Why Are Cats So Darn Cute?
There is something so appealing about cats in general, but small, furry, wobbly-legged kitten are totally irresistible as when they let out a little meow at your feet that says ‘cuddle me, love me’! What makes kittens and cats so appealing to all ages and types of people? What is it that makes solemn characters who seem a little frosty, immediately gooey over an animal? Read on!
In this article we’re going to look at why cats are so cute
If you’re a cat parent then you’re going to love this article
Because knowing the reason behind a cat being cute will surely make you smile and be a proud cat owner (I mean slave)
If you’re not a cat parent and ended up on this article
Well, you’re going to want to have a cat!
So if you’re a cat lover like me then you’re going to love this article!
Let’s get started!
Ever wondered why our cats are so cute to us?
Well to human beings
I mean, if we see a cat on the street then it’s just natural to go awwww
Or if we go to someones house and they have a cat
It’s just natural for us to go and pet the kitty and play with it
Why are they so cute to us?
Let’s find out!
Why Are Cats So Cute To Humans?
Hold up a tiny fluffy kitten to your friends and there will be an audible ‘aaaah’– everyone loves baby animals – especially the ones with big eggs, tubby bodies and soft fluffy fur.
The reason is simple, man has been biologically tuned to love human baby faces and feel an urge to protect and care for them.
If a young animal does not have these appealing ‘baby schema features’ such as a baby crocodile or Sumatran rhino, most of us won’t feel the same wave of softness and love towards them, but faced with all the appealing features of a small puppy, duckling or lamb, we all feel instantly turned to mush!
Needless to say, most of us find a helpless little kitten totally irresistible and they seem to have a pull like a magnet, but this is what nature intended!
These early cats were used to protect grain stores from mice and it appears that they invited themselves into peoples’ homes and in time,they became the first pet cats.
During the Middle Ages, cats were not nearly so popular as they were linked with witches and witchcraft and thought by many to be demons.
Interestingly, many believe that this is the main reason why The Plague had such devastating effects, because there were fewer cats to kill the plague-carrying rats.
By the 17th century, cats were back in favor.
Over time, cats adapted to their new domesticated lifestyle and the rest – as they say – is history!
Many experts believe that over the centuries, cats have evolved to be both domesticated and really cute so that people would want to care for them which was vital as cats had grown more and more dependent on them.
In the United States alone, there are 90 million cats – with 34% of households being ruled by a pusscat, but the highest statistic however is Russia’s where 59% of people are cat owners!
Today, cats are firm favorites as pets and in the UK 24% of adults- that’s one person in four owns a cat. Source
There are 10.9 million cats cats in the UK whilst interestingly, there are 9.9 million pet dogs.
Worldwide, there are about 600 million pet cats. Another interesting fact is that in 1918,19,233 cats were abandoned in the UK, but many of them found new homes because they looked so cute in the cat rescue centers. Source
What Makes Us Humans Love Cats?
The bottom line is that cats – and in particular- kittens, tick all the boxes when it comes to kindchenschema (also known as ‘baby schema’) features. Source
This term was coined by the Austrian scientist, Konrad Lorenz to describe qualities and features that are common with a human baby such as having a proportionately large head and eyes and small cuddly body that feels good to touch.
Baby schema features are mainly found on other baby mammals and they all trigger the same response in us; making up want to pick them up, cuddle them and most importantly, care for them.
Interestingly, in a recent study conducted by the University of Lincoln, a group of children aged between 3- 6 years old responded far more positively to photographs of baby animals with schema features.Source
The added bonus of course is that it is common to share your home with a cat whereas it is trickier with a larger mammal! Another very important point where cats are concerned is that many cats maintain their cuteness into adulthood.
Why Do Cats Look Cute?
The features of a kitten’s face are definitely ‘baby schema features’ and like so other really cute baby animals, these features make them look vulnerable, appealing and in need of protection.
Kitten have large, forward facing eyes, soft ears and their head is larger than their body.
Their body is very soft, rounded and very cuddly and their fur is pleasing to touch.
Cats not only look cute they sound cute too!
Kittens have a baby-like meow and even adult cats have an attractive meow and of course the ultimate sound they all make is that of contented purring!
Interestingly, what makes a cat cute is a very subjective subject!
All of us have different ideas of what cat features are cute and some find sleek Siamese types of cats so appealing whilst others like huge fluffy felines with flat almost squashed faces.
There is an argument for the fact that we have been conditioned to find all kittens and cats cute!
Their Cuteness Triggers Parts Of Our Brain
Seeing a cute kitten triggers our caring instincts and nudges them into action!
The first part of our brain to be affected is our orbital frontal cortex which is the decision making part of our brain which tells us that we must protect this cute and vulnerable creature.
At the same time, the nucleus accumbens (which is nicknamed ‘the pleasure centre’)also leaps into action and releases dopamine – the ‘feel good’ hormone., which effectively ‘seals the deal’!
As one part of your brain is encouraging you to protect and care for the kitten, another part of your brain is rewarding you for having these caring thoughts and the result is that you scoop up the kitten and give it a big cuddle whilst you promise to care for it for ever!
Cats Are Cute Because They Show Us Affection
Some of our feline friends definitely appear aloof when they hold their tail high in the air and strut past us with their head held equally high!
It is absolutely true that they do love us humans, but not in the same way as dogs and in fact, they communicate with us in a very different, uniquely feline and way.
If a cat jumps onto your lap and start ‘kneading’ you legs and purring, they are telling you that they love you in a feline way!
If your cat looks at you and slowly blinks their eyes, they are telling you that they totally trust you as they would not dare to close their eyes in the presence of an enemy!
You can always give your cat a long and positive blink back in response!
Other signs that show you that your cat thinks ‘you are the one’ is when they roll onto their back and expose their tummy with all that lovely soft fur!
This is a firm sign that they are fond of you and feel safe and secure in your company. this is a totally appealing gesture and you can’t resist stroking their fur. Of course, not all cats like having their tummies stroked – this is something they will tell you very clearly!
Does your cat delight you by running towards you to greet you when you get home or do they seek you out throughout the day ‘just to say hello’?
These are really gorgeous things for your cat to do that will surely melt you heart, but it is very important that you do give your pusscat your undivided attention whenever they do this as it will encourage them to do it frequently.
Cats are clever and soon pick up on ‘pusscat friendly vibes’ and if their presence is not acknowledged and they are not shown affection and don’t get your undivided attention, they will sadly become more withdrawn and you will really miss their cute interaction.
As well as being absolutely gorgeous, your lovable furbaby has some amazing features and are simply amazing to study and will tell you clearly how your cat is feeling..
Have you watched your cats’ ears? Not only do cats ears feel so lovely to stroke, they are amazing to watch as they have 32 different muscles and can rotate up to 180º to help your baby pinpoint a sound.
You will find that they can hear high pitches and will be able to differentiate small variances in a sound – try moving your kitty’s dish quietly!
You will love watching your cats large eyes as they have vertical pupils.
You will be amazed to know that they can see as well as we do but only need 1/6 of the amount of light that we do.
Cats’ eyes look really bright at night too
It is fun to put your cat’s sense of smell to the test and you cannot fail to be impressed because your cat has 200 million scent receptors and will look so cute as the smell of dinner has them screeching into the kitchen!
Your moggy’s sense of taste is however not really good so if they are ‘turning their nose’ up at the latest food you have bought them, it will be quite literally because the food doesn’t smell not because of its taste.
Whilst your cat is snoozing on your lap, take the chance to look at their cute whiskers which are very sensitive receptors and are a great way to assess your cat’s mood if your pusscat is relaxed, their whiskers will stick out and if cat appears with them flattened against their face, something will have have scared them or made them aggressive.
If your furbaby comes bouncing in with their whiskers pushed forwards this shows they are in a state of excitement.
A study of your cat’s nose is equally amazing because it is totally unique to your cat – just like a human fingerprint,
All the little bumps and ridges on your pusscat’s nose are in a totally unique pattern isn’t that cute!
Cat paws look adorable and their little pads are super sensitive as they have many sensory receptors.
Cats can feel surfaces, water and even vibrations with their pads, but because they are so sensitive, most cats don’t like them being touched.
It is great fun to watch your cats paws – especially when your pusscat uses them to relieve their stress!
Another fact to consider is that most cats have one of their paws – a little like being right or left-handed.
Can you imagine the fun of trying to decide which front paw your cat favors!
Your cat’s tail not only looks cute, it is a key method of communication.
When your kittywalks along, their tail held high, it means that they are feeling confident and content.
If they hold their tail straight upright in the air, they are feeling really happy and if their tail turns into a furry question mark, you are receiving an invitation – ‘let’s play’!
If you are cuddling your favorite furbag and their tail gives a cute little quiver, you have hit gold because they are really having a great time!
If you find your feline friend is walking around with their tail hanging low, best to give them space as they are feeling cross and serious!
With so many different and intriguing features to watch, no wonder pet cats are so popular!
Cats also use different meows to tell you how they are feeling and of course, we are all like ‘putty in their paws’ when they do
They can utter a cheerful meow when you walk through the front door, which is warm and welcoming.
They can also utter a slow, lulling meow which tells you that you are great, but that they would really appreciate a little stroking under their chin!
Interestingly, cats meow to communicate with humans, because although a kitten will meow to their mum to tell them they are feeling cold and hungry, adult cats do not meow to each other.
If you have a vocal cat, you will probably get a meow when they need to go outside and definitely get one if you walk into the kitchen and your moggy thinks it is dinner time!
What is lovely is that your cat will not be meowing just for the sake of it, they do so because they are trying to communicate to you that they need something – how lovely to feel wanted!
Often cats are mistaken for being arrogant but they are not really, they are simply cats with a purpose!
Cats are cute because they love a daily routine and they get themselves organised so that they can make the most of their various snoozing places at the perfect time of day – after all, what is the point of having a late siesta on that comfy lounge windowsill if the sun has moved from there?
You will be a very unusual cat owner not to frustrate and upset your furbaby every now and then!
The result is that you will make them mad and you are likely to be reprimanded by a really loud meow, but the trouble is that this will have totally the wrong effect, because it will make you laugh and think your favorite fluff bag looks even cuter!
The thing is that ideally, you do not want to put this to the test, but given how independent your feline friend is and how much they like routine, you will not endear yourself to them buying switching their favorite food to the new supermarket special offer or by placing an ornament on their favorite sunshine windowsill!
If you want to see how mad your pusscat can get, try shifting the cat litter tray from somewhere discreet to somewhere where children go whizzing by and they can be surveyed using their tray by another cat – you will be punished and this usually means poo on your bathroom mat or in the bath but strangely, many cat owners actually find these actions endearing!
Even when cats are older and appear regal in the at they stroll around the house, you will still be regularly treated to moments of fun playtime when all cats relive their kittenhood!
Cats love playing with a ball of wool or string but will soon get themselves totally tied up in it!
They love small plastic balls and cotton reels that move whenever patted with a paw and if you leave a shopping bag or cardboard box on the floor for more than a few moments, you will soon find it filled by your cute furball!
Your cat will enjoy a regular playtime with you every day (at the same time each day please!) and will love it if you invest in a felt mouse filled with catnip or some tasty cat treats!
Check out my article – Fun things to do with your cat at home
Do Cats Know They Are Cute?
There have been a few recent studies on the subject of whether cats know that they are cute and the resounding answer is ‘yes’!
Cats are very clever and they have worked out that if they ramp up their cuteness level by 100% it will definitely bring them rewards!
They have long known that humans absolutely adore their feline allure!
Cats certainly have a winning way that ensures that you rush to get them a cat treat or their meal a full hour early, but they will not consider either of these actions to be a sign of love- your cute cat feels that it is simply your duty to feed them!
My Cat knows how to get a treat from me
He goes by the cabinet where they are kept
Looks at me and slowly blinks and then meows and purrs at the same time
He knows that’s going to touch my heart and that I’ll give in
So he basically is using his cute charm to get what he wants!
They are so clever!
Why Are Cats So Cute When They Sleep
There is something so gorgeous about sleeping cats!
They look like adorable fluffballs and have you noticed that they always look as though they are smiling as they sleep?
Needless to say, there have been many different studies to establish what cats dream about and the most popular theory is FOOD!
No wonder they are quite happy to zzzzz for up to 16 hours a day!
Cats really do look adorable when they are asleep and it is a great time to get a photograph of them. If you have a mum and kittens, the sight of them all snuggled up together will definitely melt your heart!
As kittens get a little older, you will find them taking a nap in the most unusual places which will include your favorite jumper and in your slippers.
Once they are fully grown, there is only one place that they will consider good enough and it will be your favorite armchair – but don’t you just love them for it!
Ready for your heart to melt?
Check this CUTE video of a momma cat and her kitten
It’s too cute!
Wrapping It Up
If you had any doubt that cats weren’t the cutest animals in the world then by now you will be totally convinced that they are!
Having a pet cat will bring you many happy moments and some very amusing ones too because they are naturally amusing!
There are so many things that your cat will do that will enchant you.
The cutest thing about cats is how they love to rub themselves against you when you are talking with your friends – what a lovely sign of affection from your furbaby, what a cutie!
Don’t you believe it!
Animal experts will laugh and shake their heads, because the truth is that your feline cutie is making the point that they are the boss and rule you!
One point I want to mention is
We as cat parents should always do our best to show our cats we love them!
Spend quality time with your cat and talk to your cat because they understand us more than we think
Have a read of my other article – How to make your cat happy and love you