Last updated: October 29, 2016
The writer and poet T.S. Eliot found cats fascinating, so much so that he wrote dozens of poems about them. Andrew Lloyd Webber even composed a musical about them! (I’ve seen it three times!) So why are cats so cute, fascinating and appealing? There are cat memes all over cyberspace and lots more on Facebook, so what is it about them that gets under our skin? Well, I don’t know everything, but here are my theories.
They purrrrrr…this is the most appealing and comforting sound you can hear from any animal, and only cats can make it. In fact, it’s one of the main things that makes a cat a cat. Just thinking about it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and conjures up visions of sitting in front of a roaring log fire with a contented cat dozing on your lap. Cats purr at 20-30 vibrations per second, around the same frequency as a diesel engine, but oddly enough no-one knows quite how they do it! Some people believe that cats’ purrs can help in the alleviation of some conditions including high blood pressure and stress – oh, and broken bones! Cat owners have a much smaller likelihood (40% less) of having a heart attack. That’s another reason why cats are so cute!
Cats have Baby Faces
If you look at a cat you’ll see that it has a large forehead, big eyes and a little nose and mouth. This combination of features has us eating out of cats’ paws in no time flat, because that is the same composition as the young of our own species, and as humans our brains are hardwired to find them cute. It also awakens aggression in us, strangely enough, because when we see something small and helpless our immediate response is to protect it the human way, which is usually to flatten the aggressor! So why do we find cats cute? Because they’re still going to look like babies long after they’ve grown up!
Cats are Soft to the Touch
They’re soft. Strangely enough,we hairless creatures don’t find other bald animals particularly nice to touch. For some reason, we strange humans like soft things! Cats’ fur is especially soft and silky, especially under the tummy. They also come in the most beautiful rainbow of colors from inky black to pristine white, with all sorts of fascinating shades in between. My personal favorite is the tabby, who is a camouflage champion with no equal!
Cats are Just Big Kittens
Another reason why cats are so cute is because they’re so playful. Ever feel like you’re being treated like a lump of dough? When your cat does that ‘kneading’ thing he’s treating you like he treated Mommy when he was just an itsy bitsy kitten. The kitten kneads the queen’s tummy when he’s asking for milk, and although he’s now a big strong don’t-mess with-me-tom he still likes to pretend he’s a helpless kitten sometimes and you are his substitute Mommy. This behavior also comforts him and is accompanied by extra-loud purring. Balls of wool, laser pointers and woolly mice – if it moves, your cat will play with it. And they look so adorable while they’re doing it. The evolutionary reason for this is that domesticated cats don’t have to hunt for food, and all that hunting energy is displaced into play, so when they get that ball of wool they’re actually killing it! Think about that next time you knit a sweater!
Cats are Champion Athletes
My cat can jump from the lawn to the roof of my house in three bounds, and he’s a perfectly ordinary cat. It’s amazing what they can do. Ever seen a cat falling from a height? They do a somersault in mid-air and land on all four feet. And could you turn your body into a pretzel so that you could clean your nether regions? No? Your bog-standard everyday moggy can!
Cats are Affectionate
Yes – I really said affectionate, and for me this is the best reason why cats are so cute. They’re often portrayed as cold and aloof but that’s because they don’t wear their hearts on their paws like some animals I could mention! Some signs of kitty love are: rubbing up against you every chance they get, gazing at you and blinking very slowly, and grooming you with their sandpapery tongues! My cat wakes me up in the morning with whiskery kisses, rubbing his cheeks against my lips. Luvvit! Their tails often convey their love as well, so watch him carefully. If the tail quivers at the base, fluffs out and kinks at the top you’re definitely a favorite!
Another sign that they love you is that they bring you ‘gifts’ often of the dead, furry and feathered variety. I get them about three times a week.This is partly because female wild cats had to hunt for their kittens. There were no tins of cat food lying about! So what she’s saying is: ‘I know you can’t hunt for yourself so I did it for you!’
Cats are Curious
We’ve often heard a story about the fire brigade being called out to rescue cats from trees, roofs, and other high places. Well, if you’ve ever heard and/or seen two tom cats fighting in your garden, you can understand why. Your cat’s territory is his patch, stomping ground,‘hood, and he doesn’t want any other Tom, Dick or Harry trespassing on it! To this end, he’ll mark it in a number of ways: by urinating, scratching and rubbing with their cheeks and head. His territory is very important to him and he has to know every nook and cranny of it so that he can defend it, and it’s another one of the reasons why cats are so cute and curious. That’s why he sticks his nose into your closet, your chest of drawers, under your bed, and even in your trash can! He’s just looking for invaders.
Cats are Clean!
If you’ve ever had to clean up landmines after your dog you’ll know that one of the best things – and a BIG reason why cats are so cute is because they’re so fastidious about the cleanliness of both their bodies and their sanitary arrangements. They’ll spend half the day cleaning themselves, they don’t smell bad, and when they do their business either in the garden or a litter box they always bury it very neatly with one forepaw. They’re very user-friendly pets in that they are housetrained as soon as they’re born.
They have such beautiful little voices. Who can resist that ‘please feed me’ ‘please pet me’ ‘please adore me’? Not me!
I could go on and on, but let’s just say that cats are so cute because they’re cats! They’re just purrfect!