Cat Addiction

Cat Addiction

by Elisa Black

Waiting For Breakfast

Waiting For Breakfast

Chances are if you are reading this you are either a cat addict or know someone who is. First let me clarify I'm not referring to cat hoarders who are overwhelmed by the sheer number of cats that they are mistakenly hurting instead of helping. In my opinion there is a big difference between hoarders and addicts.

I was recently browsing the internet and came across this checklist describing the symptoms of cat addiction. I didn't know whether to laugh or take the test seriously. Those interested can check it out at cat addict. There are 35 questions here to determine the extent of your cat addiction. I have a severe addiction according to my score of 20. This places me midway between a person who hasn't yet become addicted and one who should have been born a cat!

Most cases of cat addiction are females.

Being diagnosed with a cat addiction not only involves the number of cats but the deep emotional attachment formed between cat and owner. An interview done by ABC's news program 20/20 explained it best without using a lot of medical terms and such. Love of cat crosses the line into cat addiction when a person stops taking care of herself to the point her health is at risk. One question to ask yourself if you fear cat addiction is "would you be ashamed for anyone in authority to enter your home who could legally report the home as unsanitary?" If the answer is no then chances are you're a cat lover doing what is best for the cat. If your answer is yes you may be a cat hoarder.

While most of my research concludes there really isn't anything wrong with having a cat addiction. The problems come with hoarding too many cats in unsanitary conditions and allowing them to breed uncontrollably. One lady in the 20/20 documentary was so addicted to cats that she stayed awake most nights trapping ferals.

Some research suggests that cat addiction can be caused by various mental disorders such as schizoid personality disorder (SPD) or by depression. Also people with schizotypal personality disorder display eccentric behavior towards their cats and actually prefer the company of their pets rather than humans. They prefer social isolation and their cats take the place of children and family in their lives.

We should not be too quick to judge people with any of the above conditions. They are simply explanations on a controversial subject. There's always been a division between people who are crazy about their pets and people who don't have a pet and wonder what all the fuss is about. We know studies have shown that people with pets are fortunate enough to experience unconditional love.

I believe I suffer from a mild case of schizotypal personality disorder. I prefer the company of my pets to the company of other people. I'm not antisocial and I've worked in customer service of one form or another for most of my life. When someone asks me why I love my cats so much I give them a great answer. THEY DON'T BACKTALK. They also don't complain when I wake them during the night to tell them I love them.

In the end it all comes down to personal preference. I don't plan to change my personality or my love for my cats. If I'm misunderstood I'm sorry. To know me is to know my cat.

I can't wait to hear the comments that come in on this story. Just call me the cat lady.



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Cat Addiction

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May 15, 2012 40 Cats and probably won't stop!! NEW
by: Anonymous

A dear friend of mine has rescued over 40 cats. Once she traps them she keeps then all and will make every excute to not adopt them out. Occasionally she will take them to an adoptional house, but then takes them back citing that they are not doing a good enough job. She is extremely, overly fussy and feels only she can do a good job.Her husband is depressed and does not know what to do and she tells him he needs to deal with her decisions--I just wonder if he had a hobby that takes up as much time,money and energy if she would just "deal with it!!Such a sad situation.

Mar 30, 2012 cat addict NEW
by: Tomo

I just took the cat addition survey with the result of 27/35, really a cat addict lolz

Oct 13, 2011 I am a Cat addict
by: MizMeow

I love my cats. I currently have 17 of my furry loves. My boyfriend, as well realizes my love for my cats and has accepted it, as my most anti-social (to anyone but me and my daughter) cats, has accepted him.
Many of my coworkers think I am crazy, but I am not, I just truly love my cats, and will care for them in anyway I can to allow them a wonderful, hurt free life on this Earth. We are making the plans to remodel my house to benefit the cats, indoors and outdoors (enclosed outdoors for feline safety).
If it were not for my cats, and future rescue cats, I would probably not be here today.

Aug 06, 2011 Certiied Feline Addict
by: Anne

So excited to have found this site. Am an author of feline fantasy and adventure. Loved the cat addict quiz. No surprise answered yes to most of the questions lol. Have two cats who 'know' they are royalty.

Apr 01, 2011 My Cat and I understand one another
by: Anonymous

We are truely each others best friend. I have lots of human friends but cats just get me and i get a sense of peace when their around! I am 38 y.o and love when a cat finds me...I would be lost without cats in this world!

Jan 21, 2011 Cat addiction.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Have always been attached to my pets since childhood, birds, dogs, mice and cats. As a bachelor my two pet cats Matahari and matata are my non-human children along with my 19 year old alexandrine parakeet "Mittoo".Non-pet owners would definitely find my lifestyle bizarre but i otherwise lead a very normal life.

Jan 21, 2011 Anti-social
by: Anonymous

My folks started collecting special breed cats about 4 years ago (at one stage there were 12-14) and since then, our relationship has slowly deteriorated. My siblings and I never see them anymore, they don't go out and don't socialise with other people, family or friends. They are like hermits. They have become very selfish and we only hear from them when they need a favour involving their cats. Their whole house is basically owned by the cats and life revolves around them. I think an intervention by a professional is necessary. Or am I just selfish?

Jan 11, 2011 My Name
by: Katherine or Kat

Ever since I was a little girl I had about hmmm 8 cats?Yeah, it is crazy.My name is Katherine but when I was still a baby my mom desided to give me the nicknmae of Kat.Ever since, I was a huge cat lover!!!I still have 5 cats.I feel like a mother of a lot of children.Thay are all sweethearts and I can't stop from getting more!My cats seem sos gentle and quiet.Once a cat enters my house, he becomes quiet and bleds in with the 'crowd.'It is just so nice having them around!I rush from work to get to my children and make sure none of them got hurt!Hahahahah I also work as a vet....which makes me a double Cat Lover because whenever a cat would come into the office I would rush out forst trying to do evrything I can to treat it.Just the way I work. :3

May 25, 2010 Heading towards being a crazy cat lady!
by: Maggie Sharp

I got 22!! I'm certianly on the righ path to become a crazy cat lady!!! But I'm not about to change that for anything, I'll always put my animals first, even if it means being critised by other people.

Feb 18, 2010 To Gail
by: Ruth

It sounds like you have had a hard life too Gail but come through it a strong and kind person.
Yes it does make you forget your own troubles when you concentrate on doing what you can to help animals.
Through many bereavements and stressful and sad happenings, our cats have always been the greatest comfort to me.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 17, 2010 Cat Addiction Badge of Honor
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Kathy and Ruth, it is an honor to have met you both, as well as other participants on this forum. You are very brave for sharing your stories with us and it is a wonderful thing you do for the animals.

My life has taken many twists and turns as well, having been raised in a dysfunctional family with both mental illness and alcoholism from both parents growing up. Being the eldest of 5, it was my duty to "raise" them - pretty difficult for a child to raise other children, but we all managed to survive. Both parents are gone now, the children have grown and have their own families and are doing OK, so it all worked out in the end. That being said, the one constant from childhood to the present is the love for all of God's creatures, big and small. We all have that capacity to love and nurture those who are less fortunate, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time. Just know that your love of life and caring for these wonderful creatures will continue to bring your own life joy and peace for the rest of your days.

Feb 17, 2010 To Kathy
by: Ruth

Kathy, well done for overcoming your addictions and for being brave enough to tell us about it!
Yes, sadly people who care deeply for animals are many times mocked by those who don't care about them.
I have suffered from social anxiety all my life and am far happier with animals than I am with people I don't know well.
I became very good at hiding it when I was working as a vet nurse,I had to deal with people of course but as the attention was on their animals and not me, I coped.
My love for animals has made my life fulfilled.
Sometimes I feel I can't take much more of the abuse I fight every day on-line for animals all over the world.
But I know I can never give up as long as I live !

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 16, 2010 great test
by: kathy

Well I scored a 27!!! I guess I should start grooming myself with my mouth. Ha-ha. I was sort of laughing when I was reading the test but I can definitly say that my mental illness keeps me from liking people hardly at all. Thats why I have such a hard time at my job. I just cant wait to get home to my cats. This is pretty much the only web site I visit since I get it to my E mail. Im not too computer bright so I pretty much just stick to whats on my Email. I have been an animal lover all my life and I dont see me changing now. It caused me a lot of pain when I was growing up because kids made fun of me and called me names. /But now I have found other people just like me, on this website that I can relate to. My counselor doesnt believe me when I tell him I can feel the presence of certain birds in the area when Im driving. Well maybe if he had seen the one that landed on my foot at work one day hed think different. I havent been back to him in a while. and dont know if I ever will. I am a cat addict but now I an one in a more responsible way than when I was a drug addict and alcoholic. God has changed my life in so many ways since I came out of treatment. I loved all my animals but sometimes I wasnt always the most responsible pet owner. I sometimes had too many and they didnt receive the attention they deserved. Now I know my limits and I know that I also can become addicted to animals and not just cats but birds, fish, rats, mice, you name it I had it for a pet. I now only have three cats and feel that that has to be the limit for me. I live in a two room cottage. and can only divide my attention between those three. Great article. Im saving it.

Feb 15, 2010 Crazy Cat Lady
by: Gail (Boston, MA USA)

Yep, Elisa...I'm an addict! More importantly, I'm an honorary cat! I scored a heady 31 of 35, LOL! Sadie is my only furkid but she is the love of my life! We've been through so much, yet unlike relatives, never judges.

I also work with people being in real estate; however, unlike people, animals do not make life difficult providing you do good by them.

Neighbors call me "crazy cat lady" in a good way since they know strays/ferals will be cared for. I also feed the addiction by volunteering at the local shelter on the weekend. Spending the extra time with cats at the shelter, just cooing to them, handling them, whispering sweet nothings to them is another way of relieving the stress they must feel being in such strange surroundings. There is no doubt it is appreciated, as they come running for attention. As sad as it may be watching them leave us, it is with tears of joy knowing they are going to their forever home. Knowing the shelter keeps tabs on placements too is reassuring. It is not uncommon for adopters to send us updated photos and stories about their adoptees over time to share. Isn't that what it's really all about after all?

Feb 14, 2010 "Cat Addiction"
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Thanks Michael for helping me "Self-analyze" myself through this article on "Cat addiction". I have served actively in the "Merchant Navy" as a "Marine Engineer" for 25 years and have had pets since childhood, hence not "addicted" to cats.Circumstances and destiny forced me to keep cats rather than dogs as pets, since, before the entry of cats in our house-hold we had dogs. Today, after owning cats since 1995 and also successful in breeding them, i can consider myself a "Cat addict", thanks also to the invention of the "Internet" in meeting and discussing with fellow "cat Fanciers" and "Cat addicts".In life, we all humans have our personal addictions in various forms, including our pets.
Rudolph avatar

Feb 14, 2010 Cats know more than we do
by: Ruth

Michael,I'm sure cats do know more than we think ! In fact I think they know more than people know because sometimes they look pityingly at us as if to say 'Poor things, they are only humans after all'

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 14, 2010 Meow
by: Michael

Ruth, I love that story about Bryan and licking the cake. You really do wonder sometimes whether cats know more than we think they know.

Michael Avatar

Feb 14, 2010 I'm an honorary cat
by: Ruth

Thanks Elisa, all my cat pals are going to love this quiz lol
Well having scored 27+ I'm proud to know I'm an honorary cat !
Thankfully I'm not a cat hoarder,although I'd love to have a houseful,but having worked and volunteered with cats for many years, I know that's not always best for the cats concerned.
I love people who unashamedly love cats and if anyone comes to our house and doesn't like that we have cats, they needn't come back !
Cats do know ! For example we had some relatives who used to turn up unexpectedly and let's just say you can choose your friends but you can't choose your relatives.
Anyway our Bryan, a cat we had at that time and they totally ignored even though he had put himself out to be civil, decided enough was enough. He washed his bum in full view, stood up at the coffee table(something he had never ever done before and never did again) and licked the cake.
Those pesky relatives never returned.
lol lol

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 14, 2010 Nice
by: Michael

I think you suffer from a condition called, "Being Nice". If people are gentle and appreciate nature (a good thing because we are part of nature) they tend to like animals and we can live with cats and dogs, which satisfies that desire to be near nature.

One reason why cat addicts have lots of cats (sometimes, but not to the level of cat hoarding) is because there are lots of cats out there that need a home! Simple.

I have gradually become a cat person. I meow at my partner in the morning and hiss when she does something that displeases me 🙂

I think you are correct about people. They can be annoying but cats aren't. Cats can do things that annoy a bit but we know it is natural and innocent so we forgive. But people do annoying and nasty things when they have full control over what they are doing. That makes their actions justifiably annoying. After a while, we cat people make the right decision and give up on people and concentrate on cats!

Michael Avatar


Cat Addiction — 2 Comments

  1. Right on!
    I may not have been a cat in a previous lifetime; but I can speak and understand a decent amount of meows!
    Husband and I have always been dedicated (no feline degree) interpreters and translators.
    Which is great fun for all concerned.
    Think my very chatty cats knew exactly what we were telling them.
    I miss them (Cleo [patra] & Sheba.
    I SPEAK CAT!!!!!

    • Hi Majorie, I know what you mean about understanding cat talk. After years of living with cats you can really understand the nuances of communication. That is when you know you are a cat person and a good cat caretaker.

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