Message from discussion Odd cat ritual
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From: dgk <d...@somewhere.com>
Subject: Re: Odd cat ritual
Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2012 14:12:51 -0400
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On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:01:26 -0700, "Bill Graham" <w...@comcast.net>
>> "Bill Graham" <w...@comcast.net> wrote in message
>>> Rhino wrote:
>>>> My male cat has an odd ritual that he does sometimes before drinking
>>>> water: he rubs his front feet back and forth alternately a few times
>>>> in front of the water source - like a human standing on a door mat
>>>> trying to get snow or mud off a pair of boots - before drinking. He
>>>> doesn't do it every time but he has done it quite a number of times
>>>> over the years both in my home and my mother's home when he is
>>>> there. It reminds me a little of a Catholic crossing himself before
>>>> eating: a little religious ritual. Now, I'm not suggesting that my
>>>> cat is religious, I'm just making a comparison :-)
>>>> Has anyone else seen their cat do this? Does anyone have any idea
>>>> what this little ritual is about?
>>>> I have a theory but I don't know if it makes sense. I'm guessing
>>>> that when kittens are newly born and not yet weaned, they need to
>>>> signal to their mother's that they are thirsty. They may do this
>>>> little ritual on their mother's bellies to signal thirst or even to
>>>> stimulate mama's lactation. I haven't seen a mama cat with newborn
>>>> kittens since I was very young so I don't recall if those kittens
>>>> rubbed their front paws on mama's stomach when they were hungry.
>>>> Does anyone with more recent contact with a nursing mother cat have
>>>> any idea if this theory makes sense?
>>> Sounds reasonable to me. Of course, there is no way of knowing with
>>> certanty, so your guess is just as good as anyones. No matter how
>>> many PhD's one can get in animal behavior, until we can read
>>> another's mind, there will be no way to know, will there?
>> Exactly right! Until we can talk to them or read their minds, all we
>> can do is guess.
>> But I thought I'd see if anyone knew if kittens do stimulate their
>> mothers to get fed; that would tend to give my theory a bit more
>> plausibility. But if the kittens dnn't rub their mama's bellies like
>> that, I'll need to work on another theory ;-)
>Kittens, and even adult cats, knead their mothers teats to stimulate the
>flow of milk. Almost all of my adult cats do the same kind of kneading on my
>chest when they hop up to say "good night" to me after I go to bed.....
Yes, mine too. The claws tend to penetrate a bit..