Cats live by a strict code of conduct that dictates how they behave. They do their best to respect our lifestyle and expect us to do the same in return. You might think you are holding up your end of the bargain, but you may actually be disrespecting your cat without even realizing it.
If you are guilty of any of these 9 rude kitty faux-paws it’s time to change your disrespectful ways!
1. Punishing your cat.
Yelling, clapping your hands, or shaking a can full of coins may halt a dog’s unwanted behavior, but loud noises will only frighten your cat and teach her not to trust you. Instead of doling out punishment, consider what your cat’s behavior might mean.
Scratching the furniture could indicate boredom. Try some new toys or a well-placed scratching post. If your kitty doesn’t stop hopping on the counters, she may be seeking your attention or require a safe, high perch to survey her surroundings.
2. Shaving off her hair.
Lion cuts are pretty darn cute, and sometimes they are medically necessary, but shaving her hair off just because you like the look is a major example of disrespecting your cat.
Not only is the process frightening and stressful, cats need their hair to help them self-regulate their body temperature. Their lovely layered coats keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
3. Leaving her alone too long.
One of the biggest misconceptions about domestic cats is that they are aloof loners that do not care when or if you come home. This is very disrespectful to your cat.
While she is independent, your cat still requires love, attention, and security. The truth is, she worries when you are away too long. Even if you leave plenty of food and water, she feels your absence and stresses out over her altered schedule.
Going out after work now and then is fine, but if you plan to be gone for days, hire a pet sitter to look in on your cat at least once every 24 hours.
4. Watching her in the litterbox.
Cats value their privacy when it comes time to do their business. This is why they prefer their litter box tucked away in a safe, quiet, low-traffic area.
Forcing her to poop in public is another example of disrespecting your cat. She is not embarrassed by this natural process, but she likely feels vulnerable to predators while in such a compromising position.
5. Shutting her out.
While you must respect your cat’s potty privacy, she does not have to extend the same courtesy to you. In fact, she likely finds closed doors extremely disrespectful. Whether you are sleeping, using the bathroom, or writing your memoirs, your cat demands an open-door policy.
6. Forcing your love on her.
Veterinarian Wendy Hauser says cat parents should never demand playful or affectionate interactions if their kitties are not in the mood.
“Cat owners should not force attention on cats. Though cats enjoy human attention, they like it in smaller doses than dogs, and on their own terms. Owners should respect this basic need of their feline friends and never force attention on them, such as holding them against their will.”
Along these same lines, avoid disrespecting your cat’s need for cleanliness. Petting her during a grooming session is like someone pouring mud into the tub while you’re trying to take a bath!
7. Disturbing her sleep.
The average cat sleeps 15 hours per day but may end up napping up to 20 hours in a 24-hour period. Clearly, sleep is very important to your feline friend. Waking her from one of these cat naps is very disrespectful, indeed.
8. Teasing her.
Blowing in her face, splashing her with water, and tickling her toe beans may be great fun for you, but your cat does not see the humor in such childish antics. In fact, all of these teasing behaviors can cause fear and mistrust.
Blowing in a cat’s face may remind her of an aggressive cat hissing or stimulate the sensitive nerves at the base of her whiskers and tactile hairs. Splashing water is just plain rude and may make your cat feel vulnerable. As for tickling, ask yourself if you like to be teased in this way. Your cat probably doesn’t either.
9. Allowing strange creatures into her domain.
The ultimate way of disrespecting your cat is to allow another four-legged intruder into her territory without a proper introduction. If you plan to welcome another cat into your shared environment, be sure to prepare your current kitty first.