This is a surprising title because a major reason why the domestic cat is the number one animal companion (just) is their independence. They don’t need much input from us, we are told. Certainly relative to dogs they require less input – is that correct? Not that I have ever kept a dog. As she keeps cats and dogs, perhaps Elisa can tell us if cats are easier to keep than dogs and if they are less demanding.
Obviously cats do make demands on their human guardian and companion. We provide all the basics for them. It is like a parent/child relationship to some extent. If your cat has a health problem, the demands will be higher and this applies more often to older cats. You have to adopt a nursing role when looking after a very old cat. Also if you have a multicat household you are far more likely to feel that your cats are too demanding. And do we always meet the high standards of a first class cat guardian? IF we don’t it could be argued that a cat companion is too demanding when judged with regard to perfect cat caretaking standards. What I mean is if our standard of care is low, then by implication a cat is too demanding.
The truth is that sometimes, perhaps rarely, even a cat loving person might think that their cat is being too demanding. There is no reason to think this is a bad thing or something to be ashamed of. Not every relationship is perfect and totally smooth.
Whether or not a person feels that their cat is too demanding depends almost totally on what is in their head! If the person is stressed for whatever reason a demand by their cat for food or to be let out at the wrong time could make the person feel their cat is too demanding, irritating even.
Also if the person has incorrect expectations almost anything their cat does will have the potential to be annoying. If there are problems in the cat/human relationship and the person feels their cat is too demanding etc. it is probably 80% to do with the person’s state of mind.
But what of the cat? Are some cats more demanding than others? We are told some cat breeds are. Siamese cats and cats of the Siamese ‘family’ of cats (e.g. Oriental Shorthair and Balinese) like to be close to their human and have strong, insistent voices. There are also many random bred cats that have Siamese in them and these cats will have Siamese behavioral characteristics.
If a cat does contribute to a temporary breakdown in that beautiful relationship, might it more commonly be a Siamese type cat?
I am going to hazard a guess and say that even in a household where there is good cat caretaking and a good relationship, if a cat companion is ill requiring a considerable amount of extra caretaking and veterinary bills the person might consider the presence of her cat too demanding. It is similar to a husband or wife or indeed a child caring for a sick partner or mother. No matter how compassionate the carer, the strain can become a problem.
I would also guess that 90% of the time everything is fine in our relationship with our cat. But, perhaps, their are rare times when we might feel we could do without the demands. Does that apply to you?