HomeHuman to cat relationshipCat flaps and dry cat food can undermine the relationship between owner and cat

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Cat flaps and dry cat food can undermine the relationship between owner and cat — 8 Comments

  1. Your assessment is pretty good, Michael.
    In the past many, many years, I have had hundreds of cats in my care.
    I’ve never had a cat flap nor fed any completely dry food, not even my ferals.
    I was never wanting a pet of “convenience”.
    I open and close doors and feed as a way we can best know each one. I know their likes/dislikes and maintain control of their outings to ensure that they will be safe. We learn from each other. They know everything about me and they know their own names because we maintain that tight bond.
    There’s work involved when caretaking a cat. The effort is worthwhile.
    It the job seems too tough, then any pet isn’t for you. Even fish and turtle require care.

    • What you are saying exactly fits in with my concept of how to relate to a cat and how the human/cat relationship should work.There is work involved which is a good thing because it helps nurture the relationship. The more convenient it is and the easier it is the more likely it is that the bond will be weaker. Working together and communicating with your cat on a day-to-day even hourly basis really does bring rewards. It is the old adage, the more you put in the more you take out.

    • Yes Dee, even fish and turtles require care. But the return is nowhere near the rewards we reap from a well cared for cat. A healthy cat requires more work than most people realize, and give more in return than many people ever experience.

  2. My cats are fed twice a day-both dry and wet food. They are given treats and we interact as the cat wants. I have 4 deaf ferals and they operate under different rules. When they want interaction and loving, they let me know. And they get all the play and loving they want. Otherwise, if I go to them and they are not in the mood, I withdraw, otherwise there are teeth and claws. I learned many years ago that ferals and domestic cats can and do live comfortably in the same house and can be wonderful friends. Some I have rescued prefer to be more solitary. Mealtimes are the times everyone meets. It has worked well for my cats and me. And I don’t have a cat door-too many predators here.

  3. Michael, I think you’ve come to a very wise correlation, and it makes purrfect sense to me. Of course, if people work long hours, they won’t be home to feed or to let the cat out. I was in that situation before I retired. I left dry food out, and fed wet when I returned home. My indoor outdoor cats had 5 acres to roam on, and ate their share of raw food with geckos, mice and birds.

    I was close to my 2 cats, but not like I am with Mitzy, since I retired. I think it’s because our lives are really inter-connected, and we spend most of the time together. I rarely even leave the house unless she’s sleeping.

    I view her as I would a child, who needs nutritious food, fresh air, play time, cuddling, and above all, safety. Even though it would be more convenient to feed dry, it wouldn’t be nutritious. Would I give a child sugared cereal all day?

    Would I let a child come and go outside at will? Only if they had a safely fenced yard, and even then I’d keep an eye on them. Kids and cats can get into trouble that we could never imagine, until it happens.

    I’d like to see you post your correlation on your Facebook page. I’ll be posting it on my CAT Advocate page and other cat sites for cat guardians to consider.

    • “I think itโ€™s because our lives are really inter-connected, and we spend most of the time together.”

      As you say this is the key to a great relationship with your cat and it is the same for me. We are very close; so close we can “talk” to each other and this is partly because we do things together including letting him outside and calling him back in and so on. A lot of close interaction responding to a cat’s wishes help the relationship.

  4. We don’t have a cat flap and we do feed some dry food however we have treat time where everyone is on the counter eye to eye as well as at least one long session of interactive play daily.
    I do agree with you in theory though. I don’t know why some people have a pet although a cat with a flap and a bowl of food is a cat that has a home.

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