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What You Think vs. What Cats Think

Your cat is vomiting or scratching a chair, and you think you know why. You don't know anything.

Michael Leaverton  |  Nov 13th 2012

We often think we know the reasons cats do the things they do. But maybe we don’t? Maybe we get it all wrong? Here’s a few ways we’re getting it all wrong.

The cat is scratching the chair

What the owner thinks: “Good heavens! Peterson is expressing his natural instinct. I’d better get some cat trees so he can do it properly — and without hurting something so dear to me as this chair.”

What the cat thinks: “Why do we have this horrible chair? I HATE this chair. What exactly do I have to do to this chair to get you to remove it from my sight? I’m going to push this chair out the door.”

The cat is pooping outside the litter box

What the owner thinks: “Oh, dear. It looks like Jellybean might not be feeling well. Or perhaps there is something disturbing her emotionally.

What the cat thinks: “That. Was. Amazing. Who knew taking a poop several feet from the litter box could be SO liberating? I haven’t had this much fun since I vomited in the toaster. I think I’m going crap on your pillow — or maybe the couch. This is such an exciting area I’m going to, don’t you think?”

The cat is vomiting

What the owner thinks: “Great pumpkins! Sir Lancelot is terribly ill. I must call the vet and begin a course of treatment.”

What the cat thinks:Blarrg. Did you know cats can vomit at will? Blarrrg. Amazing, huh? Sorry about the rug. And your feet. So, were you going to open that can of cat food in the pantry anytime soon?”

The cat is bringing dead, partially eaten things to the door

What the owner thinks: “Ah, my little soldier is bringing me his kill, in deference to my status as his savior and protector.”

What the cat thinks: “Hmm, I think I got all the good bits — you want the offal? You seem like the sort who likes rat offal, if you don’t mind me saying so.”