HomeHuman to cat relationshipcat welfareWhat have you learnt over the years from your cat and about cat caretaking?

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What have you learnt over the years from your cat and about cat caretaking? — 9 Comments

  1. One thing I learned from all my years with cats is they are very flexible, loving and appreciative. They know when you are sad or depressed and offer they comforts with purrs. My current cat, Rex, loves to hear me laugh and will go out of his way to be silly. He will bow up at me and take the silhouette of the Greek letter Pi, with his tail curled downward in an “S” shape. Sometimes he hops that way.

    Cats also like to tell you about their day when you come home after a long day at work or after a vacation. They have very pleasant voices, even the Siamese, to cat lovers. I can’t imagine life without cats. I have loved them for too long. 🙂

    • There is a lovely calmness in a relationship with a domestic cat. There are no big surprises and tricky situations where you have to play games with people in order to placate them or stop them becoming agitated and upset. I love that very simple, straightforward relationship that we have with our cat companions. We can learn from that because a lot of people in a lot of relationships should be more truthful.

  2. My present two cats have taught me “TOLERANCE” and “PATIENCE” in living life.They both have their irritating habits and compensate the same by being affectionate and loving.Nothing like the “Soft purr” of a traditional Persian cat to soothe frayed human nerves of stress or worries.

  3. ive learned a lot about myself & my relationships through my eternal kitty. its true, if something stresses him he avoids it. hes ever curious about what im doing, & always seems 2 know when im stressed or need him 2 pet me(i wish i had a webcam 2 tape it cuz its uncanny). anyway, hes taught me a lot & ill b forever grateful. though i never wouldve been ok with having 1 until after i rescued a feral kitten under my porch about 2 1/2-3 years ago. i rly didnt like cats 2 much before then, & now i cant imagine my life without 1. 🙂

    • Nice comment. Quite a lot of people say their cat instinctively knows when their human companion stressed or upset. I have heard that quite a lot. Cats recognize differences in our behavior and I believe that they also realize that there is a good reason for it. You have discovered the pleasures of looking after a domestic cat fairly recently. And you rescued a feral cat. That’s excellent. Thanks for sharing Ed.

  4. Thank you everyone for your great comments and insightful discoveries on owning and caring for cats.

    I have become rescuer, Mother, babysitter, nurse, best friend and Doctor over the ages to many animal species. The cat is my favorite now that I’m older and also because I have outgrown my allergies. I am amazed at the complexity and simplicity of my furry feline friends.

  5. Michael,
    Thank you for sharing this very thorough article on what you’ve learned about responsible cat caretaking.

    I’ve had a few cats during my lifetime, but only 2 female siblings that I got as kittens, were long term. I don’t think I learned that much because they were healthy, and had no behavior problems in spite of several moves, and ultimately from Hawaii to California. (After I’d been here several months, and was just house sitting.) They were with me at each house sitting job, and never caused any problems.

    I think we may learn more when our cats are challenged by health or behavior issues, as I have with Mitzy in the recent months. My intensive research has led me to many “difficult truths” I never would have discovered.

    I don’t even recall buying a book on cats, until I got her. Actually when I worked in the shelter, I use to borrow books from their library. That started my real interest in learning more about cats.

    I learned some things just from working in the shelter. I’d never seen a cat sit in their litter box. I watched the behavior of cats who were stressed from being in cages.

    Now, I do a lot of posting on FaceBook, and my local BB regarding cats, cat food, vets, drugs, etc. People have told me that the information has changed the way they care for their cats. Some people even write to me with questions. Mostly, they don’t provide enough facts about the situation, so I pose questions to them before responding.

    I have learned that in spite of their “9 lives”, cats are sensitive creatures, and their well-being can be affected by many things we’re unaware of.

    Fortunately since I’m home most of the time, I’m very aware of Mitzy’s activities. When she cries at me I try to figure out what she wants.

    The one thing I haven’t done is to create a response signal, like the “clacker”. I think this is a good thing to do, in case a cat escapes. It would make finding the cat easier. When she was a semi feral, she used to come when she heard my keys open the garage door for feeding time. More recently she would come to the crinkle of the treat bag, but she stopped liking them, and hasn’t wanted any of the new ones I’ve gotten. So, this is an unsettled issue for me.

    My friend recently got 2 cats, and a puppy. She’s 75, and I’m a bit concerned about this because she’s never had cats. She gave up her last dog because he was too hyper for her, after having him for several years. I’ve asked her to share more about these new pets.

    • Over many years of cat care, the one thing that worked well when calling for my indoor/outdoor cats was to take a spoon and make it ring against a bowl. I have also used forks and all metal knives. I thing the spoons ring loudest. Start in the home and ALWAYS give some sort of treat, be it kibble, real meat, dairy products, (no lectures, please) or whatever the cat really likes. Eventually the cat will associate the ringing with tasty treats and will come every time. Just remember, the cat will come in his/her own time and not the time frame you expect. He/she may be quite a good distance from home. You may have to repeat the ringing several times before the cat shows up at the door. Best wishes!

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