Seven reasons why cats are like REALLY difficult people

But also why they’re not ...

Drawing of a cat stalking in grass

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Melinda Gibbs's avatar

Our cat poppy was never a people person,  she would rather give all her attention to one of our dogs, she even let him lick her ears. She never came when called and certainly wasn’t a lap cat, although occasionally would sleep on my bed. 2 years ago that dog died and one year ago so did the other. Since then she talks to us constantly, always wants pats (especially tummy rubs) and sits on my lap all the time. She even loves visitors now who she never went near.  Its like having a completely different cat

Melinda Gibbs - 2022 01 30

Brenda Coxon's avatar

We recently acquired a dog after being cat owners for 32 years. Each of our cats over those years have been individuals, had attitude, as you said, demanded attention on their own terms and have been good company if somewhat selfish, self orientated and self contained. They are super easy to live with and aside from scratching sofas , are no trouble at all. Their purrs, calm demeanour and ability to just live in the moment, is good for the soul, therapeutic.
Dogs are demanding in a different, more physical way , need walks and training , need lots of attention and are sure everyone loves them. Way harder to care for. 
And after a few short weeks, our cats have made sure the dog knows it is has the lowest status in the house, their places being 1st and second! Clever indeed . The elder cat even sleeps occasionally on the dogs bed, just to prove a point and to keep the dog humble!

Brenda Coxon - 2022 01 27

On Facebook, Thaddeus Whalebone made some wonderful comments that illustrate several of the points above. He writes:

All of my feline friends have had very different personalities and traits. My childhood cat Max was a big black and white tabby who mostly lived outdoors and hunted, only coming in for meals and occasionally cuddling.
No Llama, a tortoise shell female was shy and skittish, but loved our St,Bernard dog. She lived to be 27 years old!
The next was my parents cat Mei Ling, a beautiful seal Lynx point Himalayan who had a loud purr and craved attention. She ate melon and had a very loud purr. She would take walks on a leash.
Leo, my beautiful white Angora left his white fur all over my clothes and furniture, but was my best friend for 15 years. He was so smart that he could use his paws to turn doorknobs. He would play outside all day and come home for dinner with me.
Sammy was adopted from a shelter and was very shy, but affectionate. He sadly only lived six months.
Corwin, the only cat I raised from a kitten, was a big beautiful Lilac Point Himalayan Cross. He was a sweetheart and loved cuddling with me. He was also a rascal and liked to hide in the smallest places. He developed inoperable bladder stones and died aged six.
Flora was a shy, quiet Bengal tabby. She rarely cuddled, but loved to play with her toys and getting cat treats.
I loved all of them. I don’t feel entirely myself without a cat.

HowAndWhy - 2022 01 24

Very interesting. On Instagram, there was a great comment about the Birman breed, along these lines, including how clever then are:
“Birmans are extremely cuddly, follow their owners around the house (they are strictly indoor cats due to no road sense and get stolen), extremely playful even in old age (Birmans are kittens that never grow up), they are very loyal to their owners, they don’t need space (they sleep in your bed, they are under your feet constantly), they are easily trained, they want to help do whatever you are doing, they are intelligent, they talk non stop, they show their feelings & they huff when mad.
“They know how to open cupboards, and they hate being alone. They love other cats. They will warn their owners about earthquakes 24 hours before it happens. They are not shy. I had one that figured out I was deaf and became my ears for me. They are very regal cats and expect to get royal treatment. They deserve the very best. They are VERY fluffy.”

Christine Evans-Pughe - 2022 01 07

On Facebook, a few people said that cats are friendlier and more emotional than described in this piece. One reader said, “At a shelter I’ve volunteered for, many cats immediately engage with people & demand affection, while quite a number become bonded pairs. Some fit in with boisterous families with dog pets too.”

Is the nature of modern cats changing?

Cats always used to go inside or outside freely and were able to breed as they wished. These days, many cats live indoors and we tend to allow only FRIENDLY, LOVING cats to breed. And cats breed fast! Could this be making domestic cats friendlier as a species?

Quite possibly. In a genetics experiment with silver foxes run in Siberia since 1958, only the foxes more tolerant of humans were allowed to breed. By the seventh generation they were whining for human attention and licking the hands of their caretakers. By the 20th generation they would leap into the arms of the experimental scientists and go for walks on leads.

They were making barkish noises, their faces had become rounder, and they developed tails that curled up, spotted coats, and floppy ears. They had undergone genetic changes and were behaving like ‘dogfoxes’.

Is this happening with cats? We are selecting cats for friendliness and shaping the species to become more like dogs. As a species, domestic cats might be becoming more affectionate and needy. Are we creating DOGCATS – cats that need us more and behave more like dogs than tigers?

HowAndWhy - 2022 01 07

Love this piece!

Christine Evans-Pughe - 2021 12 16

being-human