The Most Common Questions About Cats, Answered By Vets Who Know How Mysterious Felines Are
When it comes to cats and dogs, I'm hesitant to generalize, as each furry cutie is totally unique. But in broad terms, dogs tend to be much simpler to figure out than cats. In my experience with pups, they pretty much always want to eat, cuddle, or play. Forming a relationship with a cat, on the other hand, usually means paying closer attention to their mood at any given moment, because these little guys often want some personal space (#relatable). If you've ever googled some of the most common questions about cats, like why they're so hard to get close to sometimes, you're definitely not alone.
The cat food brand Meow Mix recently partnered with Google Trends to reveal some of the most commonly searched questions that cat parents have about their precious fur babies, and lucky for you, the brand has shared some of the data with Elite Daily via email. In addition to searches for common questions like why cats meow, pet owners are googling a bunch of other queries that, TBH, I've always wondered about, too.
What's more, I reached out to a few veterinarian experts, who were able to answer some of the most commonly searched questions about cats, so you don't have to stay in the dark about why exactly your little guy is obsessed with laser pointers, or whether you can feed your kitten a little bit of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. Here's what they had to say.
What does it mean when my cat licks me?
Your cute kitty could love licking your face for three main reasons: affection, stress, or taste. "Social grooming is your cat's way of bonding with you and showing affection," Daniel Rotman, CEO of PrettyLitter, tells Elite Daily in an email. "While licking is most often a social bonding behavior, it can sometimes be a sign of anxiety, so keep an eye out for stressors in your cat's environment."
Of course, if you've just returned from the gym and you're a little sweaty, your cat may just want a taste of your salty skin.
Why does my cat lie down in her litter box?
If your furry feline is lounging around in her litter box, and not just using it to do her business, this change of behavior could be a sign of something like stress or sickness. "Cats also sit in their litter box if they are seeking privacy, as it feels like a 'safe haven' for them," explains Dr. Rachel Barrack, DVM, CVA, CVCH, founder of Animal Acupuncture in New York City. "Consult your veterinarian to determine if an underlying medical issue is causing your cat to spend more time in their litter box."
Why do cats like laser pointers?
I absolutely love using a laser pointer to play with my cat, Kit Kat. Not only is it a great way to bond, but prompting him to chase the light around is a great way to build some light exercise into his otherwise very sleepy day.
"When cats play with laser pointers, they are satisfying their primitive desire to hunt," Dr. Lisa Lippman, DVM, the lead New York veterinarian at Fuzzy Pet Health, tells Elite Daily over email. "Most cats are natural hunters, so this is a great activity that provides the mental stimulation and physical activity every cat needs to stay happy and healthy."
Why does my cat follow me everywhere?
When Kit Kat is feeling especially cuddly, he wants to be anywhere I am, whether that's lounging across my keyboard as I try to type, trailing behind me as I vacuum, or snuggling up beside me on the couch during a midday nap. The reason behind your cat's clinginess is actually pretty simple.
"Cats usually follow their owners around as a means of getting attention, and oftentimes to ask for food or treats," Dr. Sabrina Meldrum, a vet at in-home pet platform Vetted Petcare, tells Elite Daily. "They may even have a series of unique meows they use for each type of request as they follow you around."
Can cats eat pumpkin pie?
Usually, dogs are the ones that have a reputation for trying to snag human food from their owners. But as the mother of a very hungry cat, I can confirm that felines definitely do their fair share of begging for table scraps, too. Even though you might be caught up in the Thanksgiving spirit, pumpkin pie is not a safe cat treat, unfortunately. "Pies contain a lot of sugar and extra additives that are not very good for the overall health of your cat," explains Dr. Lippman.
But with a little planning ahead, you can definitely share some pumpkin with your kitty. "If you want to give your feline family member a special treat for Thanksgiving, try plain canned pumpkin," Dr. Lippman tells Elite Daily. "It's a healthy alternative that won't make your cat feel left out during the holidays."