feline friend where you can reward them with a toy mouse, which they can get by pouncing on it. As getting rewards is natural to them, it can eliminate considerable issues for your cat, which often arise due to psychological disorders. 

The care system

The care system in cats deals with cautious behaviors; this psychological feeling links parents to their babies. It is present in mammals, like humans, and some cats may also care about their relations. As a pet, cats always feel like kittens and show dependency on their owners. 

Also, cats have mixed feelings about mingling with other cats, some love it, while others adore being alone, which is perfectly fine. The secret of keeping feline pets happy is not to run after them for attention and respond to their sentiments, and you will see your cat brimming with joy. 

The play system

The play system is simple, like the word play. Cats prefer to be on their own whenever they are free. They love hunting, which, on one side, is a motivation (reward-seeking behavior) while, on the other, it is a feeling of playing. Cats like to chase, pounce, stalk, and even bite each other; these are signs of a happy cat. Like humans, cats also love to cuddle with each other or their owner, which enhances their immunity system. 

Interesting Facts About Cats

Are you curious about why cats are the way they are? So, to end some of your curiosity, here are fascinating cat facts you might not have heard that help us understand these mysterious creatures better.

  • Cat's peripheral vision and night vision are exceptional compared to humans.

  • According to a study, 95.6% of the genetic makeup of house cats is shared with tigers. They also have other habits similar to tigers, such as scent and urine marking, pouncing, and prey stalking. 

  • Cats can possess a dominant front paw. Research by Animal Behaviour shows female cats may have a dominant right paw, whereas male cats have a left one.

  • Cats generally sleep around 15 hours per day on average. So, according to Veterinary Hub, they spend 70% of their lives sleeping. 

  • House cats can run at a speed of up to 30 mph, and with this speed, they can beat Usain Bolt in the 200-meter dash. 

  • Creme Puff, the oldest cat ever to live, was 38 years old, born on 3rd August 1967, and died on 6th August 2005. 

  • A cat's brain is quite like a human brain, and both have similar emotional regions. 

  • In 2004, French archaeologists found a 9500-year-old cat grave in Cyprus that is considered the oldest pet cat lived. 


To build a relationship with your cat, reading their behavior is crucial, as it helps in knowing what they need. And to keep your cat happy, you must let them act on their instincts. So, when you see your cat in a unique position or moving their tail in a certain way, try to understand the context of this behavior to respond appropriately. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do cats have object permanence?

Yes, cats can keep the object’s place in mind even when it is out of sight. For instance, if you hid food in the closet and they saw you doing it, they would go to the same place to get the food. 

Are cats social animals? 

Yes, cats can socialize in the right circumstances and are often found in groups. 

Do cats have thoughts? 

Yes, cats can think with their brain and can have memories.