HomeHuman to cat relationshipTaking Your Cat To Work


Taking Your Cat To Work — 12 Comments

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  3. “Cats would have to be litter trained and there would have to a perfect track record of using the litter at work.”

    Dogs at my workplace routinely have all sorts of bodily fluid accidents on the floor. No one complains and someone cleans it up. (Usually the pet owner if they are around.) So this isn’t just a problem with cats.

    “The only way an employer will allow a cat at work is if it improves the productivity of employees. It would be up to the employees to demonstrate that that was the case.”

    This is another ridiculous notion. You don’t have to be google or apple to have a relaxed environment. Most small engineering or web firms that I know of try to emulate the big dogs with incredibly relaxed work environments, ping pong tables, beer on tap, animals at work, flexible hours, etc, etc. Just look at the about page for a few web firms in the closest metropolitan area to you. They go out of their way to recruit amazing employees and make them happy. Not the other way around. There is no needing to prove that a foozeball table, a dog or, or a cat, makes one more productive. Just having those options improves overall workplace quality. (Everyone at my work constantly plays with the two dogs.) I also don’t think beer helps productivity, but hell, if it’s been a good day and you decide to cheers a shot at noon, no one is going to stop you. That’s the modern workplace, and it doesn’t take ton of money to be that flexible.

  4. I worked in a wonderful facility in Stoughton recently, through the medical staffing company I work for. Stoughton is basically a small town surrounded by farms, but near a small city. I love going there because many of the staff members have animals and live on farms. I think it is good for people to have animals in their lives. They seem happier and more able to deal with stress. One therapist brings her young dog with her to work, and this is approved by the management. She hooks his leash to her belt and the dog comes along as she ambulates patients. He’s a well behaved dog and doesn’t jump on people, which of course, could be disastrous. He did bark a couple of times during the day, but no one seemed bothered by this. If a patient does have a problem with dogs she treats that person up on the unit and the dog waits for her in the gym, tied to a table leg out of the way, with his bed and toys. He seems lonely without her when this happens, but how much better that he misses her for an hour, than to be home all alone for eight hours or more! She also uses a special type of leash. It goes around the dog’s head, similar to what is used to lead a cow or a horse. She said that a traditional leash around a dog’s neck can cause harm to the dog’s windpipe, so the type around his head is much more gentle. I don’t know what kind of dog she has– he’s a pretty ginger color, medium length, very soft fur and he comes up about to her knees or a little higher, but is not full grown. Having the dog around really gave a nice feel to the whole day. It was a very pleasant working environment.

  5. I used to work in central Lond for a photographer back in the day of film and negatives. He had 2 grey cats, one boy and one girl. They were siblings. He loved them and would play with them and so did I whenever I had a spare moment. We photographed anything from people and models to still lives and products, even cat food once :). The cats knew where not to be. You can’t have a cat wander across the set and brush up against a carefully dressed model. Furthermore, back then, film was an expensive thing which you couldnt afford to waste. I got in big trouble once for loading a camera back and putting it on the camera, mid shoot, only to find out 2 days later when the film was developed that there was a cat hair in the corner of all 12 shots from that roll. Big trouble. It was my worst mistake in all the years of working on photography.

    Now that I think back to it, I cant believe cat hairs were not more of a problem in that environment. No model or makeup artist or person otherwise involved ever complained or was allergic to his cats. They were very sweet. They were the first cats I ever really got to know well in my life. I think they were British Shorthairs – or a mix thereof.

    I also worked in screen printing and the neighbouring studio’s cat would come and visit me when I was alone. She was a bit more shy so she waited til it was just me. I loved having her over although my cat was suspicious of her scent when I got home. Screen printing is another process where you cannot allow dust on the screen when you are exposing it nor can it or cat hair get into the inks or on the screen as you are pulling each print. But it never happened. There was never a problem and she would just sit at a distance. She knew exactly where not to go somehow. She just got it.

    I have also worked alot of gardening and lanscaping and always love when a client’s cat comes along to check out what I’m doing. Having cats whilst working is really the best. Right now I work in a sort of studio/office and a local cat comes running when she sees me and will join me while I sit outside and smoke a cigarette. She has even had a little explore inside. I leave the door open so she can go in and out and she has come in a couple times. Hope she sticks around because I love her company on a long workday. It really lightens me up and is nice to see her.

    Hey, but lets face it, I totally love cats so of course I’m going to like it. My other coworkers don’t mind her at all though. They know I love cats, it’s not an issue. One of them has a cat actually.

    So cats in the workplace have only ever been good for me, and for other people from what I have seen throughout my life. Most people just so ‘oh how nice, its a kitty’ and carry on. Cats usually respect a persons space when they don’t know said person. They are quiet. They generally don’t bother people or invade the space in any way. It’s quite hard to be negative about them for a person who happens to be in the same space but who is not responsible for them.

  6. I agree, having cats around the work area seems like a very natural and emotionally healthy thing to do. I know of only one cat that is a store cat by day and goes home with his owners at night. Oh wait, there is a book store cat that does the same. They bring in customers and, let’s face it. They bring a serenity that is of its only transcendental quality.

    Need sleep. Kids for the weekend and Doctor Who!!

      • It’s UK Doctor Who, Michael. I am a Whovian from way back. The new ones are too fast paced for me. We used to get the old Doctor Who on public television, but we got the entire story at once, instead of in 30 minute episodes. This made the pacing of the show seem very, very slow. My sister points out that with the old ones you could go in the basement, get ice cream out of the freezer down there, come upstairs, dish it up, take the rest back down, and come back the show not having missed a thing. The new show is much tighter, but now there are commercials, whereas on PBS, there are no commercials. We get Doctor Who on BBC America.

        • Pleased you get the BBC Dr Who. The new one is very modern and I think it looks very good. I don’t watch it but it is still very popular here. They choose the new doctors very carefully. They are younger these days and a bit funky but handsome.

  7. I think it would be nice to have cats permanently living in workplaces where everyone loved cats, or if they all didn’t love them, at least kindly tolerated them.
    Think of all the homeless cats in Shelters who could have a permanent place to live and people to love and care for them.

    But I wouldn’t think it fair to take a cat to work regularly though, cats are notoriously bad travellers and it would be no life being toted to and fro daily and confined for hours on end and forced to walk on a leash in certain areas.

    At the first vets I worked for, we had 3 resident cats people had left for neutering or whatever and never returned for, they had a happy life, they were very friendly and often used to sit on the chairs in the waiting room and they had the run of most of the place inside and out, but not the operating theatre or hospital wing or consulting rooms of course. At one time we had a resident dog too, a yellow labrador with a wounded foot, the people had left as they were sick of paying vet bills, she was lovely and I think she and the cats soothed some of the clients having to leave their pets for X Rays, surgery etc.

    I think we need to take into first consideration the needs and welfare of cats rather than the needs and wants of workers and realise that some workplaces just wouldn’t be a suitable environment for cats.

    • Very nice point I think. First consideration: cat welfare. And I think in general cat welfare would benefit if cats were integrated a bit more into our work. I am sure lots of cats are left alone for 12 hours and more every workday. I believe employers should be more open to the possibility.

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