Do You Suffer From Feline Paralysis?

By Elisa Black-Taylor

Do you suffer from feline (also known as cat) paralysis? I read about this “condition” on a popular cat site, as well as in a cat newsletter I subscribe to. Apparently it’s a condition that’s been around a long time, but has gotten worse since many of us have less time to spend with our cats than we used to have. Needy cats are more likely to pass this unusual paralysis on to their masters. While the term implies this as a condition that affects a large percentage of the housecat population, human caregivers are among those most at risk. Before going any farther, I’d like to stress that cats are carriers, but aren’t affected. This is solely a human psychological condition that manifests physical symptoms in cat companions.

Cat paralysis
Collage by Elisa Black-Taylor
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Symptoms Of Feline Paralysis

Those with cats spreading this chronic condition to their human servants have had to teach their human spouses/mates/friends to do many tasks the person afflicted could once perform unassisted. I will refer to those who help the afflicted as “family members.” These tasks include but aren’t limited to:

  • Preparation of meals
  • Household chores
  • Preparing a plate of food or going for a snack

These activities are all passed on to the family member who doesn’t have a cat in their lap. Should both family members have a lap cat, the one determined to have the “neediest” cat is allowed to remain seated while the other person rearranges their feline friend until whatever needs doing is done.

The only exception to the feline paralysis rule tends to be bathroom breaks. Oh well, you gotta go sometime…

My Personal Battle With Feline Paralysis

I suffer from feline paralysis and have recurrent episodes on a daily basis. So what is this new illness? It’s the inability for a human to function in a productive manner due to the close proximity of a feline. In other words, I can’t do ___________(fill in the blank) because I have a cat in my lap!

I believe I came down with feline paralysis last August. This coincides with the time period Sealy became a lap cat. He’s made my malady gradually worse over the past few months. Anytime I’m at home and sitting on the couch, Sealy isn’t happy unless he’s in my lap. Not only am I no longer able to write my articles at home(I own a laptop computer), I’m also getting worse about any household activities that require my attention.

It didn’t take a lot of research for self-diagnosis. I did learn that Gwen Cooper, author of Homer’s Odyssey and Love Saves The Day has overcome her case by learning to use her computer while balancing Homer in her lap. She confided this to me in private, but I don’t think she’d mind if I share our condition to benefit others who have this. I imagine Gwen has a desktop computer and not a laptop. Sealy has told me he doesn’t appreciate it when I try to balance my laptop on top of his body while he tries to nap.

I experience daily episodes of feline paralysis that affect me both physically and emotionally. Or should I say my daughter Laura suffers, since half the time I refuse to make Sealy move unless I absolutely must. I CAN’T get up and I WON’T get up if Sealy wants to nap with me holding him. I’m not sure how much worse this condition will become. The term couch potato comes to mind. But hey, I have an excuse. Don’t I?

I’m so glad to have learned the symptoms of this cat-induced mystery disease. I’ve given the excuse for AGES to my daughter Laura that I’m unable to do something due to holding Sealy. Sealy is a VERY good excuse not to get up off the couch. All this time, Laura thought I was just being lazy. Who knew!

Do Any Of You Suffer From Feline Paralysis?

Do any of you suffer from feline paralysis? What are the particular symptoms in your case? Did this just recently happen, or have you displayed signs for years now? I imagine my own case will worsen as Sealy is learning human manipulation from the master: our cat Furby!

In closing, there’s one proven method of diagnosis that’s more accurate than any other test. If you “get” the irony of this article, you likely have an acute case going on in your home. If this article goes over your head without a clue of what I’m talking about, then you need to find a cat immediately! Preferably one who likes a lap to nap on.


5 thoughts on “Do You Suffer From Feline Paralysis?”

  1. Monty’s not a lap cat, but when he constantly wants outside it negatively affects my productivity. Hard to monitor him out there and get anything done inside the house!

    • I never EVER dreamed Sealy would be a lap cat. But I didn’t think he’d ever play either. Sealy and Mandy are constantly in my lap. I don’t mind dumping Mandy but I just can’t do it to Sealy. Sealy was ignoring me before work. He was pacing the floor waiting for Laura to feed him. It was so funny…

  2. LOL – this is very funny Elisa. Great article. I’ll keep it in mind as an official excuse next time I don’t want to be the one who must get up and go to the kitchen!

  3. I have regular bouts of feline paralysis when I am in bed 🙂 I never thought it was a real medical condition. Thank heavens it is. I am pleased.

    Charlie is lying against me and I can’t move. So whatever needs doing produces a cry from me, “Can you get that or do this because I just can’t move at the moment. Charlie has just settled down and I can’t disturb him”.

    I wonder how many spousal arguments are caused by this terrible condition.


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