Categories: ownership

If lockdown has made our cats more friendly there is a lesson to be learned

The Sun online newspaper reports that more than half of UK cat owners claim that their feline friends have become friendlier during lockdown. Almost 90 percent said that their pet – either a dog or cat – had provided them with emotional support during the lengthy coronavirus pandemic lockdown in the UK. This is very relevant today because The Times reports that levels of depression in British adults have almost doubled during the pandemic. The figures come from the Office for National Statistics. We don’t know how many in the survey lived with a companion animal. We do know, though, that companion animals help to alleviate depression.

The Sun newspaper tell us the story of Lottie Clements who runs a pet accessory business in Maldon, Essex. She said that her male cat Humphrey has become more affectionate. He’s not a particularly cuddly cat but now wants to sit on her lap when she watches television, which he did not do before the lockdown. And he likes to come to bed with her and her partner. He also awaits for her in the garden when she comes back from a walk with the dogs.

Lottie and Humph. Photo: The Sun newspaper.

It’s all great and positive indicating a close bond between her and her “Humph”. The bond has been enhanced because of her added presence in the home during lockdown. She’s been around Humphrey more and therefore had a chance to connect more with him. Common sense stuff.

It shows how it is quite easy to dispel the misconception that domestic cats can be aloof. Perhaps the aloofness that some people describe is because of the behaviour of the cat caretaker and not the cat themselves. It is up to the cat owner to manage the relationship and make it better. The humans dictate the terms. They can make it worse or better. There can be situations where the owner becomes distanced from their cat and then dislikes the cat for being aloof and difficult.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realise that the more time you spend with your cat, provided it is the right kind of interaction, the better and closer the relationship will be. The “right kind of interaction” is gentle and respectful of a cat’s potential anxieties and the raw wildcat inside her.

I’ve got to come to the conclusion that this is another positive spin-off from the coronavirus pandemic. In the UK, people will be working from home far more often than before and for many it will be a permanent change. The pandemic has caused a paradigm shift in human behaviour with respect to work practices which is going to benefit domestic cats and dogs. People are going be there for them more often and for longer. This is the way it should be. It is actually a reversion back to the early years of cat domestication thousands of years ago. Modern work practices (chasing around back and from the office) are far from ideal for cat owners.

And if some cat owners do go back to the office to work as they did before, perhaps the lessons learned from the lockdown concerning pet ownership will have been learned and they will spend more time with their cat or dog.

Some pages on “bad cat behavior”

What’s up with cat humping, anyway?

I have brazenly lifted the title to this post from the Catster.com website. The title interested me. I thought how ...
Read More

How can I stop my cat scratching my carpet?

The facetious answer is to get rid of your carpet. I am actually a believer that the best homes for ...
Read More

Why do domestic cats hunt?

The question in the title might, at first instance, look completely normal. Domestic cats hunt in order to feed themselves, ...
Read More

Cat punishment versus divine intervention

Anyone with reasonable knowledge of cat guardianship knows that punishing a domestic cat is pointless. It's worse than pointless. It ...
Read More

How do I stop my cat from waking me up at 4 am?

Don't stop her. Let her do it and learn to enjoy it but read on...The first point to make is ...
Read More

Cat runs around at night

People are looking for ideas when they type into a Google search bar 'cat runs around at night'. They're really ...
Read More

Why do you think your cat dislikes you and is behaving badly constantly?

I think there are four reasons why you think that your cat is behaving badly and why you think she ...
Read More

Why do feral cats attack humans?

Why do feral cats attack humans? This is a question people ask of Google. They must think that feral cats ...
Read More

Elf on the Shelf snow angel used as cat litter tray

The picture of the Elf on a Shelf surrounded by sugar granules was meant to be part of a Christmas ...
Read More
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

10 thoughts on how to make your cat less timid

I'm going to rely on chapter 19 of Jackson Galaxy's book Total Cat Mojo to…

4 hours ago

Has this cat hater gone too far with his DIY automatic anti-cat device?

NEWS AND COMMENT - PERTH: A peeved and frankly angry Australian man, Craig Turner, built…

13 hours ago

Should I let my cat lick me?

This very fundamental question is asking whether cat owners/guardians they should let their cat lick…

16 hours ago

3 reasons why you might lose your cat to your neighbour

We know that we don't truly own our domestic cat companions. We might think that…

18 hours ago

What type of cat is the Whiskas cat?

The Whiskas cat 2020, judging by the latest videos on YouTube, is likely to be…

1 day ago

Russian stray cat survives minus 27 degrees Celsius

Below is a stitched together narrative from many Twitter tweets in Russian (translated by Google)…

1 day ago