I’ll be honest. It irritates me to read descriptions of the domestic cat as “aloof”. The domestic cat is not aloof. People are (incorrectly) comparing cats to dogs and concluding that, in comparison, a cat is more independent and less needy than a dog. People construe these attributes as being “aloof”. But do we describe the dog as a fawning, needy pet that slobbers over anyone in sight. No, of course not.
Once again, and I hate to go on about this, the idea that cats are aloof is really more about people’s misplaced perceptions and ideas than about the cat herself.
Yes, cats do have their own minds. They do like space sometimes. They do like a retreat high up or somewhere safe. Sometimes they cuddle up to you. Other times they don’t. This is normal and good. I could be describing your human partner not your cat!
As is often the case, our relationship with the cat comes down to our expectations and demands. We should not harbour false expectations. Neither should we make unreasonable demands on our cat. We should understand the cat, get into the mind of our cat (yes, it is possible) and accept all the attributes that a cat brings to the relationship.
I sense that the source of the aloof cat descriptions are often from people who are ambivalent about the cat or simply dislike the cat. The dislike often comes from a lack of understanding of cat behavior or a prejudice learned from various sources.
Unreasonable prejudices against the cat tend to go undiscussed. Prejudices are learned. They can be unlearned. Prejudices can lead to stating that cats are aloof.
The truth is that the modern day domestic cat has evolved into quite a sociable animal. They make friends with other cats other animals (dogs most often) and people. Each cat has his own character just like people. We should get to know it and respect it. This is acceptance, the cornerstone of a good relationship with anyone or any animal.
Cats are not aloof. They are themselves. Individuals with their own character. The cat is a sociable companion. People just have to discover that quality and put aside misplaced ideas.
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