Cats aren't the worst at communicating their needs —as you probably know if you've ever fed your cat dinner 10 minutes later than usual —but they're not the best, either. They'll let you know when they're hungry or if they want attention, but what else would our cats tell us if they could communicate more complex ideas?
20 Things Your Cat Would Tell You if They Could Talk
You're welcome for bringing you that dead mouse.
I will reject any toy that costs more than $2.
I only wish to play with the items you have callously deemed "trash." But you already knew that.
You’re welcome for keeping you safe from flies.
I am a fierce hunter and I have kindly decided to use my skills in your home, free of charge. It is very, very nice of me.
It’s hard for me to tell you when I don’t feel well.
I have a limited range of communication that you understand. If you think I'm acting odd, please keep an extra eye on me. I might be sick or in pain!
Purring doesn't always mean I'm happy.
It does sometimes, of course, but purring is a more complex behavior than you may think. It can mean I want food; it can be a signal to other cats that I'm friendly; and it may even make me feel better by promoting healing.
You can learn a lot about me by watching my tail.
I often use my tail as a tool to communicate my mood. Watch my tail (and my other body language) to figure out whether I'm feeling content, fearful, alert or relaxed.
A lot of my water intake comes from my food.
Cats descended from desert dwellers. I don't need to drink as much water as the dog does, which is just one of many reasons I am better than him. Wet food contains up to 80 percent water, and if you need to boost my fluid intake, wet food is the way to do it. (That said, please make sure you give me fresh water every day!)
My teeth need to be cleaned.
I don't want to admit this any more than you want to hear it, but I need dental care. Please brush my teeth regularly. You can also supplement brushing with other teeth cleaning remedies, especially if those remedies are delicious to me (like raw chicken necks).
I need to climb!
Please provide me with vertical space that I am allowed to climb! I have a natural instinct to climb up surfaces. It's better for both of us if you provide an appropriate climbing apparatus such as a cat tree. That way, I won't be forced to climb up your fridge.
I need to scratch!
It is very nice of me to put up with the dog.
Yes, I know it's not that unusual for cats and dogs to get along well. I just think you should remember that I deserve a lot of credit, not to mention food, for coexisting alongside him.
I need my sleep!
Please don't disturb me when I'm sleeping — even when I'm having a bad dream! I know that's hard, but I need my REM sleep, and it gets disturbed when you wake me from a dream.
I (generally) don't need a bath!
I'm not just saying this because I don't want a bath (although that is also true). I'm really good at grooming myself, so I don't need a bath except under special circumstances: if I have fleas, have soiled myself or have exceptionally long hair.
I'm meowing because I want to tell you something.
I meow more at humans than I do at other cats. If I'm meowing, I probably want to tell you something. So please try your best to find out what it is! (It is very likely food related.)
I may be showing you my belly, but I don't always want a belly rub.
Obviously, I have an extremely cute belly. If I'm lying with my belly exposed, consider it an honor because it means I'm content, and I trust you. However, sometimes it's just a comfortable position for me, and a way for me to display my contentment. I don't necessarily want a belly rub. Who am I, the dog?
Your scent makes me feel safe.
It's why I like to sit on your clothes. By leaving behind your scent, you've marked your clothes and other belongings as safe. I trust you, and your scent on an object comforts me. So don't get mad that my hair is all over your sweater. It's a compliment.
I need places to hide.
Boxes, bags or any small confined space — I can't get enough of them. Please provide me with at least a couple of places to hide because I love it! Hiding is instinctual for cats and makes us feel secure.
I need mental stimulation.
My world is pretty small. That's ok by me, but I need mental stimulation to while away the hours and keep my brain engaged. I love games and puzzle toys, and I'd like you to play with me for at least 15 minutes a day, please.
Please spay or neuter me.
It's fine. I promise I don't mourn the loss of my reproductive organs. I don't have the weird attachment to them that you do to yours, and spaying or neutering will improve my health and my life.
I love you.
I know I'm not always the best at showing it, and that I have a reputation for aloofness. But I do love you. Thank you for taking care of me.
Now, go get me some food, please.