This is an essay on cat behavior. It is not meant to be packed full of detailed facts and information. You can find that by searching PoC using the custom search facilities. Two examples of cat behavior articles are:
The essay is about us. That sounds odd but I hope you will read on and see what I mean. I am not an expert on cat behavior. However, I have read a lot about it while writing for my website. Also, I have decades of experience in caring for cats. If you ask a cat behaviorist, a cat “expert”, what they usual do when asked to resolve cat behavior problems they will say that they change the behavior of the cat’s owner. That applies about 99% of the time.
I used to be a solicitor practicing divorce law and general litigation. You need to have a lot of knowledge to do that job. And you need to know how to read quickly and assess things fast. The longer I did the job the more refined my knowledge became. Knowledge can be filtered and crystallized down to some principle tenets. When you see a large book on divorce law, it looks daunting. However, after practicing divorce law for many years you rely on some principle rules and concepts and refer to the book for detail. Every subject has its principle rules and concepts. If you know them and abide by them you will always be moving in the right direction. Detail is important but it is built upon underlying concepts.
To understand cat behavior you only need to know the foundation concepts. There are not many of them. All the problems with cat behavior that you read about on the internet can be resolved through the application of some basic principles. I am sure that a lot of people won’t believe that or understand it. They might see the cat as a mysterious, even dangerous creature, and cat behavior as an impregnable science that they will never understand. I can assure you that you are wrong if you have that idea.
A cat caretaker must respect the cat. “Must” is a tough word but it is meant to be in this essay. To respect the cat we need to let our cat behave naturally. The more natural the environment the more likely he is able to express natural desires and drives and therefore the more natural his behavior will be. Natural behavior equates to less stress and less stress leads to more contentment. More contentment leads to a more healthy, laid back, relaxed cat and that is how we like it. The first principle is therefore to respect the cat.
Cat behavior is about our behavior because a domestic cat lives entirely in our world. A cat will respond to the stimuli that surrounds him. If the environment is hostile a cat will become defensively hostile; a reaction to the environment in which he finds himself. We need therefore to respect the cat as a cat. In order to respect the cat we must at the very least like cats and the more a person likes a cat the more likely it is that she will respect the cat. The more a person loves a cat the more likely it will be reciprocated. In other words, the more we give to our cat in terms of attention and respect the more we will receive in return and we will receive more that we give. The second principle is to recognise that the domestic cat lives in our world.
To respect the cat we have to know what a cat’s natural behavior is. This is especially important in households where there are several cats. The domestic cat has become a social animal when living in groups but there are some rules to avoid stresses. The avoidance of stress in a cat will help eliminate a range of behaviors that people don’t like.
Respecting the cat means relating to the cat companion as a cat. The domestic cat is not far from the wildcat ancestor in terms of behavior. Trying to shoehorn a cat into the human lifestyle on the basis that a cat is similar to a child is doomed to failure. If a person does not like some of the things that a cat does, the person should know that before adopting a cat and reconcile that matter in her head beforehand.
Once a cat has been adopted he or she should be able to behave as naturally as possible. Natural behavior that irritates a person should not lead to the cat being punished. That is unfair and counter productive. It will alienate your cat. The third principle is the domestic cat has the wildcat within him.
People always say that a cat is for the life of the cat. This is true. Achieving that objective is about self-management and it starts before a single cat is adopted. It is important for people to have the correct expectations on cat behavior, costs of caring for a cat or cats and the natural consequences that flow from keeping a cat (fur and some scratching) etc., before adopting a cat. Most often cats are relinquished early on. This is due to false expectations and lack of preparation in understanding cat behavior. The fourth principle is to manage your expectations through knowledge.
To sum up. If we respect the domestic cat as an animal that has almost all the characteristics of a small wild cat and allow the domestic cat to express those characteristics, even enjoy them when they might cause some damage to a possession of ours we are half way to resolving all cat behavior problems. The second half is to love your cat, to give your cat gentle attention, to speak softly and handle him respectfully. It does not matter how attractive your cat looks because over time you will see the beauty within and you will receive back twenty times the amount of pleasure and comfort that you gave away. The fifth principle is to love your cat generously.
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