Is my cat thinking symbolically?
August 1, 2015 at 8:13 pm #1989
There is a certain toy my cat will bring to me and meow. She’s asking me to play. BUT…that is not a toy she wants to play with. I used to think that one thing that separated us from lower animals was the human ability to think symbolically. However it seems to me that my cat uses this toy to symbolize “play” or “let’s play.”
Is this symbolic thinking on the part of a feline?August 1, 2015 at 8:14 pm #1991
Maybe she just wants to see YOU play, lolAugust 1, 2015 at 9:01 pm #2003
I’ve seen similar in a cat before, and assumed it was a gesture of confidence in me and/or a symbol of the cat’s own power and/or confidence. It was a dead rodent. Parent animals do that for their young ones, too. I can imagine a few other explanations that may be interesting, or possibly even true.
Why don’t you just ask her, like maybe in sign language? Or bring her something by mouth, in return.
Maybe I should embargo my posts for a few minutes, at least. Delay hitting that submit button. These afterthoughts are distracting. For example, it only just now occurred to me that Belle’s explanation may actually be the most reasonable Occam’s razor conclusion.August 1, 2015 at 9:38 pm #2008
I used to own cats that I would play with by picking a stalk of prairie grass and moving the head back and forth on the ground, giving them an animate “mouse” to pounce on. One time I was with them and one of them kept leaping on the grass stalks, then looking at me. Seemed like a pretty clear request. Of course, it was a feline, therefore it might have been a direct order. 😛August 1, 2015 at 9:40 pm #2009
I think you’re right Unseen, she was symbolising “play with me”.
My friend’s cat has a special miaow for “mouse”, as in “here’s a mouse for you”, and later, “did you like your mouse?”. Maybe it’s a special miaow for “gift”. Poppy is a very vocal cat.August 1, 2015 at 9:53 pm #2012
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” Christopher Hitchens.August 1, 2015 at 10:09 pm #2013
@bellerose very likely, Occams Razor proposes the simplest answer is likely to be the correct one. Plus I kind of like the image of @unseen‘s cat holding a toy in its mouth, staring at Unseen, commanding, “Dance, little boy! Dance and play for me!” in cat-speak.August 1, 2015 at 10:13 pm #2014
@strega EXACTLY!!! She’s not dumb! If nothing else his confusion would be priceless enoughAugust 1, 2015 at 10:23 pm #2015
My Siamese would announce she had a toy, while it was in her mouth, as though it were a mouse. She’d go all through the house announcing she had one, until she found the room I was in and then she’d drop it at my feet. If it was a toy mouse, dangling it by the tail to play wasn’t what she wanted. Even when she was pretending another toy was a mouse, she didn’t want play. She wanted praise for you catch/gift. If you thought she wanted to play, instead of praising her for catching a “mouse”, she’d leave the room looking like a very unhappy kitty. I do believe they have the ability to pretend, just from watching the various cats I’ve had in my lifetime. They definitely do have emotions too.
My suggestion is try play first. You can tell if that was what s/he wanted or not very easily. If they don’t play and end up leaving, attempt to put your mind into a cat’s world and see what you come up with concerning the toy. For me, it was easy, in that she did the very same thing when she caught a real mouse, years prior in a different house, and she did the same with her toys too- seeking praise for a job well done. Weird, but true.August 1, 2015 at 10:26 pm #2016August 1, 2015 at 11:22 pm #2019
@mriana oh please tell me Unseen has to bring his cat a toy in Unseens mouth. Would he have to do this on all fours? Fantastic!August 1, 2015 at 11:43 pm #2020
No, Strega. That wasn’t what I was saying. I think you totally misunderstood. I was talking about the cat and his/her behaviour, not Unseen putting a toy in his mouth.August 1, 2015 at 11:55 pm #2021
Too bad, too late. I’ve got the visual now, and I’m not done with it yet 🙂
Not that it matters, however I was actually addressing one of the Pope’s comments above
August 2, 2015 at 12:02 am #2023
- This reply was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Strega.
lol Whatever floats your boat, Strga.August 2, 2015 at 12:46 am #2024
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