Do You Disappoint Your Cat Sometimes?

Disappointed Cat

Disappointed Cat. Photo by Nimir-Ra. Words by Michael

By Elisa Black-Taylor

Does your cat ever look up at you with disappointment in his eyes? Do you ever do things that displeases your cat or not do things that would please your cat? Over the past few years, my daughter Laura and I have experienced a few disappointed expressions.

Do You Expect Me To Eat This?

Food can be a cat’s biggest disappointment. The most recent experience is with our only feline distemper survivor, Midnight Munchkin Whineybutt.

Midnight is on wet food, primarily for the nourishment, but also because she has yet to taste a dry kibble she likes. So Midnight enjoys the same wet food as Sealy. Sealy eats Whiskas Purrfectly Fish or Purrfectly Chicken. It’s the only food that his delicate system can handle. Please don’t chastise us about the quality. We’ve tried food that cost 4x the cost of the Whiskas, and he either has diarrhea or throws it up. His vet just says he has a delicate system because of his stomatitis.

This food comes in several flavors. From tuna to shrimp to duck. Sealy will eat anything, but Midnight is more particular in her tastes. Laura fed Midnight a flavor several days ago and got the “you’ve got to be kidding, you don’t expect me to eat this crap” expression. She practically turned her nose up at the food and refused to eat.

This is food she’s been fed for a year now. We try to rotate the flavors so the cats don’t get bored with the variety. I sometimes wonder whether cats have any pre-meal concepts concerning the flavor they’ll receive. Do they think “oh, I hope I get the chicken today, because I HATE the duck flavor.” It’s distressing to get “the look” when we try so hard to please them.

Disappointed Cat

Collage by Elisa

Why Did You Let My Vet Hurt Me?

Furby also looked at me with disappointment several months ago when I refused permission for him to rummage in the fridge. Not only does Furby think it’s his right as head cat to look into the refrigerator, he wants to crawl inside and check out the menu up close and personal. I don’t think he realized the light doesn’t stay on when the door is closed.

Furby also gave me a very disappointed expression on his last vet visit when he was diagnosed with a upper respiratory infection. He loves to ride, and he enjoyed the attention paid him by the vet and their assistants. Until….he was “violated” by staff who found it necessary to perform a worm check and to check him for a fever. After the thermometer was removed and the assistant had left the room, I remember Furby sitting on the exam table with the most shocked expression on his face. I could read his thoughts as clearly as if he had spoken to me…

“Mama! Why did you let them do THAT to me? Don’t you love me? I’m scared….why didn’t you protect me?”

..If he hadn’t been shaking from head to toe, I’d have laughed at him.

Why Can’t I Go Outside?

I imagine a lot of you with indoor/outdoor cats have to tolerate a lot of cat disappointment. Either with your cat wanting to go out or wanting to stay outside longer. All of our cats are indoor only, with the exception of our Houdini cat Gizzy. She hasn’t escaped in a very long time, but she still eyes the door with longing. Since the weather has warmed up, Laura is planning to take her on leash walks so she can spend some time outdoors. One of our neighbors has bragged about trapping and killing a cat, so going out alone isn’t an option anymore. The neighbor next to us doesn’t even allow her dogs outside anymore where they can run and play. They have a fenced in back yard, so that has to work for them from now on. We have a fenced back yard, and I hope to modify it so some of the cats can go outside without escaping over the fence.

Do You Disappoint Your Cat?

What does it take for your cat to give you that disappointed expression? Food, outdoor time, ramming a pill down the throat when sick? Unlike our cats, we mere humans can’t be perfect all the time.

Elisa

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Comments

Do You Disappoint Your Cat Sometimes? — 11 Comments

  1. Good topic. When you love your cat you are keen to please and it can hurt a bit when you disappoint your cat because you have to.

    Dieting is one example. My Charlie might ask for food and I have to deny him. Or he doesn’t get his chicken and he looks at me in that way. I have to steel myself to refuse him.

    Taking my cat to the vet is distressing for me because I know he’ll be upset. I don’t want him to be upset.

    The more you love your cat the more upsetting it is for the human when your cat is disappointed in you.

    Food is the biggest area of disappointment. Most of the time he is thrilled with me… 😉

  2. The main problem area for me is the not letting them outside. I don’t have a problem with dieting – I am out all day so it’s easier I guess. I am not there all day and saying no the whole time. Gigi tells me all about how she wants her biscuits when I get home though.

  3. I had to disappoint Monty yesterday. He got two hours outside, but he wanted more. After two hours he had eaten about a pound of those black and red box elder bugs. We have a lot of those flying around back there. Those that aren’t mating, ha, ha. But eating them causes Monty to up chuck them or get the runny poops or both when he eats too many. He loves catching them– live prey! They are like little winged snacks. So he was very upset with me when after two hours of catching and eating bugs (and eating grass) I cut him off. He had to enjoy the outside through the screen door. I was tired of hearing him meow at the back door, so I put a chair right by the front screen door and he sat there for about three hours, so I guess it was a good compromise. There are lots of birds in the shrubbery in front of the house and he enjoys watching them through the screen, but the front yard isn’t part of his territory (he only goes out in his fenced yard) so he doesn’t beg to go out that door. He is content with just watching out the front door.

  4. Elisa, if you put something at a 45 degree angle on top of your fence cats can’t get over that. Also, watch for gaps or places they can wriggle through. Monty would never climb over a fence, but he’d go through a gap. One of my friends said even my eight foot chain link fence between the house and garage would not stop her cat Butch. He goes right over chain link fences. I guess the best is, fence or not, hang out there with them. Now that I am more confident that Monty doesn’t climb fences I will sometimes come in to do a little housework or type on the computer, and just check on him periodically. If he doesn’t go behind the garage I can see him out there since there isn’t much vegetation yet. If he disappears from view I go out to see what he’s up to. Yesterday, I did my workout and stretching out there and then came in to work on some music on the computer. Monty didn’t miss me. He was too busy stalking bugs on the back porch. I came out there and said, “Please don’t eat anymore bugs. I see puking in your future already.” In response Monty leaped for a bug that flew by him, took it down and chomped it right in front of me. I didn’t bring him in until a little later when he was playing with these tiny shoots of wild catnip that grow way back there. He was obviously getting stoned and that kind of ticked me off, I guess, because I had work to do and here he is getting stoned. So that was actually the point at which I cut him off and brought him in. Mean Momma.

  5. Great post but what’s with your neighbor who killed a cat? I’d be nervous letting cats out even with a fence unless it was specially designed. My four cats have a safe large garden and even with all their freedom they still give me the hairy eyeball and want more!

  6. No way they’d go out unless supervised and the fence secure. I’ve had a setback paying for a new tire and today a new battery so it will be awhile before I can do the fence.

    The neighbor across the street told a lady he’d killed her cat but we can’t prove it. He’s crazy. Laura won’t even go on our front porch anymore because he comes to the door and stares at her. All of the other neighbors have cats or dogs but now everyone is afraid to let them out.

  7. I’d like to turn the question around and ask “does your cat disappoint you sometimes?”

    The answer will always be no unless you have false expectations about cats. Cats never disappoint. They are reliable and predictable.

    There is one area where I get a little cheesed off sometimes. I buy some great food for Charlie and he doesn’t like it!

  8. Sealy hurts my feeling sometimes by ignoring me. He’s a typical cat and only lays in my lap on his terms. Won’t even turn his head in my direction unless he wants something. I feel like a parent when I think of how many hours I rocked him and held him and took him on vet visits and changed poopy cage blankets the first 5 months until he litter trained. But Sealys just Sealy. He won’t even look anyone in the eye when they hold him.

    • That is sad and I can feel the hurt there. I guess it’s a bit like caring for a old person one loves and the person has dementia so you don’t get any rewards. It is sort of one way. That is alright but it makes things harder.

  9. He came over and lay in my lap a few minutes. Then back to his cage where he has his own pillow. That cat is very very spoiled. He insists on eating within 5 minutes after Laura gets up for the day. But he never complains about food. Just in how quick the service is. He likes his pouches and also baked or boiled chicken pulled off the bone and in small pieces since he doesn’t have any teeth.

    Furby had to have his B12 shot and he’s not very happy with us right now. I get to hold him down while Laura gives the injection. It helps keep down the URI’s.

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