Its Just a Cat…. or is it?

its only a cat…
4 little words that can spark anger and upset into pet lovers. especially feline varieties, the world over.  So what is it about cats?

Most of the time you will hear this phrase they are muttered from a person who has probably never received the 2 way unconditional love of a cat.  These are the people who believe cats are always distant, aloof, lone creatures with no compassion or ideals of companionship. That cats are manipulative, selfish and ultimately disobedient and destructive.

Many, if not most, will have purely faded childhood memories of a cat which scratched them, though they won’t recall what happened at the time, but it wasn’t their fault, the cat was nasty.

Whilst many will say we are biased due to the very natter of being involved in rescue (so we must see cats through rose tinted glasses).  A degree of this may well be true but what we do see every day is a cats ability to show vulnerability, fear and through time and trusting one another, even the most aggressive, confused and emotionally scarred little cat can blossom into a tactile, loving and very caring companion.

Many of the cats we take in where they have been described as nervous, aggressive, lone animals turn out to be some of the most loving, tactile cats ever.  So why the change?  probably due to being misunderstood, anxiety in the home environment and possibly its just the wrong home!?

Too often people tell us that they must adopt a kitten so that they can bring it up ‘their way’ and so the kitten will fit into their home and family better.  But this is not necessarily so.  Cats are independent animals who think for themselves and have their own characters and personalities.  Yes, this cute little kitten is adorable and will grow up in your home but that does not guarantee that it will like or be happy there.  In fact in most cases we take cats into Sunny Harbour that are 2 – 4 years old that people have had from a kitten that are quite simply stressed and anxious in the home environment causing unwanted behaviours.   You have to realise that you cannot brain wash a cat into ‘your way’.  You must accept that cats are their own persona and it is you who must adapt to them to ensure that they are happy and settled in your home. 

Many times we rehome a cat where 1 in the couple is slightly reluctant. Typically due to lack of experience with cats or childhood experiences. The strange thing is that we often find it is this individual the cat creates closest bond to. Who melts at every show of the pretty please eyes and who, ultimately gives in to ask if the cat can join them in bed despite forbidding it under any circumstances when the cats first arrived.

Cats are complex, emotional animals and if you take just a few moments each day to get to know that little feline companion you share your home with and learn how to understand what he or she is trying to tell you, you will very quickly see that they are far from being “just a cat”

Cats know when you are sick, feeling down or upset.  They will sit by you and keep you company, give you cuddles unconditionally and provide companionship without demanding much in return.  Simply food, love and of course, a clean litter tray.

So, the next time someone tells you “its just a cat” remind yourself that it is them that is ignorant of the wonderful, loving relationship cats have to offer – and how can people comment on things they know nothing about?

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5 Responses to Its Just a Cat…. or is it?

  1. cookiesmummy says:

    All SO true! I tend to think that those who aren’t ‘cat people’ have never been owned by one. I think there is something extra special about bonding with a cat. Today I’ve been to feed my mums cat. He’s not a terribly ‘nice’ cat -he has aggressive turns and can be a whinge, yelling all the time. He has been alone all night and just wanted A LOT of cuddles which was a sight I don’t usually see. The cuddles soon turned into hissing and worrying my legs- it’s simply his way of saying “enough”. OK, it’s a little scary at times and not terribly polite, but we know him and we know his personality. We know to expect it. But to an outsider it would seem awful! He just has a few issues – but don’t we all?

  2. Fiona Jack says:

    Absolutely! Lucinda does the same – she’s all over you for cuddles, but after about 10-15 mins, even with a variety of affection and grooming, she’s had enough and is content to simply lie at your side. Front paws lying, back paws up means ‘give my back a right good rub’! So even us cat novice-mums can learn quickly by being observant.

  3. Elle says:

    I agree with people thinking they can make a cat what they want! This couple came to see one of my foster cats with a view to adopting him and he was all kittenlike and playful but gently bit one of them and they instantly didn’t want him as they wanted a cat that just let them cuddle it!!! Not many cats that allow you to do anything to them and cuddle them all day!!

    • Sadly though there are far too many people who look to getting pets with the same attitude and lack of knowledge on the pet they are opting to have join their home. It is these pets that will do doubt end up in rescue or euthanised when they suffer stress or anxiety related behaviours or become sick. People’s attitudes towards pets being ‘objects’ needs to change before we have any hope of improving animal welfare.

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