About Cat Talk and Body Language

Introduction to "Cat Talk" by a Cat Called Flash

This is Flash, a special American short hair tabby cat.


I am a cat named "Flash" who lives with Ulla and Larry in central California. I am going to give you some of my knowledge about cats as well as some secrets.

We cats are a highly complex and extraordinary animal designed to survive on our own. But about 10,000 years ago humans started growing grain and storing it. This brought mice and rat problems. We figured out we could join forces with humans to live together in mutually advantageous family groups. We cats have found that if we are cute and tolerant of humans many strange habits they work hard to keep us fed and safe. That works well for us cats.

Cat Special Features

We cats have an extraordinary sense of smell because we have a two-part smelling system. Although the tip of our nose is relatively small, the interior working area is larger than humans'. We also have an additional smelling organ located inside our mouth, just behind the front teeth. It connects to the nasal cavity and is used on special occasions when we want to throughly check the smell of things in our territory. To use it we just open our mouth slightly to scoop up the scents.

We know the smell of everything in our territory and we frequently check for new smells. We cats can smell better than most dogs because we average about 200 million more olfactory receptors than in dogs, though numbers vary by breed.



Cats Also Have Amazing Hearing

Our ears can rotate 180 degrees separately so we can determine the precise direction of a noise. Also our ears are super-sensitive like little satellite dishes. Besides being sensitive, we can hear subsonic low frequencies (like earthquakes) and up to about 75,000 cycles. Compare that to the best of humans who can only hear from about 20 to 20,000 cycles and dogs from about 70 to 45,000 cycles. It is easy and natural for us to hear and locate a mouse's tiny and extremely high pitched squeak in the grass on the other side of the yard. Also we can hear a can opener at the other end of the house.

Something humans need to understand is that we cats don't like loud noises and therefore appreciate it when you talk softly to us. We especially don't like vacuum cleaners that make loud high pitched noises you humans can't even hear.

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Cat Eyes Are Amazing

It is well known that we cats can see well in the dark, thanks to our ancestors. Millions of years ago they figured out where they evolved in the deserts of Africa that it was cooler to hunt in the night and sleep in the day. So we now have these wonderfully evolved night-vision eyes to locate our food bowl in the dark. We don't need to hunt for food at night anymore, thanks to you generous humans; however, we do enjoy chasing a few bugs at night just for fun.

Law of Cat Composition

A cat is composed of Matter + Anti-Matter + It Doesn't Matter.

We cats communicate with our eyes more than our voice. We seldom talk to other cats but have found you humans respond to our voice, so we train you to give us treats using our voice. Thanks for learning quickly!

About Cats and Strangers

We cats have extraordinary abilities for evaluating people, mainly through their body language. For example, people who dislike cats are instantly identifiable to us because they shy-away and don't look us in the eyes.

Strangers who like cats and want to pick us up look us directly in the eyes, and call us to come to them. This is always suspicious because direct eye contact usually means a conflict in animal body language. So if we have a choice of which lap to sit on, we pick the person not looking us directly in our eyes, and that is usually the person who dislikes cats! This is kind of an inside cat joke!



The type of eye contact we cats like with humans is a "soft eyes" look where the face is relaxed and the eyes very slowly blink a couple times. That look says, "I am calm and won't bother you right now." We cats like that attitude in humans most of the time. At least until we are ready to play or be fed.

A relationship between a cat and a human can be a wonderful experience for both. For example, we cats know how to snuggle up to people and purr so lovingly that it lowers the human's blood pressure and improves the immune system. It's true! It has been scientifically proven that cats really do extend the lives of their human care givers. And for that priceless service we ask very little in the way of food, safety, and comfort. What a good deal for you humans!

Feline Advice From Garrison Keilor (Comedian)

Why you should not be concerned about a cat high in a tree and meowing:

How many cat skeletons have you seen in trees?

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