HomeCat Behaviorattention seekingAttention Seeking Behaviour in Cats


Attention Seeking Behaviour in Cats — 11 Comments

  1. My thoughts exactly. A Cat is a Cat if you dont like it dont get a Cat its that simple. Yea my Cats knowingly do things like knock things off benches etc.

  2. I’m a little ambivalent about whether attention seeking behavior exists or not.

    I would say that, most of the time, what humans may see is a cat trying to eleviate boredom rather than intentionally behaving in a manner that gets attention.

    However, there are times when I believe a cat will do something knowing that it will elicit a response and invoke interaction simply because they’ve learned that. It’s been tried and true over and over. A very smart cat knows their caretaker’s routines. For instance, Damon knows when I’m getting ready to take a shower because he has watched my pre-shower routine over and over. When I get to the bathroom, he’s sitting in the shower all cutesy and loving wanting to be petted. It’s not at all annoying to me and he, certainly, isn’t lacking for attention. He wants it when he wants it. That’s Damon.

    • a cat will do something knowing that it will elicit a response and invoke interaction simply because they’ve learned that

      I agree it is a learnt response but the person has also learnt to do certain things to get that response and feline attention seeking is about the cat trying to get something at the end of the process (play etc) whereas the goal of true attention seeking is getting attention.

  3. As I was reading this article, this happened. I managed to lift the ipad in order to snap a picture. This is a typical morning routine with Marvin. He hops on the counter, weaves through my legs as I’m walking getting my coffee, jumps in my lap…he will even walk on my biscuit for a head bump until finally, I settle down with him and spend a miminum of half hour completely focused on him and he knows it if my mind wanders. Or if I am reading about other cats! This is at 5:AM mind you. Does it bother me? Of course not. I look forward to it. But he is insistent. The photo may show up dark after resizing it. Sorry. But you get the picture.

    • I get the picture and a great illustration of a cat interacting with a person. For me (and I think for you) it is not attention seeking but just interacting, being buddies. Buddies don’t seek attention they do things together.

      Nice photo. Well done in getting it DW.

  4. A cat shouldn’t have to seek attention, it should be given to him gladly. Anyone who doesn’t have time for their cat shouldn’t have one. It makes me so annoyed when people don’t appreciate how lucky they are to have cats in their life.
    I’m surprised too at Franny listing inappropriate scratching since she’s very against declawing.
    I think a lot of cat ‘experts’ don’t really know as much about cats as Michael and his PoC visitors do, what’s more we care about cats, all cats, not just our own.

    • I think that thought Ruth that people who interact with their cats enough remove the need for attention seeking behaviour even if it does exist and I don’t think it does anyway.

  5. Well that is exactly what I was thinking, why have a cat if you don’t want to interact with it, and furthermore if the cat has to tap you on the arm or seek your attention in some other way for the basic necessities of life like food, drink and attention then you’re not doing your job as caretaker up to standard.

    • My thoughts exactly. Sometimes I feel that I am out of step with mainstream opinion regarding cat ownership. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I am out of step with mainstream opinion. However, I still believe I am correct. I do believe that we are anthropomorphising the domestic cat and interpreting their behaviour with reference to human behaviour. I don’t believe cats are attention seeking and all and if they do wish to interact with us we should enjoy it and like it.

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