It is said that cat over-dependence can lead to your cat becoming stressed when he encounters small changes. It can also lead to attention-seeking.
Cat over-dependence is caused by spoiling your cat and/or providing too much attention. This is what the experts say.
I can see the argument. I can’t see it happening an awful lot, though. The opposite would seem to be more common. Or do I have that wrong?
If, more people don’t provide enough attention compared to those that provide too much, I wonder if we are encouraging the wrong thing when we refer to ‘cat over-overdepence’. It may lead to cat owners being too tough on their cat.
This is because the cure for cat over-dependence is:
- Ignore your cat when he is demanding attention. Only give attention when he is calm.
- Don’t reward the behavior problem by reacting to it. Attention-seeking cats thrive on successfully getting attention on demand.
- Don’t spoil your cat:- (a) a cat can be given boundaries by making certain rooms off-limits and (b) not allowing him to have food from the table or I suppose any other ‘out of bounds’ area. Providing boundaries will make your cat ‘more balanced’.
- Distract your cat from ‘focusing on you’. If you live in a family, other members can get involved with him, it is suggested.
- Use a puzzle-feeder. It can be used to keep him busy.
Giving him outside access should help as boredom can lead to over-dependence. This is because the owner becomes the major or sole source of interest for him.
There must be a fine difference between a close, loving relationship with lots of interaction and over-dependence, which is considered bad. I am not sure where the line should be drawn.
Personally, I don’t really like the suggestions in the list above. Perhaps I am too soft.