You struggle to cope with life. You lose your temper with your cat.

You love your cat but the other day you were badly stressed and you lost your temper with your cat. You regret it.

Stressed woman

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Does this happen to you? Do you have moments when you lose your rag; lose your cool because you’re struggling with trying to control the million things you have to, to keep afloat? And then during this fraught moment your cat gets in the way. You love your cat but you shout at her. You regret it. Or you pick her up and throw her out of the way. It could be anything. You might even kick her, not too hard but hard enough so that it hurts you emotionally but not your cat. Cats get over these moments if the events are exceptional. If they are consistent or routine you have created a big problem – a fearful cat. The relationship will be dead or dying.

But this note is simply asking the question whether as a good, decent cat guardian you can on occasions through life pressures lose it and take it out on your cat just because she is there and she is vulnerable.

Invariably, on reflection, a good cat caretaker will think about what has happened and feel guilty. A lady or a man – not sure – asked for help on this site. This occurred years ago.

To be candid, I’d expect the domestic cat to take the brunt of some abuse, sometimes, somewhere from a stressed owner. It is not human aggression deliberately directed at the family cat. It is lashing out at anything and it just so happens that the cat is a convenient recipient.

There is a lot of pent up anger within people. It has to be like that as the world moves faster and becomes ever more competitive. It can be very hard to keep body and soul together.

As a person becomes older they become less tolerant to stress. It is as if each of us has a reservoir of tolerance to the battering that life dishes out. The reservoir almost runs dry. The fuse is short. The cat is there. The cat gets in the way or breaks something. He is underfoot and a for split second a nuisance. You kick. Can you see that happening?

The more ambivalent a cat owner is about cat caretaking the more likely it is too happen. A genuine love for cats will be a barrier to this sort of untypical, flash point cat abuse. What can we do to stop it happening? Not a lot because it is the harsh reality of human life. And it is getting worse. It is a question of self-control. Do you have it? Does anyone have sufficient self-control to never release anger or frustration? I doubt it.

Image artwork by Stephen Day (Flickr)

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14 thoughts on “You struggle to cope with life. You lose your temper with your cat.”

  1. Sandra, I think that your cat stretching out is probably a ploy to sweeten you into changing your mind about letting her outside. Cats are clever and know just how to schmooze us 😉

    I don’t allow my cats outside when it’s dark, but one of my cats Merlin was unhappy with that rule. He would sit by the door every evening meowing non-stop for about 20 minutes and when that didn’t work, the meows would then become pitiful, kitten like mewling. Another 20 minutes later, the mewling turned into full on caterwauling, until he would eventually give up and disappear upstairs to begin pulling clothing out of drawers in protest (lol).

    The only way we broke him of the behaviour was to ignore it completely. Even making eye contact was a no-no because that would mean he’d know he’d got our attention. (Merlin would often glance across to see if we’d noticed him howling). It took almost two months, and sometimes we even had to leave the room, but eventually Merlin accepted that he was not going to get his way on this point.

  2. My cat often cries because she want to go out. She will go to the door, and cry loudly. Mostly I just say “NO” loudly, but sometimes I splash her with water.

    She has a new habit, which is kind of funny. After I say “NO”, she will lay down on her side, and stretch out. Usually when she does this, it’s a message to me that she wants me to pet her, or rub her tummy.

    So, it could be her way of making sure I’m not mad at her, or a ploy to try to change my mind about letting her out. I’m not sure about this. Does anyone have a suggestion?


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