Is Your Cat Too Demanding?

A demanding  cat

Demanding Cat

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?

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Is Your Cat Too Demanding? — 3 Comments

  1. As a bachelor, after the demise of my parents i have no close commitments with any other humans besides the normal occasional socialising, touring, trekking and the “Internet”.I could have lived alone in my house with less expences and just the companionship of my 20 year old Alexandrine parakeet “Mittoo”.Since we always had 4-legged pets in our house, beginning with dogs and now my two traditional Persian cats i realized that i just can’t live without my four-legged non-human house companions.Today, my house-keeper Sabina and myself realize that my house cats matahari and matata totally control the house-hold, she having pampered them more than me.I am more of a disciplinarian as i owned dogs before but Sabina has never ever owned a pet and hence has pampered the cats by over-feeding them, and they await her daily arrival in the evening for feeding.Tomcat matata is a real dog-like cat and follows Sabina all over the house always expecting a little more food then the normal allotted.

  2. Our family has had cats and dogs over the years and I don’t think the degree of demand from them has anything to do with being cats or dogs, I think cats (and dogs and kids for that matter) are what you make them, if you indulge them in everything then yes they get to expect it and demand it. The two we have now, Walter and Jozef, are really spoiled they know we worship the ground they walk on, they only have to look at the door or window and it miraculously opens to let them in or our, they look at the fridge, they get squirty cream, they sit in certain places we know they want food, they come in at night more or less when they please, we wait up for them and mostly one or the other of them decides when the day will begin anytime between 5 and 6 normally. But what would be the point in sharing our home with cats if they weren’t treated like important and much loved family members? Of course they take advantage, they’re cats, they’re hardwired to do so and it’s part of their charm. The bottom line is that cats’ lives are so short so you have to enjoy and appreciate them every day they are here, remember the awful feeling when they are old and ill and their days are dwindling down and then when they’re gone, wouldn’t we give anything to be their slaves again.

    • Yes, good point Barbara. We can create the demands by always complying with our cat’s request. In other words our cat trains us!

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