Do cats choose their owners?


By Carey’s Cat’

Cat behaviorists have conducted an experiment. A cat was placed in a room with several people. Some are cat lovers…others are not. Surprisingly, the cat had made overtures to the non-cat people. The cat approached the non-cat lovers and rubbed its body against their legs. The cat has even jumped on the lap of one person who did not particularly like cats. Do cats really choose the people they would befriend? Do cats choose their owners? Some cats do. Some cats would develop a certain kind of fondness to the people that are providing its basic needs.

We know cats to be solitary animals. Unlike dogs that have the tendency to develop destructive behaviors when not provided with enough attention by the owners, cats would not need human intervention for their existence. Look how stray cats managed to survive in barns, in warehouses and in decrepit and abandoned buildings on their own. These animals would hunt mice and other small fast moving animals to survive. Cats are noted for their independent and aloof personalities. Cats would never consider themselves owned. Unlike dogs, a cat would not have a master. Cats are choosy animals. They are particular about who they will bond with. This knowledge makes some people take pride at the fact that cats have specifically chosen them to be the their owner.

Despite the studies conducted in feline behavior, humans are still puzzled by some of the actions and behaviors these animals show. One of the cat behaviors humans find perplexing is the animal’s tendency to choose its owner. In the example given above, cat behaviorists have explained that cats are intimidated by the attention given to them by cat lovers. Thus they tend to choose people that are ignoring them. Feral cats that have existed in farms and kept grain sheds free from pesky mice and other rodents would suddenly decide to change their lifestyle and move into family situations. The decision can be influenced by the ever present food source in households. It is common for stray cats to hang around areas where food can be found. It is also possible that the cat has instinctively found someone in the home that it can bond with. Cats are not very affectionate animals but they can develop a bond with anyone that is showing them kindness. It is not uncommon for animals to have a strong attachment with children. The cat may have found a friend in the child that offers food and provides care and affection.

In a family setting where the pet cat is being cared for by all the members of the family, the pet would still choose to bond closely with a particular person. Behaviorists have theorized that the person’s voice, demeanor or the way he/she interacts with the cat is what entices the cat to choose the person to be its owner. Some researchers have suggested that the choice of the cat is influenced by similarity of psychic aura that the cat and the person it chooses to bond with have.

There is still no definitive reason for the cat’s tendency to bond with a particular person and to consider that person as its owner. It is not surprising if people would want to win the affection of cats given that cats are wonderful animals to have around. Cat lovers would need to understand that even if cats are noted for their independent personalities, these pets would not say no to the attention and to the love showered on them. You want the family pet to consider you as its owner? Try spending more time with the cat and see if it does not follow you around and consider you as its most favorite person.



Do Cats Get Sad?

Feeding the ducksThere is a common misconception that cats can be left alone at home all day. This is why cats are the common choice of busy pet owners…owners that would not be able to devote much time interacting with the pet because of busy schedules. However, cats can get sad too. Who wouldn’t be if there is nothing to do inside a very quiet house? Not many pet parents though are aware that cats are subject to emotions. Kitty can get depressed, angry, threatened and sad too.

Cats are solitary animals noted for their independent personalities. As such, there is a common misimpression that cats being tough animals can happily exist without interacting with humans. Humans are only the cats’ tickets to comfortable existence. True enough, cat owners would provide the pet not only with its basic needs but also with all imaginable things that would make the pet comfortable. It is even believed that it is not possible to own cats. Cats will never have a master as these animals own the masters instead. This kind of behavior gives the wrong impression that cats do not have emotions. Cats would not get sad.

However, we have heard of situations where a cat that was parted from a loving owner would pine, would not eat and would have no interest in its surroundings. Cat owners have observed how a cat would have teary eyes and how it would howl and brood after the death of another cat. The cat is sad because of the absence of the owner. It is obvious that the cat is grieving because of the death of the playmate. Skeptic would say that these actions are not manifestations of sadness but the owner’s tendency to attribute human emotions to the pet. However, studies on cat behavior have revealed that cats can get sad. The same situations that would depress humans would cause depression in humans too. The cat may be accustomed to being left alone at home all day but a gloomy weather, the demise of the owner or the transfer to a new house would be too much for the cat to bear. Cats do not wear watches nor do they know how to tell time but these animals are accustomed to doing the same activities at the same time. Any disruption to the routine would have an effect on the emotions of the pet given that cats are creatures of habit.

A change in behavior would make the owner aware that all is not well in the pet’s world. A sad cat would be restless. Cats are fastidious groomers but a sad pet would be noticed to groom halfheartedly…if they groom at all. The cat would sleep excessively and lose interest in food. Cats are not big on showing affection but sadness would make the cat even more aloof. The cat may even tend to hide from the family members. Sadness would make the cat develop destructive behaviors. The cat may forget to use the litter box thus owners would be concerned with the cat’s habit of house soiling. A sad cat would manifest attention-getting behaviors like scratching and gnawing.

What should a cat owner do to prevent the pet from getting sad? Contrary to the common impression that cats have cold and aloof personalities, cats really need to interact with their human friends. Cats really appreciate the attention given by the owners. The cat’s sadness can be prevented by giving the pet extra attention. More bonding time will make the cat feel that it is loved. Cats need mental stimulation. Toys will stimulate the cats mind while it is alone at home. A sad cat may be longing for company. Another pet will provide the cat with a companion.