Approaching Your Cat

by Michael

How do you approach your cat? What I mean is, how do you walk up to your cat? I guess it depends on our cat’s character. But we can do things that help to make our cat more relaxed and settled.

I have said it before, domestic cats live in a land of giants. We are the giants.

Most cats are, at least potentially, a bit nervous about people, particularly strangers.

If we approach our cat, who is on the ground or floor, in a vigorous, busy and perhaps noisy way the average cat might retreat slightly or a lot in the case of a nervous cat. Some cats will be OK with it and some cats will actively move away.

No matter what kind of relationship we have with our cat we need to respect what our cat is seeing and feeling.

We tower over our cat if he or she is on the ground. It is at least potentially intimidating.

To counteract this we need to approach our cat slowly, gently and quietly, except for some reassuring sounds from us in a melodic voice.

I know this might sound a bit extreme. In some cases a cat will be relaxed no matter how you approach him or her.

But a lot of cats might feel a bit of anxiety if you walk up to her noisily and plant your feet close to her etc.

We need to employ a good amount of gentleness. This is not being soft and silly. It is simply eliminating the kind of things that can cause our cat some anxiety.

As I said, it depends on the character of the cat (and us!). But I feel that in general people might understandably forget that we are so much larger and therefore intimidating to our cat.

It is best to remember that. Do you think about this sort of thing?

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Approaching Your Cat

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Oct 15, 2011
Build up trust
by: Rose

I agree with Leah that the more confidence your cat has in you the more they trust you.
Trust is built up by living together peacefully and understanding that you need to accept that a cats behaviour is different to a persons.
What may be bad behaviour in a human isn’t necessarily bad in a cat.
I agree cats should not be told off or punished,there is no need to show the power you have over them.
A cat should not have to be grateful to the person caring for it or be afraid of that person either.
I often get down on the floor with my kids,my cats and my dogs,we are all equal in our home and that is how it should be.

Oct 15, 2011
Last nights kitten
by: Leah England

Last night my neighbour bumped into a little boy who had found 2 kittens on the side of the canal. His mum was letting him keep one but not two. He was very upset. My neighbour took the other and said he would try and find her a good home. The boy was still upset and asked wouldn’t they miss each other? No one knows where mom is.

I went round next door to see little kittie after this happened and every time we went to pick her up she would scuttle all over the place to get away from us yet she wasn’t feral just scared; I wonder what she had been through in her short life or was it just that we were so huge and her so small? She’s was fine once in your arms just purred like a train.

I think the more confidence our cat has in us and the more they trust us the less scared they become of our giant appearance.

Oct 15, 2011
You are right Michael
by: Ruth

You are right Michael, we are giants in comparison to our cats and the one rule in our house is ‘think cat’
They move so quietly and quickly that they could be behind you in seconds and it’s very easy to step back and hurt a kitten especially. I think as cats mature they learn to keep out of danger most of the time but you need to be always aware when cats are around as they can be a bit unpredictable at times.
Everyone with a cat should get down and spend some time on the floor regularly to remind themselves of how the world looks from that angle.
I’d never approach a cat without talking to him first and letting him come to me if that was possible, which isn’t always of course when rescuing cats.
Shouting at or punishing a cat in any way is pointless, they don’t understand punishment and only become nervous of the person doing it. Cats can easily learn acceptable behaviour to humans by patience and kindness.
37 years of happy well behaved cats in our relaxed household atmosphere is the proof.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Oct 15, 2011
but with such consistent affection…
by: Grahame

I should have added that my cat seems actually to want to please me, so discipline is to the point of vanishingly rare. I want to please her, and she definitely seems to want to please me. She knows the household drill and I know how she wants it to be here, and we have reached harmonious agreement. The same is true of the other cats who have shared their home with me. It is very pleasant indeed.

Oct 14, 2011
Good, Michael.
by: Grahame

Another interesting and timely post from you, Michael.

From my experience, the key here is consistent gentleness towards the cat. That way the cat has confidence and knows what to expect from the human.

I have often thought about how I tower over my cat. But she apparently thinks of me as a kindly giant animal. And by my consistent, loving gentleness, I also have acquired a bit of leeway, so that when and if I think I need to scold the cat, she never holds it against me and does not shy away. Of course, the scolding must take place immediately after the supposed infraction, and end right there and then. Cats do not relate later, postponed, disciplining to earlier supposed causes. Note that in the way I have worded this, I am giving cats a lot of benefit of doubt: I do not hold that I, the bigger one, is necessarily or always right. I am an equal partner with my cat, and I thank her for living with me.

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