Caitlin Moran is a Cat Hater

Caitlin Moran is a celebrated Times journalist. She is the current columnist of the year. Caitlin Moran has come out. She has declared to the world in the Saturday magazine that “it’s taken me 9 years to admit it but: I am a cat hater. I hate my cat”. No doubt she is being deliberately provocative but I sense truthfulness. She won’t mind, therefore, if I defend her cat and cats generally.

Caitlin Moran
Caitlin Moran photographed by Johan Rotabaga
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She says that everyone loves cats. I’m afraid you have got off to a bad start Caitlin because that is incorrect, regrettably. There are many people who hate cats and that’s all right as long as they don’t hurt them because of their hatred. It is that which worries me.

Caitlin says that if there’s a bust up on Twitter or indeed anywhere people make peace by beginning to discuss the domestic cat. What about Grumpy Cat or cats wearing hats, or a cat jumping into and out of boxes, or kittens falling off things – these are a few of the world’s favorite things!? They create peace and harmony amongst humans. But after 9 years she says that she has learned to hate one of her cats and explains why.

She has two cats, which she adopted 9 years ago from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Of course, when she adopted them she liked them a lot. One of her cats is Betty and it is Betty that she has learned to hate. She says “Betty – the s*** cat – was beautiful, yet oddly cold and dim”. She describes Betty as demanding attention as if she was entitled to it arguing that a rescue cat should not feel entitled to attention. Caitlin, I wonder whether you are anthropomorphizing the domestic cat?! It looks very much like it to me, but that is not the only thing you are doing wrong. Sorry but I think it needs to be said.

Caitlin complains that Betty fawns over visitors, pushing her face into theirs even though they’re about to get divorced and therefore emotionally stressed and/or they are allergic to cats. She says that when Betty does this she reeks of nobbishness (I believe this word means demonstrating moronic behavior). More anthropomorphizing am afraid. Her cat is just being friendly. How does she know the person is getting divorced 😉 .

She believes that Betty considers herself very sexy with tiny white paws and big, green, mesmerizing eyes but that she has started to bully their other cat, Clothy, who is plain and less sexy. Okay, Betty is bullying her sister and her sister became stressed. She became morose and put on weigh – turning into a goth. She says that she became like herself (Caitlin Moran has a naturally goth appearance). Caitlin describes the way she was bullied by Rachel Farrow at school and therefore can relate to Betty’s bullying of Clothy! More anthropomorphizing, I am afraid Caitlin.

Caitlin also complains that Betty is very stupid because she does not understand the simplest of things. Caitlin provides an example. Every morning, over the preceding 9 years, Betty has come into the bedroom and jumped on the bed. Betty then kneads Caitlin’s face to elicit milk. We know that kittens knead mother’s nipple to encourage the flow of colostrum. Cats do this to their caretaker because they relate to their caretaker as their mother. Caitlin does not like this and has pushed her off the bed.

Caitlin objects to the fact that Betty has never learned the simple fact that her face cannot produce milk and therefore concludes that she is stupid. Not only is Caitlin once again anthropomorphizing her cat, she fails to grasp the fact that Betty is not expecting milk but is simply instinctively relating to her human caretaker as her mother, a cat, and it is a sign of affection and closeness, ultimately. Therefore, to push her away, apparently fairly violently (“even as she is flying through the air”), can only serve to alienate Betty and perhaps make her more in need of reassurance which may indeed encourage that which Caitlin dislikes in terms of needy behavior.

In another example of Betty’s behavior, which infuriates Caitlin, she says that her cat likes to dip her paw into any drink that she has prepared for herself such as tea, water, milk or gin. For 9 years Betty has been “pursued a policy of cold, calculating bespoilment towards them”. More anthropomorphizing.

We know cats like to flick water from water bowls and what Caitlin is experiencing is exactly that. We are not quite sure why cats like to do this but it is very commonplace. It is something that a good cat caretaker should be prepared to put up with otherwise don’t adopt a cat.

In another example of Betty’s irritating behavior, when her sister, Clothy, came back from the vet, Betty hissed at her for two weeks. Caitlin complains that Betty behaved in a high-handed manner claiming that her behaviour in hissing at her sister was because Betty felt affected by what had happened (i.e. selfish behavior). Caitlin complained that Betty was behaving selfishly in not thinking about her sister’s feelings etc. after a major operation.

She describes Betty as a “vapid, self-centred, tuna-smelling hate-tube”. Caitlin as a Times journalist writes very nicely as you can tell by her language but I’m afraid she’s got this completely wrong because the reason why Betty hissed at her sister was because her sister smelt differently and to Betty she temporarily became a strange cat; an alien cat who had invaded her territory. Domestic cats recognize other cats through their smell and of course sight but smell is the major means of identification. Perhaps if Caitlin had used a damp cloth to wipe Clothy’s coat it would have removed the smell of the veterinary surgery, antiseptic solutions, and the vet’s hands and restored harmony much sooner.

Lastly, Caitlin complains that her cat defecates in her back garden. Caitlin is, it appears, a proud gardener and quite good at it. She complains bitterly that her cat goes to the loo in her garden and even looks at her when she’s doing it in a challenging way. I wonder why Caitlin has not provided Betty with a cat litter and trained her to use it? This last irritating behavioral trait appears to be in the hands of Caitlin, herself, to fix.

I have two final points to make: I am making a presumption that Caitlin Moran is writing in a serious vein and not writing a spoof of some sort and I believe that Caitlin knows all the points I have made about cat behavior but has deliberately ignored them.

41 thoughts on “Caitlin Moran is a Cat Hater”

  1. I LIKE and agree with your reply Michele.
    Can we please dispense with all the labels; caregiver/owner, Brits/English etc., and just be who we are – people who love our cats and do what we consider is best for them based upon our own circumstances and locations.Thank You for posting a positive statement.

    Reply
  2. You know what saddens me most about this thread? It started off about Caitlin Moran’s article which was undoubtedly written purely to stir up controversy and the result is cat lovers turning on each other 🙁

    Can we please dispense with all the labels; caregiver/owner, Brits/English etc., and just be who we are – people who love our cats and do what we consider is best for them based upon our own circumstances and locations.

    Reply
    • Just seen this Michele when I came to look at Dee’s poem. You are SO right when you say ‘we are people who love our cats and do what we consider is best for them based upon our own circumstances and locations’
      It’s a shame some articles are written to stir up controversy and upset the harmony of true cat lovers and make it into an unpleasant place to come.

      Reply
      • Ruth, anyone who knows yourself and Babz should know by now how much you two care for cats – and not just your own cats, but all cats everywhere.

        I think years of battling the pro-declaw, indoor-only brigade and cat show snobs on Y/A has made my skin grow a little thicker 😉 I don’t much care now what strangers on the internet have to say about me, but I do take offence if they insult my cats.

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      • Thats so true Ruth I find that the older I get I’m less inclined to put up with ignorance especially people trying to ‘teach their granny to suck eggs’ when they know nothing about an individuals situation.

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  3. Author:Leonard Taormina.

    What now brown cow is there some sort of contention going on here? I only wanted to indulge in some small form of nourishment here; And you can at times provide such a tasty morsel, I am after all just a cat who desires his occasional saucer. So how about we come to an agreement; I’ll keep those certain type of undesirables out of your sleeping area; And in turn perhaps you might indulge me on occasion. I do you know so admire those big black eyes of yours; And in my moments of indulgence’s I imagine swimming in them. I don’t know maybe I could even love you except it is an impossible love. You have your place here as the provider of substance for all your little ones; And me I can’t stay home at night because it’s my time to take inventory. I’ve got old acquaintances to see and newcomers soon to be in need of my attentions. But hey what say we jump over the moon tonight? Right now I can hear a rhyme about us doing just that. So come on Daisy help a cat out don’t be so predictable just once.

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  4. Note:I am certainly sorry if I have offended anyone’s personal sense of honor with my bold statements. It is unfortunate that you got Your Human Tail ruffled, when I was clearly speaking for the General welfare of all cats and at the same time posting important information for every cat owner. I should know as I have 4 Maine Coons and among other
    credentials ; I am not an amateur.
    However-I am less concerned for yours [ Barbara } as you have stated that you are very aware of the dangers. It is a good thing for our pets enjoy the outdoors, provided we are watching them. ftnt: This is my viewpoint and I am entitled to it.

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    • Hi Eva, I am with you. I don’t want to offend anyone either but it is true that there is a culture in the UK of letting cats roam and sometimes it is allowed without due thought about the risks. It is done automatically.

      I love cats to roam free. It is preferable but it is not always wise to allow it. That is all I am saying. The default thought process should be “is it safe outside?” not “let the cat outside”.

      I can remember my mother allowing her cats to roam free for years and when several had been lost to cars or poisoning she became anxious and changed her attitude toward free roaming cats.

      Maybe it takes that sometimes.

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    • Humans don’t have tails to ruffle Eva. You have no right to judge that our cats enjoy their freedom in safe places, to tar us all with the same brush is very wrong and insulting! We might as well say ALL cat ‘caregivers’ in your country are bad because some have their cats toe ends amputated.

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    • Get yourself concerned with the mutilating of cats by declawing in your country, instead of the welfare of the cats in a country where cats toe ends have never been amputated.

      Reply
      • Goodbye, R. You will be truly missed by many.
        I have enjoyed your comments, articles, and posters. You were instrumental in educating so many people about the anguish associated with declawing.
        I’ll, especially, miss our potshots at Woody.
        See you in some of our other favorite places.
        Dee

        Reply
        • I’m sorry you left in so much pain
          Your heart is more broken than I can explain

          You gave us so much of your heart and soul
          And, now, we’re left with a deep, deep hole

          I remember each and every heartfelt line
          You wrote when we (ME) were out of line

          I remember every soothing word
          When Binny and Charlie left this world

          Now, you’re facing your own scary quandary
          And, you got no support, not even “I’m sorry”

          I want you to know that I understand
          And, don’t want you to feel alone again.

          Reply
          • Oh Dee, what a lovely poem, I had to come back to thank you for it, I’m so glad you told me to have a look.
            Thank you too for all your loving support over our worries with Walter’s illness and your kind offer of financial help also, even though we refused because we can manage. We all have vets bills to pay and sometimes unexpected huge ones can leave us struggling, but our cats will never go without what they need, even if we ever have to eat dry bread ourselves. You are a true friend and a rock to many more than Babz and me I’m sure. We are very thankful Walt is doing well now and Jo too, it’s so nice to know some people do care. Thanks too for your continued support of Kays Hill cattery, Kevin really appreciates it, in these very hard financial times we are unable to help them more than our small monthly DD at present, but our local people are kind, taking food and bedding into Babz for them.
            Yes it’s all about friends supporting each other through any illnesses or loss of our cats and thank you very much again for yours and love to you and all of your cats.

            Reply

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