How Do Cats Know People Are Sick?

How Do Cats Know People Are Sick?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

How do cats know people are sick? We have our ways! Keep reading, and I’ll tell you what they are. 

How do cats know people are sick?

Most cats know when their people aren’t feeling well.

Do cats know when people are sick, Thomasina? I had a terrible migraine last night, and my cat never left my side.
— Curious

Hi, Curious…

Sorry about that migraine! Ouch! Yes, cats know when people are sick. But what we do about it depends on the cat.

At our house, Katie is the nurse. When our human’s back hurts, she curls up against her, and the warmth of her body and the vibrations of her purr, make our human feel so much better.

How Cats Know When People Are Sick

Can Cats Read Humans’ Minds? Be Careful About What You Think!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Can cats read humans’ minds? I’m not so sure about that. But we do pick up on our people’s thoughts, so be careful what you think when you’re around your cat.

Can cats read humans' minds?

Is your cat a mind reader?

Thomasina, can cats read humans’ minds? I’ve been worried about a lot of things lately, and my cat is beyond stressed.
— Concerned

Hi Concerned…

I guess you could say cats read humans’ minds. Although I never thought of us as mind-readers, we definitely do pick up on our humans’ thoughts, moods and even their health.

When our humans are happy, we’re happy. When they’re depressed or stressed, we are, too.

What We See When Cats Read Humans’ Minds

Is An Alpha Cat Running Your Household?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Would you recognize an alpha cat if you saw one. I can tell you what to look for. But unlike dogs, cats often share their alpha status.

An alpha cat is often female

Would you recognize an alpha cat if you saw one?

Could my calico be an alpha cat, Thomasina? She’s so bossy and entitled!
— Curious Cat Mom

Hi, Curious!

I’m an alpha cat! Sometimes… I’m always bossy and entitled. But that doesn’t mean I’m always in charge. In our family, the alpha cat changes, depending on the time of day and where we are.

Outside, Soda’s the alpha cat and keeps cats we don’t like away from our territory. He doesn’t fight with them. He just makes it abundantly clear that they’re not welcome.

Inside,  Honey is head cat, although it’s sometimes hard to tell. She’s the oldest and wisest, and she’s very good at keeping our lives organized and peaceful.

Would You Know An Alpha Cat If You Saw One?

From Chirping To Chattering – Eight Sounds Cats Make

Reading Time: 2 minutes

If you really listen, the sounds cats make can be very revealing. We don’t just purr and meow. We chirp and chatter, too. I’ve translated some cat sounds for you.

The sounds cats make include a lot more than meowingCan you explain the sounds cats make, Thomasina? My cat often chirps at me when I get home. What does that mean?

— Curious

Hi, Curious!
Oh, how nice that your cat chirps to you! He’s saying “welcome home!” Not all of us do that (I don’t), and you should feel very honored!

When we talk to each other, we usually use body language. We talk with our eyes, ears and tails. But since humans don’t seem to understand our native language, we make sounds, like your cat’s chirp, to communicate with you.

Chirps And Seven More Sounds Cats Make

Are Most Cats That Hunt Rodent Specialists?

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Did you know this? Most cats that hunt are specialists, and the vast majority of us (that includes me!) specialize in mice. Keep reading, and I’ll tell you why many of us have absolutely no interest in trying to catch a bird.


Most cats that hunt are rodent specialists.

Most cats that hunt has no interest in birds.

Dear Thomasina…
I heard that most cats that hunt are rodent specialists. Is that true? My barn cats catch a lot of mice but seem to have no interest in birds. Is this normal, or am I just lucky?
— Working Cats’ Mom

Hey, Working Cats’ Mom!
Yes, it’s true! Most cats that hunt are rodent specialists. Almost all of us have our hunting preferences, and the vast majority of us prefer mice. I certainly do.

Have you ever tried to catch a flying bird? Phew… I gave up on that ages ago. And that might explain why most cats are rodent specialists. Mice are much better suited to our wait and pounce style of hunting.


We’re Opportunistic Feeders

Going Incognito – Why Cats Bury Their Food

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Why do cats bury their food? We have a couple of reasons for doing that, and one of them isn’t to be annoying!

Some cats bury their food, even if it's in a crystal dish.

Does your cat bury his food?

Can you tell me why cats bury their food after they’re finished eating, Thomasina? My cat does that, and the scratching on the floor is driving me crazy!
— Annoyed

Hi Annoyed…

Funny you should ask. Some cats bury their food for good reasons, or at least they think they have good reasons. Our new cat, Boots, does that. I agree it’s really annoying, and it’s not even necessary. It’s not like predators are going to find him inside!

Dogs sometimes bury leftover food so they can return to it later. But we don’t do that. We don’t eat spoiled meat. And the food we catch outside (a mouse) is the perfect size for a meal. We usually don’t have any leftovers to bury.

Why Some Cats Bury Their Food

Why Do Cats Rub Around People’s Legs?

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Why do cats rub around people’s legs? It’s all about pheromones and mingling our scent with yours.


Cats rub around people's legs to mingle scents.

When your cats rub your legs, they’re mingling their scent with yours.

Why do cats rub around people’s legs, Thomasina? Does that mean my cat loves me?
— Flattered

Hi, Flattered!
Ohhh… how nice! Cats do rub around people’s legs to show they love them. I guess… Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Did you know we have scent glands in our cheeks, foreheads, chins, the base of our tails and our paw pads? So when cats rub people’s legs, they’re making their people smell like them. That’s a way of showing love, I guess, or at least possession.

Why Cats Rub People’s Legs: The Power Of Pheromones


How To Convince A Cat To Use A Scratching Post

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Trust me. It’s not that hard to convince a cat to use a scratching post. I came up with some suggestions for you.


It's not hard to convince a cat to use a scratching post.

Your cats can love using a scratching post, too!

Thomasina, how do you convince a cat to use a scratching post? I just got mine a new one, and he refuses to use it. He’d rather shred my furniture.
— So Frustrated

Hi Frustrated!
Funny you should ask. We just got a new scratching post, too, and none of us will use ours either. You can convince a cat to use a scratching post, but sometimes you have to be persuasive and patient.

Cats are cautious, and it can take us a few days to get used to something new. And the problems with that new scratching post are that it smells like the store it came from, not us. And without our claw marks on it, it just looks like a big pole standing against the arm of the sofa.

How To Convince A Cat To Use A Scratching Post