This is a short essay on cat ownership for students and kids. Anyone can use it as they wish. Just cut and paste it from the computer screen. If you want some modifications or something else in addition, please contact me.
There are many ways to care for a domestic cat. If all of them are to be good then the cat owner must respect the cat. How do you respect the domestic cat?
You do it by understanding ‘him’ or ‘her’ – try and avoid using the word ‘it’ when writing about the domestic cat because it automatically creates an impression of disrespect.
There are many things to understand, the most important of which is cat behaviour and how it is based upon the behaviour of the domestic cat’s wild ancestor: the North African wildcat. The domestic cat has retained the essential behavioural characteristics of the wildcat over the almost 10,000 years since domestication.
Cat owners who understand and respect their domestic cat should be called ‘cat caretakers’ or ‘cat guardians’. Both these terms imply a respect for the domestic cat companion whereas ‘cat ownership’ implies that the person owns their cat which is not an ideal basis for an excellent relationship because it indicates that the person does not respect the cat. It is also inaccurate because although legally a person owns their cat, in practice this is a relationship between two sentient beings of equal value.
The health, feelings and motivations of the domestic cat are the driving forces behind cat behaviour. A good caretaker will be aware of their cat’s usual behaviour patterns and, through concerned observation, notice changes which are often indications of ill health. If she suspects ill-health a prompt visit to the vet is a cat caretaker’s obligation which has been accepted before the relationship began.
Cat ownership begins before a person ‘owns’ a cat. A future cat caretaker has done her homework and understands and acknowledges the costs in caring for a cat throughout her cat’s entire life. This is commitment to cat caretaking and it is the foundation upon which excellence is based.
A contented cat is a cat living in a home that is both calm and reassuring but which also contains features which suit, please and stimulate the domestic cat. The atmosphere in the home is created by the cat caretaker who ensures that their home is both pleasant for herself and for her cat in equal measure. An environment that is stimulating for a cat allows the cat to express natural drives, desires and behaviour pattens.
The calmness and reassurance comes from the cat caretaker. The loving cat caretaker will always make sure that their cat is as relaxed as possible and therefore content. A stressed cat is liable to become defensively aggressive towards people through no fault of her own.
The features that suit a domestic cat include places to hide when their cat is fearful and places to climb up to because cats inherently like to move vertically and seek out raised areas where they feel secure. This is inherited from the wildcat.
The provision of food is part and parcel of life with a cat; daily routines often center around this aspect of cat caretaking. The concerned ‘cat owner’ will be informed about cat food quality and avoid the pitfalls of providing cat food which can detrimentally affect cat health.