Can you fall out of love with your cat?


Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling with your cat. It’s worse. You dislike your cat. It’s actually worse than that; you wish your cat was dead.

She’s become old and ill. There’s the vet’s bill. It can get expensive looking after an old cat with a chronic and incurable illness.

You’re busy and you now find that after all these years of cat ownership, your cat just irritates you and gets in the way.

If you have these dark thoughts, and I am sure some people do, you’re not the right person to look after a cat. No way, no how. Never live with a cat again.

A proper human-cat relationship has echos of the best marriages. There is give and take and mutual support. It’s ’til death do us part. That is the unwritten commitment a cat caretaker makes when adopting a cat. Nothing else will do.

The commitment can be tested in a cat’s old age. This is a time when the wrong person might feel like getting a new cat in the same way he gets a new car or sofa.

I was prompted to write this article on reading an article on the Guardian newspaper entitled “I wish my cats were dead”. The author is Dave Hill. It was written in 2006 so I expect his wish has come true by now.

He blandly states that he has three cats and he hates them. He explains that he hates them because:

Stinky (formerly Marmalade) produces smelly poo and she sometimes poops out of the litter box. He then inadvertently discloses that he is to blame for Marmalade pooping out of the box because it is dirty (“when the tray is on the full side “) and that the smelly poo is possibly due to a thyroid problem (hyperthyroidism). Marmalade’s hyperthyroidism also irritates him as she is too active. So Dave, I am sure you have learned by now that your attitude is appallingly insensitive.

Then Dave blames Sneezy (formerly Smudge) for being idle and poking him for attention when he is reading to his children. It seems to me that Smudge was probably neglected and when he hears Dave’s voice he is attracted to it and comes over for some interaction.

Finally, he blames Scratchy (formerly Cinders) for scratching herself all the time because of a flea bite allergy. Dave hates it. He also hates it when she joins him at his desk when working at his computer (a Mac). He accuses his cat of being scabby and pawing at his shiny, clean Apple mouse! This is appalling. Clearly Dave had almost completely abdicated his responsibilities towards his cats.

He hates the idea of spending hundreds of pounds on treatments for hyperthyroidism. He prefers to euthanise the lot. So much cheaper. Perhaps the whole article is tongue-in-cheek but it comes across as serious. I think it was meant to be deliberately provocative.

The comments to the article are enlightening. You might expect nearly everyone to criticise him but no, far from it.

At a rough assessment, 45% are against him, 30% for him and 25% who are in the middle ground suggesting something like pet insurance to ease the cost. In other words they are ambivalent.

Perhaps the comments are more shocking than the article. Having managed PoC for 7 years there is no doubt in my mind that there is a large percentage of people who either dislike cats and/or animals generally. Many people are unconcerned about animal welfare. That is the current state of play in the human-to-animal relationship circa 2000.

To answer the question in the title; it is NO, you can’t fall out of love with your cat if you truly love her.

Original article

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

53 thoughts on “Can you fall out of love with your cat?”

  1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

    I will love Monty with my last breath.

    When I was at the lowest point in this nasty drug reaction– the most depleted of magnesium and antioxidants but not knowing that that’s what the drug had done to me– I knew that I was in a situation where I could die. And I knew that for Monty’s sake I did not want that to happen. Sure, I thought of Jeff too. But I survived the death of a spouse before Jeff and I got married. It’s tough, but you get through it.

    But Monty. Poor, dear little Monty. What would he do without his mama? Who would be home with him at least a day or two during each week, almost all day with him. Who would talk to him, entertain him by “doing stuff” and spend time with him outside? Jeff works sixty hours a week. He pets and plays with Monty every day, but it’s not the same. And Jeff wouldn’t get another cat. Monty would just be lonely. I knew I had to figure out what was happening and fix it for Monty’s sake. Thank God I aced medical terminology and can read clinical research studies to figure out what was going wrong and what seemed to help.

    I will say this: if you get a panic attack that feels like you are descending into hell every time you begin to fall asleep that is not you not dealing with stress well. That is your body saying, “Wake up, dipshit and do something or you are going to kill us by just laying there.”

    1. LOL! I can’t believe you wrote “dipshit”. Not our Ruth!
      I understand completely, not that I think I am the “end all, be all” for cats.
      But, I know that the will to live for my cats is very strong and powerful. The same, I think, for all of us.

      1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

        But to lie there praying instead of getting up and looking for the answer was to be a total dipshit!

        Not that prayer isn’t good. Not that I didn’t gain a lot spiritually through that night of hell.

        But I just had to read more! I had half the picture– magnesium. But really low levels don’t come up with a few pills. I needed antioxidants too, to protect my cells. I still would have had a rough night, but I’d be less worried about tendon damage having been done. Some damaged tendon cells replicate themselves, creating more damaged cells. Fun.

        People think panic attacks are something weak minded people experience who can’t deal with stress. Actually my body was waking me up telling me it was in serious trouble. It wasn’t time to keep trying to go back to sleep, it was time to get up and find a way to save my own life. My body even told me what it needed. I got up in the morning having a major craving for oranges. Ate one and felt on top of the world.

        We need to listen to our bodies more and not think everything is just stress or nerves or whatever. My body was giving me a good kick in the head to get my attention, and then it gave me a feeling of almost euphoria when I did the right thing.

        We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.

          1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

            Thanks, Michael. And thanks for talking with me via the phone the other day. I was still pretty worried and upset, not at all sure I would make a full recovery. Many people do not. But I agree with you now. I’m going to make a full recovery. It’s going to take awhile.
            One of the things I thought of realizing I could die or suffer permanent cognitive/psychological problems was that I would really miss being part of our little community at PoC. You guys are all very important to me.

        1. Our bodies are truthful.
          You are so right, having taken proactive measures with your own health. Who knows us better than us?
          I’m privileged to be a patient of Shands Health Care University of Florida. They’re brilliant but expect patients to be very proactive. Lots of do’s and don’ts and strict.
          I keep a handwritten note from one of my docs at the headboard of my bed that reads, If you don’t care about you, then why should I?”

          1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

            “If you don’t care about you, then why should I?”

            I wish I had the guts to have said that to some of the patients I worked with in physical therapy! So many when I worked outpatient just wanted a massage and some ultrasound because that feels good. As soon as it came to exercise they didn’t even want to hang around. I learned to put the exercise first for some patients or all they’d ever get was manual therapy and modalities. That’s not physical therapy really. Were these patients doing their home exercise program? Yeah, sure they were. (Being sarcastic.)

            1. You could always have a small pin-on or badge with that message. Easy enough at Vista Print.
              Very cheap.
              Then, you wouldn’t have to say a word to the slackers.

            2. There is quite a lot of talk in the UK about treating alcoholics and heavy smokers etc. in Accident and Emergency departments at NHS hospitals as second class citizens. This is inline with what you are discussing.

            3. How are you doing, Ruth?
              Thinking about you and hoping you are getting stronger and not turning orange from oranges. Oh wait, that’s carrots that turn us orange.

  2. i never would. Saw this lady before she had all these cat stickers proudly on her cat and i was so impressed i said you love cats like we do. was really cool to see someone display their love of cats on their car and not worry about it

    1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

      I love people like that too Kylee. We have Cats Protection stickers in our car and cat stickers in our house windows, sometimes people think they are real cats sitting there lol
      We even have some on our three wheelie bins lol crazy cat ladies.

            1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

              I don’t know if you can get them there but our £ shops sell all sorts of stickers, to decorate wherever you want to put them.
              I’ll put new ones on the wheelie bins when the bad weather is over.

              1. i think can get the wheel bin stickers here. they are oh so cute. Thanks for doing that. Im just so in love with the P.O.C community it bring me joy everyday to read what people say.

  3. I don’t how to unlove anyone or anything, especially a cat, if the feeling is truly love.
    My opinion is that those who can discard their cat(s) for getting old, becoming sick, being needy, or having bad behaviors never loved them to begin with.
    There’s just no such thing as “I loved you yesterday, but don’t love you today”.

    1. Absolutely Dee, if someone only loves young, fit healthy cats they’re no true cat lover, I can’t bear to think of the number of cats that must be rejected, PTS or dumped when they get old.

    2. Sorry, but I can’t help but to always apply some of my favorite songs to my cats, especially the ferals.

      So mushy, I know, but…
      “I won’t forget; can’t regret what I did for love”
      “Love is never gone”

      I would love to hear Ruth MM sing that song.
      It would be spectacular.

      1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

        That’s a lovely song!
        Ruth isn’t very well, been ‘talking’ to her on facebook, yes she would sing that song beautifully.
        Do you sing to your cats Dee? I do and used to, to calm ferals down when they were in the trap cage.
        I like to singalong with a Robin when he comes in the Summer in our garden, we sing songs from The Phantom Of the Opera.

        1. I like this version of the song, because she is spectacular and, if you look in the front row, President Obama and first lady are there.

          Yes, I sing all the time (and talk), but I’m really lousy. I mentioned before that my 18 year old dog would howl every time I started.

          And, Phantom has some of my favorite songs too.

      2. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

        Unfortunately, Dee I may have some permanent changes to my voice from a drug reaction I had. I am hoping it is just normal laryngitis. My doctor feels that it is, and resting my voice will help.

        I took a very bad antibiotic– Cipro– without understanding how it worked, and it nearly killed me, could very easily have permanently disabled me. Google it and read what’s happening to people and you’ll see the hell I went through.
        I’m not out of the woods yet. I’ve lost a considerable amount of muscle mass– it’s like my muscles just atrophied and it happened in five days. Luckily, I was strong as a horse to begin with. There is damage to my tendons on the micro cellular level and those damaged cells are even now reproducing into more damaged cells while at the same time, somehow, normal cells are being inhibited from replicating themselves. This will be the trickiest damage to heal, but clinical studies show it can be ameliorated somewhat. It will be a long road back, but at least I’m here. I talked to Michael over the phone. There will be an article coming. The antibiotic I took is in the same class as those they pump into livestock. It was tested on puppies! Every puppy went incurably lame! Yet they suffered and died for nothing, because some doctors still prescribe those drugs to children.

        So I literally almost died, but I’m back. I might be able to write the article soon. I told Elisa she should write about Cipro on the sites she writes for, but she said she couldn’t because she was too transfixed watching the weather. They had a big snow emergency where she is over five inches of snow. To a Wisconsinite that is hilarious! Five inches is nothing. But once the snow stops flying I hope she does write to warn people. I wish I had known.

        1. So sorry, Ruth.
          I’ve taken Cipro a couple of times without any bad effects, but I know some people can have some serious problems.
          I’m opposed to the way antibiotics are so freely prescribed and won’t take them unless a culture is done to verify the need.
          Unless allergic, my opinion is that any form of Penicillin is the best for staph infections.

          1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

            Dee, don’t take Cipro again. Ever.

            It’s molecular structure causes it to push magnesium out of your cells. This begins a chain reaction that destroys all your antioxidants and your cells are harmed by oxidative stress. Tendon tissue is very susceptible to this damage and it can be permanent.

            This is not a case of Cipro being a bad choice for me but it would be ok for someone else, because my particular body system just couldn’t tolerate it. It strips everybody’s body of magnesium and antioxidants. Having taken it before you are probably still deficient on some of these things. Do you have fibromyalgia? There is a theory that this disease is caused by antibiotics like Cipro. They cause a long term deficiency. Checking your magnesium level won’t help– that tells you what is in your blood, not what has made it into the tissues.

            Taking Cipro is just rolling the dice, assuming you aren’t deficient in magnesium or vitamin C. In fact, one research study I found suggested prescribing antioxidants with Cipro. I also found out that the AMA recommends checking magnesium levels before giving the drug (not that that would help in 100% of all cases, but it could at least red flag some people who should not have it). My doctor had never heard of that. It’s all a bunch of garbage.

            On the bright side, my voice is progressing. If it were damaged by the drug it wouldn’t be improving, I don’t think anyway. It’s not 100%, but at least I feel like it’s mine. It was so different before– I wasn’t hoarse speaking, but to sing was very difficult. Some notes sounded ok, but others just weren’t there or sounded like a totally different timbre from my usual voice. It was weird. That part seems to be resolving. More and more of my range sounds like me and seems in control, but I try not to strain it more checking if it’s better. Ha, ha. That does sound like something I would do.

            I was at the emergency room today, sudden BP spike, paresthesias on the right side of my face and into my right arm. I thought I was having a stroke. My sodium was low, that’s all they could find. This drug has just so messed up everything in my body that I can’t seem to find my footing again. I’ll be ok and then a couple hours later I’m afraid I’m having a CVA. But I feel all right now. The symptoms resolved even before they gave me an IV to help with the low sodium. So I’m like, great, a huge bill to deal with now, and I could have just stayed home and drank some water and ate a few salty pretzels. But I couldn’t sit at home waiting for such severe symptoms to normalize.

            1. OMG, Ruth! I am so sorry this happened to you.
              I’ve never known anyone to have such a horrible experience. They need to pull it off the market.
              The economy and budget cuts have made it impossible for the FDA to keep on top of all of this. We can expect more catastrophes.
              I took the Cipro for sinus infections but only after the cultures verified a need for ABT. They were brief periods (not full courses) because I have to be cautious about what I take. Many meds can be more damaging than good for me because of my condition.

              1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

                Dee, I think your condition might be ALL about magnesium. Americans are chronically magnesium deficient, then they take a drug that makes them more deficient and in some cases their ongoing deficiency is just made a bit worse and in some cases, like mine, the level gets so low that it leads to a chain reaction where cells are being damaged, so you use up all your antioxidants to fight the damage but it’s still occurring, leading to a condition called severe oxidative distress– which I did experience. I’m hoping the short amount of time that I was actually in oxidative distress wasn’t long enough to do a lot of damage that will be very difficult to heal.
                They don’t need to pull Cipro. It can be safely taken by just about anyone, if two conditions are met: the patient cannot be magnesium deficient and antioxidants should be prescribed concurrently with the drug. It’s that simple and I found that in medical research journals– peer reviewed research written by doctors for other doctors to read. It’s all there.

              2. Mg really not applicable to my issue, but I think a Mg supplement and antioxidants are crucial for all of us.
                You’re so right. There needs to be a more thorough assessment of people before any meds are prescribed.
                I hope you are better right now but expect it may take some more time to recover.
                Keep eating those oranges. They’re out of season and may be a little pricey. But, you’re worth it.

              3. Thanks, Dee, you are so sweet.
                The oranges do seem to really help, and eating really healthy in general and keeping the magnesium going in as much as I can through foods, supplements and spray on magnesium oil and Epsom salt baths. I soaked my feet in a large pan in the kitchen while I ate supper in there. Monty was just mystified why momma would be doing something he had never seen her do before. And why would I be in the kitchen and not getting him any food? (never mind that he just ate.) I kept him back from my foot soak tub. They give Epsom salts orally as a laxative.

                When I use the spray on stuff Monty keeps trying to lick my skin. It’s salty and he likes it. He’s really good at coming out of nowhere, getting a quick lick off my skin and then disappearing fast because he knows I don’t want him doing that. As I dozed last night I’d be awakened by a small black cat sneaking up to lick me. He didn’t get diarrhea at least. And his magnesium has been supplemented too. He is probably feeling good.

            2. I have just checked it (Cipro) out and every webpage about it has a large prominent warning at the beginning. This drug is clearly more dangerous or has the potential for more serious side effects than a typical antibiotic as far as I can tell. And the fact it used in germ warfare indicates potential problems.

              1. It’s insane, Michael. I was given the same stuff they use against anthrax for a minor, though stubborn, sinus infection.

              2. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

                If I had been exposed to anthrax and could die, then by all means Cipro would be necessary, but never ever without heavily supplementing magnesium and antioxidants at the same time. In itself it isn’t bad– it can save lives when nothing else can. But it’s riskier than any other family of antibiotics. Why are doctors using it when they don’t need to? And how are they so ignorant of how it works. An organic chemist posting in a forum online said he looked at the picture of the molecule and knew that it would push magnesium out if cells. He called it a chelating molecule. I’m not well versed in chemistry, but doctors are supposed to be. Tons of studies have been done on the drugs effects, done by doctors in peer reviewed journals for other doctors to read. But if you bring up the facts about the drug’s chemistry you get , “Cipro’s very safe.” That’s what the nurse says to me at the ER yesterday. Cipro has a Black Box warning from the FDA, but she called it very safe.
                It’s like these vets who declaw who state, “Declawing doesn’t harm cats” while at the same time their colleagues are doing research that proves quite clearly that it is very harmful. Why he in a profession if you don’t even care what’s going on in it?

        2. I hope your singing voice won’t be affected.
          It’s so beautiful.
          Poor Elisa. North Carolina is being hammered.
          I heard on the radio this morning that Florida is the only state without snow today. Gratitude time.

          1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

            I love snow!
            Monty is not happy. No one has shoveled the back porch and mom’s not going back there with her skis to pack the snow down for him to walk on it. Sorry, Monty, Mom is just not quite up to those activities right now!

            1. I remember snow as a little kid. It was beautiful and fun.
              But, I’ve been in Florida since 8 y/o and wouldn’t have a clue about what apparel is needed or how to drive on icy roads.
              I doubt that I would even be able to find what would be called a winter coat unless a snowbird donated one to a secondhand store.

              1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

                You don’t need to wear a winter coat, Dee. I wear a fleece poncho my mom made for me with matching hat and mittens. Long sleeves is good, two layers if it’s really cold. If you have to be out for awhile more layers is all that’s needed. I hate those bulky coats, and then while driving I get hot and can’t get it off. I can just pull the poncho up.
                Driving on snow is fine so long as you remember it’s easier to go than stop, and you can’t steer while breaking. After that it’s just practice until you get good. I sure loved my first car with it’s wide wheel base. Rear wheel drive, but still awesome on snow. Ice is the real problem for driving. Just snow is no big deal, but ice can make it impossible. Where Elisa lives they get less snow but more ice. Makes it tough.

  4. What a horrible, ignorant man, why ever get cats if he had feelings like that inside him, poor cats it’s awful that they have no say and are possessions to be bought by or given to anyone who has a passing fancy to own another living creature. Of course no one should fall out of love with their cat, nor with their husband, wife, child, dog, goldfish, car or anything else they choose to have but some ignorant oafs do when things become less than perfect and to be honest they make me sick.

    1. Agreed completely. I don’t want to boast but we (PoCers) have a true love of cats but many cat “owners” are ambivalent about cats. They “get a cat” for the wrong reasons and the relationship is fragile from the word go. These situations can end up they way this person’s relationship with his cats has ended up.

      1. True, a lot of people think of cats as “cat” interchangeable, disposable and readily replaceable rather than as individual creatures just like humans with their own characteristics etc. I was going to say I don’t know how anyone could treat a feline member of the family like this but then I got to thinking it happens all the time with elderly human relatives as well, when they become incontinent or a bit batty off they go into a home so someone else has to care for them.

        1. I believe that with exceptions like us the average person does tend to think of cats in not quite the right way. They don’t place quite enough value on their lives. It is a human trait.

  5. Michael,

    I love your comparison to a good marriage- it is so apt. There’s no way to fall out of love with our kitties- I wonder why he even took in these kitties..

    I cannot even imagine falling out of love with our guys- they are just so wonderful- and I take care of them a heck of a lot better than I do myself – LOL..

    But from the opposite purrspective- can our cats fall out of love with us? Just thinking about that- What do you think?

    1. I wonder why he even took in these kitties..

      I agree that these problems start before the beginning. Some people should take more care in adopting a cat and consider all the responsibilities.

      can our cats fall out of love with us?

      Yes, I believe they can if we don’t interact enough and if there are better alternatives. Cats normally walk out if they can and if there are better options. I think cats can end up being anxious about their human caretaker or within their home environment and then find alternatives. A recent comment by a man who lives with his girlfriend who has a cat. It is a typically bad scenario for the cat.

      1. Could it be that now he has a family the cats are just an inconvenience?? He no longer has time for them? If so then he was never a true cat lover because I have friends who are and they have integrated their cats with their young children and they all live in harmony.

      1. I think this was a provocative article – but I think it is one of the articles on the guardian newspaper site with the biggest discussion, most comments – to the point that they referred back to it just the other day as being on of the defining article discussions of their entire website.

        In other words – alot of people have alot to say about cats – yes, it’s about the comments more that the article.

        I agree with Michael technically speaking – i.e.: if he were being serious (I doubt he really is) that he should not ever go near another cat again. You can’t hate an animal. Full Stop.

        1. I agree, it was written provocatively to stimulate comments. It also seems that he meant it but perhaps not. Just saying that you want your cat dead even in jest is not good.

  6. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    No x 1,000,000 I could NEVER fall out of love with our cats and never have with any of the cats we’ve had, I’ve loved them from the moment we met to the sad day we said goodbye.
    I hope someone hates Dave Hill and wishes him dead when he is old and ill, he should never have been allowed within a mile of any cat 🙁

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