Animals Are Just Like Humans – Discuss

by Michael
(London, UK)

I would like to discuss the statement, “Animals are just like humans.” The statement was made by Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times (2nd Jan. 2011) in the context that there is a “vast market for adults who believe that animals are just like humans.” For many people animals are humans “without our failings and vices”, he says.

He is correct but we should not put the true cat lover (or animal lover) into this vast pot of human beings who anthropomorphise cats.

The true cat lover sees their cat companion as a different species of animal, felis cats, and his or herself as a species of animal with the scientific name, homo sapiens. These two species of animal can get along fine and form wonderful relationships. It is a excellent example of a symbiotic relationship. A definition of the word “symbiotic” would be, a close and often long-term interactions between different biological species that is “mutualistic”. The word “mutualistic” means: the way two organisms biologically interact where each individual derives a benefit from the other’s presence1.

Modern humans originated about 200,000 years ago1. Take any cat, say the leopard and you will see that they were here well before us at 2.5 million years ago – history of the big cats.

If a cat owner – I prefer “cat caretaker” – believes animals are just like humans he or she is more likely to have misplaced expectations about their cat and have lower tolerance levels as to cat behaviour. This can lead to the more vulnerable partner, the cat, being abused. A typical example is punishing the cat for behaving normally. You know how cohabiting couples like to change each other, invariably leading to tensions. Well, declawing a cat is a version of that. The person sees the cat as a human family member. The person is scared of claws and doesn’t like scratching. Let’s change that, (s)he says. And he or she can as the cat has no say in the matter.

A person who sees animals as a different species of animal to ourselves is more likely to respect the cat, be more aware of the cat’s needs and behaviour patterns and thereby create a better relationship.

If there is a problem in a relationship with a domestic cat it is our problem, one we created. Cats see us as another animal and are highly predictable and consistent in behaviour. They relate to us the same way every time. It is humans who sometimes see their cat companion as a human without human vices or a fluffy “object” to cuddle and no more. These are misdirected sentiments.

We should love our cat as a cat, respect him or her and accommodate their physiology and behaviour. The cat doesn’t try and change us. We shouldn’t try and change the cat if there is to be a balanced, truly symbiotic, relationship.

Michael Avatar

From Animals are just like humans to Cat Behavior

Note:

These are my views. I expect others to have different ideas and I respect that.

1. Wikipedia® authors.

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Animals Are Just Like Humans – Discuss

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Jan 21, 2011 my thoughts
by: Kathy W

I read somewhere one time that cats see their humans as large cats. When we leave they think we are going hunting for their food. Thats why when you come back they are so happy to see whats in the bags. We always try to bring something home to them when we go out. We wouldnt want them to think we are bad hunters and cant provide for them!!!


Jan 21, 2011 my thoughts
by: Kathy W

I read somewhere one time that cats see their humans as large cats. When we leave they think we are going hunting for their food. Thats why when you come back they are so happy to see whats in the bags. We always try to bring something home to them when we go out. We wouldnt want them to think we are bad hunters and cant provide for them!!!


Jan 03, 2011 Animals are just like humans-Discuss.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Very right Michael, animals are not like humans.People who own pets should realize that their pets are non-humans, a different animal species with different needs and behaviour.Usually childless couples or single people who keep pets have the tendency to totally “Humanize” their pets, be it a cat, bird or a dog, the most common house-hold pets.This is totally wrong ,the pet, if a cat. wants to live the life of a normal cat and not of a “humanized child” with “Cat clothes” and pet accessories.Treat your cat as a cat and just look after its basic animal welfare, never try to ‘humanise” your pet.This way, both the pet cat and its human owner live happily.


Jan 03, 2011 Like us but not like us
by: Ruth

Yet another brilliant well thought out article Michael, proving you are one of life’s genuine cat lovers.
Cats are not people, they don’t want to be people, they like being cats and doing what cats do and they have the right to be loved and respected for what they were born to be.
Just because people have power over cats it doesn’t mean they should use it to try to change them into how they want them to be.
Cats accept us as we are and true cat lovers accept cats as they are.
Some people think because cats don’t behave as we do, it’s bad behaviour. They need to know that it’s not bad behaviour, it’s natural behavior….
for a cat.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth



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