Retired people who are concerned cat owners are perhaps potentially the ideal in terms of creating an environment for a cat which is the most likely to please them. This is because retired people are more likely to naturally create a world which is full of routines. Often retired people do the same things every day and routines become entrenched. And, of course, they are far more likely to be at home with their cat every day.
Obviously, their cat is at home too. Cats love their routines and so you can see how it is easy to develop enmeshed routines from both the cat and person. And this is what pleases cats. It reassures them, which in turn allows them to be more content.
Human routines are a form of informal communication to their cat. Cats observe and learn from their observations. They will understand what will happen next based upon their observations of the routines of their human guardian. And it will pre-empt any need for a person to make a request of their cat. Their cat will take action before a demand is necessary.
This leads to a very harmonious environment. I am sure that everyone has their own examples and I’ll give one of mine. My cat is currently snoozing on my legs behind my computer as I dictate this article. When I finish, I will close my computer and put it to one side. He knows that this is his signal to move up onto my lap where he expects to be flea combed. He does not have fleas but I always comb him with a flea comb because it serves two purposes: it checks for fleas and it combs him, removing dead hair. It is also very pleasant for him (and me). It is bonding.
The point here is that he moves up without any request from me with a squeak of delight in anticipation. He knows what to expect because every day we do the same thing. It’s this repetition through routines and feline observation which trains both the person and the cat. It can be hard sometimes to tell who is training who. Let’s just say it is a combined effort. And it is no different in this regard to living with another person. They, too, mesh their routines to create a harmonious environment.
Clearly, there is difficulty in achieving these objectives for people who work in jobs which take them away from home for long periods or whose job is unpredictable. And in some homes there are lots of comings and goings with visitors. These are strangers to a cat and unless they are particularly confident and used to it, they won’t like it. The lives of some people are less well suited to looking after a domestic cat.
But of course, there is a huge spectrum of human lifestyles and therefore we can’t make a black-and-white statement that this person is no good at being a cat owner because their lifestyle is unsuited, and this person is perfect. But some human lifestyles can assist a person to become a better caretaker.
It is a factor which should be taken into account when adopting a cat. Routines between cat and person are an excellent form of communication to which you add the usual ones: vocalisations and body language. But routines are a highly effective silent form of continuous communication between cat and person operating in the background. They will keep your cat happy provided all the other elements of good cat caretaking are in place.