Although loving your cat is excellent and praiseworthy, it is possible to love your cat in a way that is too human. A person should deliver their love in a way that is appreciated by their cat. It is about respecting your cat as a cat and trying not to forget it.
Cats provide support and friendship to other cats in a way that is different to the way human’s express their love for someone. The typical example is giving cuddles and hugs. Cuddles and hugs are OK but if overdone and too effusive it can irritate or upset a cat.
People in a relationship like a cuddle. Not all cats like to be cuddled in the same way a person cuddles another person. In fact it could said that none do. Some cats don’t like to be picked up and a lot of cats don’t like to rest on a person’s lap or next them on their bed etc. Each cat has his/her own personality. But sometimes a person can have incorrect expectations of what their cat likes and in trying to force their love on their cat cause the cat to be upset. This can be hurtful to the person as well.
Indeed some cats can have a problem with people of a certain sex. This can be due to a bad experience with a person or incomplete socialization as a kitten. For example, a cat might have been bred by a female cat breeder and only met female people during early life. This cat might have difficulties with a man. Trying to love a cat that dislikes you because of your sex is going to be almost impossible.
It could be said that people are perhaps generally more demonstrative than cats. They like to show their love and receive it or that is the social expectation. Cats are, in general, more reserved, independent and solitary although most domestic cats have adapted to socialized living. This basic difference between the species (human and cat) in respect of culture or behavior can cause a clash between cat and person or hinder the relationship.
This is most likely to happen if the person wants a cat as a baby substitute. It is dangerous to adopt a cat in lieu of having a baby because the person is likely to treat the cat as a baby. Foisting love on a cat as a child could lead to the cat becoming defensively aggressive in the worse case scenario and scratching the owner. That could end the relationship, which might end anyway if and when the person has a real baby.
Sometimes it can be sensible to let your cat make the first move when interacting. Let him or her approach you rather than grabbing him out of the blue and cuddling him effusively. A good cat will tolerate an effusive cuddle and may even like it but in general, my experience informs me, that cats like a bit of space and not to be held close for anything but a reasonably short time. This, though it character dependent.
You see the worse cases of human roughhouse cuddling when young kids give their cat a cuddle or make contact with their cat. It is almost painful to watch. Kids expressing their affection for a cat can go way over the top and get scratched as a result. Kids need to be taught how to love their cat.
Another form of inappropriate human love directed at a cat is when the person uses their cat as an emotional prop due to emotional problems they might have. I am not saying cats can’t be used by a person to help them get through a difficult time but care should be exercised. It is unfair to project onto your cat your personal problems. I don’t think a cat is qualified to solve human problems.
The key to loving a cat is to respect the cat as a cat and do to the cat what you know he/she likes and wants and no more. This requires an understanding of cat behavior and it can often mean backing off a bit and giving your cat some emotional and physical space. Love should be delivered on the cat’s terms.
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