“Cat Lover” and “Cat Lady” have been hijacked

Cat Lovers

Cat Lovers – photo by Sue Peacock

I don’t really like the phrases “cat lover” or “cat lady”. They should be hyphened, probably: “cat-lover” and “cat-lady” although I have not seen them spelled that way. I would prefer the phrases:

  1. “a lady who loves cats” or:
  2. “a woman who likes cats a lot” or;
  3. “a woman who cares about cats”

Why do I believe they are not the best ways to describe a person who likes cats and why am I being so pernickety?

Well, the reason is that, in my opinion, these phrases carry connotations of a more derogatory phrase, “crazy cat lady” or “cat hoarder”. Why is that?

The answer is because they are regularly used by people who dislike, even hate, cats when they are writing about people who like cats. They are phrases that are used by people who dislike (a) cats and (b) the idea of people employing trap-neuter-return while feeding feral cats.

These people also attack men who like cats as “gay”. As this is intended to be an insult the people who write these things are homophobic. Actually it goes wider than that, they possibly hate women too.

The phrases cat-lady and cat-lover should be nice ways to describe someone who likes cats a lot but I tend to avoid them for the above reasons.

There is another issue that I have with “cat lover”. It is a narrow description. People who like and love cats will often have a great concern for all animals. They may not like other animals as much as cats but they will always treat animals with respect.

When people write about a cat lover it gives the impression that the person is obsessive about cats to the exclusion of other animals. This is misleading.

I don’t believe it is possible to love cats and hate dogs or other animals. You might love cats and be unsure or frightened by dogs but you won’t hate them. If you love cats and hate dogs or any other animal I would doubt that you really do love cats while respecting them as cats and as a companion animal. You probably love cats as fluffy plush toys.

My current header to the website reflects my views. I very strongly feel that PoC has become a community of cat lovers, which I truly love, but decided not to use that phrase.

This is a personal viewpoint. If a cat lady who hates dogs disagrees with me I will respect their opinion.

People who love cats should avoid being pigeonholed as crazy cat ladies because you are not.

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“Cat Lover” and “Cat Lady” have been hijacked — 21 Comments

  1. 🙂 I don’t mind being called a cat lover… I love all animals and if I had a farm with lots of acreage and a very high fence my place would look like a large petting zoo! I have always been unique when it comes to all the feathered and furry creatures in nature. They know and trust me 🙂 Animals are more intelligent for the most part than we give them credit. They go on intuition and feelings I suppose you could say not trying to be redundent.

    But back to the original topic I understand your view and opinion and I agree with you! Otherwise, “you” can call me cat lover and cat lady hypen or not and from “you” I will take it as a compliment…

    Love and Light
    Carol

    • Your garden looks pretty darn nice to me – certainly the view out the back. I am beyond jealous. I plan to move somewhere that I have some land and space and so that I can live with lots of cats who will be free to roam around. I can’t wait. It’s my main life goal – along with having my antique bicycles in a big old barn. I think it would be like a petting place because I know cat I look after will be happy and social and up for pets 🙂

      If only humans had a better grasp of intuition. All this one sided thinking and so called intelligence has enabled humans to do lots of crazy things but without an ounce of emotional intelligence all it has done is promoted alot of short sighted destruction of the planet we live on and an attitude of superiority. I believe if cats could build the things humans can they probably wouldn’t because they know better!

      ‘Cat lady’ and ‘cat lover’ are the first and most obvious terms which come to mind so they also become the terms fired back by the haters.

      I still can’t get over the fact that being male there isn’t a word for who I am. Our culture is incredibly limited in so many ways because of conditioning and nonsense. I think if people saw me following my cats around on all fours and investigating things on their level they might even just call me a cat! I behave alot like them and they behave alot like me but thats because we are very much in this together. It’s normal. Anyhow, I am free for the moment of being called a crazy cat anything although I would be proud of the fact if somebody called me a crazy cat guy. Or just a cat lover.

      Michael I think all obvious terms become the bullets in an argument between opposing forces that are concerned. If there were another obvious term for people or women who like cats then it would be hijacked too.

      • You’re right as usual 😉 You say:

        I plan to move somewhere that I have some land and space and so that I can live with lots of cats who will be free to roam around…

        Sometimes I think we could do something as a team. I really don’t know and it is probably unworkable but I have a bit money to invest. At one time I thought about buying a cat boarding house business. That is history but I like the idea of looking after cats in a really nice environment.

        • Michael – I also have a bit of money to invest and have thought about the cat boarding thing. I think once setup I would offer this even if it wasn’t simply my goal. I was also thinking about a retirement home for some of the cats in shelters just accross the border in france. I am always watching the adoption lists in nearby areas of neighbouring countries but so far even the ones who are less adoptable and who stay longer – they get adopted but it just takes up to around 6 or 8 months. Better than being killed but it makes me sad to see the older ones and I’d love to go pick up a couple of them if their stay is getting long. They often don’t feel good in shelters. I also like very shy or scared cats in the sense that I have all the time in the world for them to do whatever they need to do whereas alot of people don’t want this kind of cat who doesn’t cuddle or come near. I’d like to welcome cats as such according to how they are coping and their adoptability. It’s awful to see them suffer month after month with no home – especially for the older ones who lost their long time homes. There is one shelter in particular in Mulhouse just over the border that I have contacted about cats in the past and even said that if they have an unadoptable cat to contact me – there was one in particular who was there for ages – a little black cat called Nora – and with so many other black cats at that time she wasn’t getting anywhere. I was still on the search for a place to live but I told them that when I found a place to live if they stil had her I would take her. But she was adopted. I notice it’s hard for black cats in that particular shelter.

          The trouble here is Switz is the cost of property. A simple google search for property prices around Zurich would scare you half off maybe. However even if you spend a small fortune on a small place – the place is the investment anyway and I’d keep my job up and so my ok-ish income and that means I would be very limited in terms of cats until I found either a job from home or another solution. If I moved to another country I’d have enough money to not get a job and be able to focus on a cat boarding house etc, but other countries seem totally unstable at the moment.

          It’s confusing but all I know is that I must get out of town and into the nature either which way – and get a driving licence so I can drive to work!

          • I agree it is difficult to set up something like that. There are numerous obstacles. I would just like to do something with saved money before I go over the rainbow bridge to join my cats 😉 I am quite frugal. I have no kids so I am liable to leave money behind. At the moment nearly all of it goes to cat charities.

            • I understand – I probably most likely wont have kids and will be in the same situation as you down the line and I’ll probably do the same thing with my money too. But for now here in Switz I might be able to buy the right property but I couldn’t generate enough money from it to survive in this country. I therefore would be working – perhaps some days at home – and would have a perfect paradise for the cats. But only when I retire could I run a home for them and boarding house. Having said that I could retire early and get on with it. It’s my dream actually – to have this cat paradise, so it’s exciting to reach this goal.

    • To Carol..you said..

      I don’t mind being called a cat lover

      You’re an independent, confident woman with her own views and ideas. You’re a classic cat lady 😉

  2. I see what you mean Micheal,I love cats and I love dogs as well just not as much as I love cats.
    But dog lovers often hate cats,especially the men who have big or vicious or fighting type of dogs that scare some people.They are usually pathetic weeds and need those dogs to make themselves look macho.
    But no one says dog lovers are crazy do they?
    Why not crazy dog man?
    Hmmmmmmmm?

    • Absolutely, people don’t call people who like dogs “dog lovers” or “crazy dog gentleman”. Why are women and cats picked on? It’s a conspiracy 😉

      • My mother calls them ‘dog people’. The conspiracy is because people don’t understand what cat lovers get from cats – when they see a cat they see a boring animal who might sit on your lap and doesn’t follow you around or come when called – and that to them seems pointless I guess. They don’t realize how involved humans and cats are in a cat lover’s home. They don’t know how to connect with a cat whereas a dog just connects with them. So they must think it’s weird that a lady who lives alone with a few cats can somehow be satisfied with that company so they just give it derogatory connotation and call it crazy. Agasin ‘crazy’ justy being a negative word that a person uses when they don’t understand something. Why couldn’t they use a positive word like ‘mysterious’…. because humans often fear what they don’t understand and assume it to be conspiring against them rather than for them I guess.

        Anyhow surely if the nay sayers knew what cats were really like they wouldn’t be haters or mild dislikers or whatever. I guess those people don’t like animals who are independant or who don’t totally depend on them for everything. And I guess they really don’t like it when a woman is totally independant and satisfied living with a bunch of independant, satisfied cats 🙂

        They just HAVE to assume something is not right and the lady is not right in the head and they usually have to make sure other people see it that way too I guess. It probably originates from men who are attracted to these women but don’t get the attention and reaction they want from them so they must write them off. When the girls says “…no thanks I think I’ll just stay at home tonight but you have fun ast the dance or whatever and I’m sure you’ll find yourself a date” …the men probably just about sh*t themselves. Thats my theory. 🙂

  3. Well yes we need a new phrase to describe us but
    ‘A lady who loves cats’
    ‘A woman who likes cats a lot’
    ‘A woman who cares about cats’
    are all a bit of a mouthful and what about men cat lovers?
    Cat people sounds as if we are a cross between a person and a cat lol
    There must be a good short phrase for us.
    Rose you are so funny lol

    • Good point. I agree the alternatives are a mouthful. There are no good alternatives (update: but there may be – see below). I’d rather have a mouthful than an inference that I was crazy 😉

    • That is a cool word. It may be “too educated”. I would guess that 80+% of people don’t understand the word. However, it may be the answer because we should not pander to the mainstream. Cat lovers should be above mainstream opinion and ideas.

      In fact I think cat lovers should or could rebrand themselves as “ailurophiles”. Cat haters won’t have a clue what it means.

      • I must admit I had to look the word up but it’s a good one!
        I looked up ailurophobes too and interestingly it means fear of cats, so that must be why cat haters hate cats, because in reality they are afraid of cats superior intelligence and so hate us ailurophiles too because we are intelligent enough to love and be unafraid of cats.

  4. The only reason I use the term “cat-licker” is because “cat-lover” is a dishonest lie. People who willingly throw their cats under the wheels of cars or to be cut in half by the fan-blade of a car, or allowed to lap-up antifreeze from a gutter or someone’s garage is anything BUT a lover of cats. Someone who lets cats roam free does NOT love cats. Therefore they can never be referred to as a “cat lover”.

    The term “cat licker” is accurately gleaned from the growing fad of people who are obsessed with cats and want to do everything possible to make their cats feel good, as naturally as possible, at the expense of all that is reasonable and sane.

    They are now licking their cats clean.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9xmiOxsTWg

    Since they see a cat fighting back from being washed in water as animal abuse, but the cat not fighting if they use their tongues, they use their tongues instead to wash their cats.

    It’s just another one of the many aberrant and mentally-ill behaviors of “cat lickers”. Not unlike TNR — trying to believe they are making their cats feel good at the expense of all other life on the planet.

    • People who willingly throw their cats under the wheels of cars or to be cut in half by the fan-blade of a car

      What planet are you on? People who love cats don’t do this. Sure, some cats die in an accident but that is not quite the same thing is it?

      As for the cat licker I wrote about this. This person has an addiction of sorts to cat fur but this is nothing to do with loving cats.

      Not unlike TNR — trying to believe they are making their cats feel good at the expense of all other life on the planet.

      TNR has been proved to work and in doing so it saves wildlife. You really are behind the times and out of touch. There are two recent reports from America which establishes that TNR is effective when carried out properly and consistently.

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