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Kitty Manipulation Tactics

May 16, 2023

Does your kitty sometimes sit in front of her bowl and meow at you incessantly until you fill it for her? Does Fluffy rub against your leg when you’re making dinner as an adorable way of requesting that you share? Cats are definitely well aware of the fact that we think they’re absolutely adorable, and they aren’t shy about using that to their advantage. You’ll read a few of Fluffy’s favorite meowpulation tricks in this article from Hassayampa Veterinary Services, your veterinarian in Wickenburg, AZ, and the surrounding communities.


The meow may be the ultimate method of kitty bossiness. Fluffy actually may have started meowing just to give humans orders … or, more likely, to melt their hearts. It’s not likely a coincidence that kitty vocalizations sound a lot like the cries of a human baby. It seems our furry pals figured out long ago that winning our empathy was a great way to score food, shelter, and, down the road, toys, treats, beds, and catnip.


Kitty purrs actually have some pretty unique and interesting qualities. For one thing, Fluffy vibrates at specific frequencies, usually between 25 and 140 HZ. Those exact same frequencies are used in physical therapy to promote bone healing and tissue growth! Plus, as anyone who has ever snuggled up with a cuddly cat can attest, purrs are just very calming and soothing. 

Leg Rub 

Another cute thing our furry buddies do when they want to get our attention is weave around our legs. (This isn’t so cute when Fluffy nearly trips you, but that’s another topic.) 


Fluffy may be small, but let’s not forget that she has the same instincts as larger cats, such as tigers and lions. These little furballs do sometimes use those tiny claws to get their way. Your pet may bat at your shoelaces when she wants to play or smack you in the face to let you know she wants breakfast right meow


At the end of the day, Fluffy’s most powerful form of persuasion may just be her furry face. It’s hard not to melt when a kitty looks up at you with complete love and adoration in her eyes. A pet’s love is a truly precious gift!

Our Advice on Kitty Manipulation Tactics in 2024

How do cats use their meows to manipulate humans?

Cats often use their meows as a primary method to communicate and manipulate humans. This vocalization, particularly tailored to capture our attention, mimics the frequency of a human baby’s cry, tapping into our innate empathy. By meowing, cats effectively express their desires for food, attention, or entry into a room. This behavior is learned and reinforced when humans respond, demonstrating cats’ understanding of how to influence us through sounds that evoke a caregiving response, ensuring their needs are met.

Why do cats rub against our legs?

Cats rub against our legs as a way of marking us with their scent, claiming us as part of their territory. This behavior, known as bunting, involves the transfer of pheromones from glands located on their cheeks and sides of their bodies to us. It’s not only a sign of affection but also a means of creating a familiar, comforting environment by mingling their scent with ours. Additionally, this action can serve to get our attention, often as a precursor to feeding time or a desire for petting.

Are there specific sounds other than meows that cats use to manipulate humans?

Yes, cats utilize a range of sounds beyond meows to communicate and manipulate humans. Purring, for instance, is a powerful tool used to express contentment, but it can also signal a desire for attention or food, exploiting its calming effect on humans. Growls or hisses indicate displeasure or discomfort, often effectively deterring unwanted actions. Additionally, some cats develop a chirp or trill sound, usually directed at humans as a friendly greeting or to prompt interaction. Each sound serves as a unique method to influence human behavior and meet their needs.

Are some cat breeds more prone to manipulative behaviors than others?

Yes, certain cat breeds exhibit more manipulative behaviors due to their higher social or engagement needs. Breeds like Siamese, Burmese, and Maine Coons are known for their vocal nature, often using their meows more frequently and distinctly to communicate desires or demands to their humans. These breeds tend to seek more interaction and can be quite inventive in their methods to gain attention, employing a range of vocalizations and physical cues. Their intelligence and sociability drive them to engage more actively with their environment and the people in it.

How can you set boundaries with your cat without damaging our relationship?

Setting boundaries with your cat involves consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. Start by clearly establishing rules and routines. Use positive reinforcement to encourage desirable behaviors, rewarding your cat with treats, praise, or playtime when they follow the rules. For unwanted behaviors, employ gentle deterrents or redirection to more appropriate activities without resorting to punishment, which can harm your relationship. Consistently reinforcing these boundaries helps your cat understand expectations while maintaining a strong bond. If you’re near Wickenburg, our clinic offers behavior consultation to strengthen your relationship with your cat.

Do you have questions about cat care? Contact us here at Hassayampa Veterinary Services, your veterinarian in Wickenburg, AZ, and the surrounding communities, anytime!

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