Worst Things About Living with a Cat

These are the worst things about living with a cat according to almost 6,000 people most of whom I would think living in the United States….

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Don’t get a cat! For me I don’t see living with a cat in this way. I don’t think about the worst things or even things that might get in the way of my relationship with my cat. I accept it all as part of the deal. All my cat’s behavior is acceptable because it is part of what he is and I agreed to accept everything about him when I adopted him.

I don’t think it is sensible to relate to your cat in this way, looking at the negatives or even the positives. Total acceptance is the key as it smooths the way for a harmonious relationship.

I’ll briefly comment on the top four:

Cat hair –  Even though it is around the apartment, the only place I see cat hair, and want to remove it, is on my bed. I use a special brush every morning to pick it off the bed. It is a velvet brush with the nap pointing in one direction. This is very effective in getting the hair off the bed and it is silent so it does not disturb my cat. In fact, he plays with the brush.

Scratching Furniture – once again it is a case of accepting this possibility at the outset. If a person adopts a cat certain things come with the territory and it is best to get that right beforehand. Then there are no worst things about living with a cat.

Inappropriate urination – the only time I have encountered this is when my cat was ill with cystitis. If it is not due to ill health, which is normally fixable, it will most likely be due to the cat’s owner: wrong litter, wrong place for litter, stress due to multicat household or absence of owner etc. that sort of thing. This is a problem that can be resolved fairly easily

Scooping litter box – this never bothered me in the slightest. I can do it in about 60 seconds and to a good standard because I have been doing it for decades! If this bothers someone it is a shame because it should not.

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Worst Things About Living with a Cat — 10 Comments

  1. Hi Michael,

    I’d like to know more about this survey, how the data were gathered, and by whom. (okay, I see petplace dot com).

    I am always leery of interpreting surveys, as I have mentioned in the past.

    A lot depends on how the survey was done, and the intent. If people were specifically tasked with coming up with “worst things about living with a cat” and it seems they were, then of course they would come up with negatives. This equates to asking a “leading question”, or sets of such.

    Was there a parallel set of questions about “the best things about living with a cat”? It not, this was not exactly a balanced survey. Also, there is no indication of how much these negatives might be weighted by the cat owners, as opposed to positives.

    If I were asked via a survey to name something negative about living with a cat, I would probably say “cat hair” (everywhere), given that this is one of the possible negatives presented. But how much does it bother me? Not much. Maybe 1 on a scale of 1-100. If the survey was truly a good one, I’d be asked about the “positives”, and then be asked to what extent the positives outweigh the negatives, or vice versa.

    You note “I don’t think it is sensible to relate to your cat in this way, looking at the negatives or even the positives. Total acceptance is the key as it smooths the way for a harmonious relationship.” I agree. But this was the framing of the survey (negatives at least), and thus a kind of “set up” from the get go.

    • Completely agree with you VG. The poll was a leading question and PetPlace dot com really are part of the problem I guess in posing the question. It is impossible to know who the people are who took the poll but the majority will almost certainly be American because they are the people who go to cat websites the most plus the site is American. That said the sort of things listed are pretty universal and typical I suspect.

      I did the post to emphasis the point that we, as cat caretakers, need to totally accept the cat in every way – behavior and anatomy. That solves all cat behavior problems at a stroke. Hope you are OK VG and Tootsie.

  2. There is always a positive and negative aspect to any living thing on Planet earth ,including our pets, in this case cats.As a cat owner a person should be prepared for the negative traits of the common house-hold cat.As having owned, both dogs and cats have been well aware of the negative traits of both these pets. I switched over to Dog ownership for the simple reason that as a frequently travelling bachelor realized that dogs can’t be left alone in the house for long stretches of time. Today as a cat owner have got accustomed to the occasional spraying of my tomcat matata as well as his early morning yowling, a normal trait of cats. Summing up, i personally feel that owning a pet, either a cat or dog enriches a humans life, irrespective of the minor negative traits of the pet.My cats enrich my house with their presence and thanks to my cats i have got to meet, exchange pet views and debate with interesting people, especially on “P.O.C”.

    • Safety in a dangerous (human) world for a cat. Same for me. Sometimes I think the world is not suited anymore for the domestic cat. It was a different place when the cat was first domesticated.

  3. The survey misses the point, failing to understand at all the way a companion is a blessing to us. Love is about actions, not feelings. The more we do loving things the better this is for us. Taking care of another living being is what life is all about, whether that being is your child, spouse or animal. Our lives are best spent serving others, in whatever capacity. When I’m scooping Monty’s poop, brushing him, feeding him, taking him outside, teaching him appropriate scratching behavior, bathing him when he gets into something sticky, cleaning up after him, playing with him and petting him all those things are a blessing to me as well as to him. The more we serve others, the better we become, the more loving, and the closer to what we were created to be. Christ came to serve, not to be served. The more we follow that example, the better, nor just for the sake of those being served, but for ourselves.

    That’s why I hate the view that the elderly become a burden. They are the greatest blessing to us, because there is more chance for service– more we can do to help them. This is true of children also, especially children with special needs and anyone with a handicap or disability. This isn’t to say we should do for others what they can do for themselves. Service might entail teaching or encouraging someone to do more for him or herself. Just as teaching your cat where he can scratch is part of the whole package of living with a cat, but taking the time to do this teaching is loving. Surgically mutilating the cat so he doesn’t have his claws is a hateful horrible act, devoid of love. If our focus is on possessions we are devoid of love, unlikely to want to serve others, and essentially broken and useless as human beings. Yet most of human society measures the worth of human beings by the amount of wealth a person accumulates, not by what we do for others. That’s why scratching on furniture is high on that list. Having nice stuff trumps reforming acts of service.

    • Beautiful comment, Ruth. Full of high quality values and attitude and it is so right. I like the way you have taken a rather superficial poll and turned it into something much more meaningful.

      There is a lot of pleasure is serving and helping. It actually makes life worth living. It gives purpose. Giving is receiving in fact. The natural instinct of people appears to be selfishness. Self-interest. This leads to dissatisfaction ultimately, “at the end of the day” to use a common phrase.

      I have always said that it is best to adopt the most needy and vulnerable cat, the disabled cat, the “ugly cat”. People tend to do the opposite but if people could let go of their preconceptions they would find a hell of a lot of joy in becoming a friend and caretaker of a cat who they saved and who needs them. There lies true love and joy.

  4. I meant ” performing” acts of service. Thinking about it, that service primarily consists of feeding others, not that other kindnesses we do aren’t important. With Monty it’s all about his little belly– keeping it full, putting the right things in it. It bothers me more thinking he might be hungry than if I am hungry myself.

    I was ravenous the whole day that Jeff and I worked on the fireworks show for Elkhart Lake. We put in a 22 hour day including travel time. About 14 of those hours were spent in physical labor, some of it quite intense. You can’t eat enough in a situation like that, you’re burning so many calories, plus we had little time to eat anything.

    But my thoughts were on Monty. Jeff’s parents are staying with us so they fed him. I was wondering, did they feed him enough? Or did they give him too much at a time so that he scarfed and barfed? Was Monty getting enough total to eat? Did they understand that he eats MANY small meals, not just that it has to be a small amount at a time? Was stress from us being gone causing him to not eat enough or drink enough? Thinking about Monty’s belly trumped any concern over my own hunger, which was a constant all day. How did filling the belly of a small cat become so important to me? But it’s wonderful that it is.

    • “Love” is a word that comes to mind. You so love this boy. Good for you. He is lucky and you are lucky to. Well, it is not really luck. We make our own luck a lot of the time.

  5. I wonder if these people who moan about cat hair, scratching furniture, cleaning litter trays, etc, etc, etc are so very perfect themselves?
    I very much doubt it, because as the saying goes ‘We are only human’ so we should say cats ‘are only feline’
    Do those people not pong in the toilet, leave hairs in the bath or wash basin, irritate others by some of their habits?
    Anyway, for example if there is cat hair around it’s not the fault of the cat but of the person neglecting to groom him. Scratching furniture, well have their cats got any furniture of their own?
    All of those things on that list of worst things living with a cat have a good reason for cats doing them.
    The problem is that those people expect a cat to behave like a human, how can they?
    Our cats have always woken us up early, we understand cats like to be out and about early, it’s what cats do.
    If anyone wants the pleasure of the company of cats they need to accept them as they are, otherwise get a different sort of pet.

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