The inspiration for this post came when my human ran across an old bookmark on her iPhone. It was a question in a forum from 2010, and apparently saved as fodder for one of Sparkle’s advice columns. The original poster was complaining that her 10-month-old kitten was misbehaving — on purpose! The young cat was doing things like scratching the couch, getting up on the dining room table and kitchen counter, even though she wasn’t allowed, and stealing the other cat’s food. This person knew it was on purpose because the cat would do these things and look right at her. She wondered if the kitten was mad at her or something.
This led to a long thread of comments and speculation. My favorite was, “Aww, she sounds awesome! Have you got a photo you can post?” Clearly, this responder understood cats. Not so much some of the others. And it’s not like things are all that different eight years later — humans still have a hard time understanding cats. So I thought I’d create a short, paw point list of cat facts… only from a cat’s perspective.
So here you go — have some real facts about cats!
- Your cat will claw the couch as long as it is a more desirable scratching surface than anything else in the house.
- Your home is your cat’s domain. That means every inch of it. There is no such thing as a forbidden area. There are only areas that are more awesome to be in than others.
- Cats don’t get jealous or spiteful, they get territorial. And when they think they are losing territory, they get scared and act out. The best thing you can do is create territory they like that belongs to them alone. Sometimes this involves making vertical space, or providing hiding places.
- It is impossible to punish a cat. You just look like a big meanie in the cat’s eyes. You know that saying about drawing more flies with honey than vinegar? The same goes for cats, except replace the honey with something your cat likes.
- We cats love routine. You might even say we are OCD, because we love it when things are done in exactly the same order every time. You can use that if you are training your cat — think of a combination of OCD and a fun game, and you are on the right track.
- What a cat wants: her own space; to feel safe; to have enough room, food, and a good litter box; and a good pal, either human or feline according to the cat’s desires.
- Most cats aren’t loners. The loner thing is a myth. Sure, we like our alone time and don’t want to be disturbed when we are enjoying it. But we also need companionship. We just prefer it on our own terms.
- You and your cat are equals. You are bigger so you are a little scary when provoked. But that’s about it. You will never be a big alpha cat. Maybe the big alpha servant, if you are lucky.
- Just because your cat isn’t as demonstrative as a dog, it doesn’t mean she hates you. In fact, she is probably quite fond of you. She just has cat ways of showing it that are more subtle.
- Would you rather be worshipped or have a best friend who knows your faults, and loves you anyway? A dog will do the former; a cat offers the latter.