In today’s world, there are a lot of divides—political, regional, and of course, dog versus cat. While some people appreciate all animals for who they really are (which is amazing!) cats often get a bad reputation. Sure, they’re fun to look at on the Internet—but to share your space with one? It’s like having a roommate who works weird hours and doesn’t pay.
I’m the proud parent of both a cat and a dog, but I’ve been a cat lover my entire life—even when I was briefly terrified of them as a child. Thankfully, my cat-fearing phase quickly went away, and eventually my cat-owning dreams became a reality in college. I still have a cat today, and I appreciate her for all the weird, wonderful things she does. Here are a few things that bond us cat owners and lovers together.
1. Your cat’s vacation is when you go on vacation.
If you’re out of town for a few days, the dog will require check-ups throughout the day from a friend or a neighbor. Unless your cat has specific dietary restrictions or medical needs, they’re totally cool with you leaving a bunch of food and water out, and having litter that’ll last for a few days. Remember when you were a teenager and your parents went away, leaving you alone in the house with a full fridge? It’s like that.
2. Cat toys are useless.
I’ve owned two cats thus far, and both of them haven’t had any interest in toys that don’t move. The only quasi-successful toys have been a plastic wand with a feather on it, and a laser pointer. But even these lose their charm pretty quickly. Anything plastic will keep your cat entertained for hours on end.
3. Cats will enjoy being groomed, until they realize what’s truly going on.
My cat, Finn, sheds like crazy. And since she’s a black cat (with “a boy name,” I know) her hair forms in dark clumps on my furniture. If vacuum cleaners had feelings, mine would totally hate me based on the amount of pet hair I expose it to. Finn is great with being brushed until she realizes that she’s actually being groomed. Then she gives me a warning bite, and runs away. Trust me, I don’t take offense.
Here’s something I learned: According to eHow, brushing can actually make a cat somewhat anxious, and the best time to groom is after mealtime or playtime. Also, if those bites seem serious, make sure to get them checked out. (Your cat didn’t mean you any harm, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.)
4. Despite everyone (ahem, dog people) telling you that a cat rubs his head against you to “own” you, you know it’s truly an expression of love.
Yes, cats do have scent glands at the top of their heads, and sure, they’re rubbing their scent on you. But who doesn’t love that? It’s adorable!
It also means that you’re important to them. You’re a VIP in their book.
5. We shop for furniture and clothes with our cat in mind.
Everyone has a different opinion on declawing, but personally, I’m against it. And that’s one of the reasons as to why I’m currently happy with my couch suffering from an internal stuffing leak. Eventually I’ll upgrade to grown-up furniture, and yes, with proper training, every cat can learn what they should and shouldn’t scratch. My cat is getting much better at knowing her limits, but sometimes, incidents do happen.
6. We are total pros at getting our furry buddy in a carrier.
Cats know what’s up. They don’t like being in a small, tight space, and then being held in the air by a flimsy plastic handle. Plus, since indoor cats rarely leave the house, the carrier might be an unfamiliar experience. Unfortunately, cat carriers are a necessity for bringing your friend to the vet, which is super important. Even indoor cats will need a set of shots, and you’ll want to make sure that you’ve established a great relationship with a veterinarian in case there’s a last minute emergency. While most dogs can easily be persuaded into getting into a carrier (and some actually enjoy it!) cat owners have typically figured out a maneuver to get their cats and kittens into a carrier with little to no stress for either party.
7. We often don’t see any issue with owning just one more.
Introducing cats can be a pain, especially since they can be quite territorial. But once cats either bond or (at worst!) claim their section of the house, things are often a breeze. Keep in mind, this behavior might bring out the stereotype of “cat lady,” but when you’re already a successful and loving cat owner, it’s tough not to bring a brand new kitten—or an older shelter kitty—into your home. I’ve heard tattoos can be addictive, but cats are often the same way. If I had my way (and if my lease would allow) I’d take on another. And I’m sure that constantly looking at the shelter listings probably isn’t a great thing for me to do, if I don’t want my heart broken into a billion pieces on the daily. Just make sure that before you open up your home to a new arrival, you’re financially ready and not willing to move to a place that doesn’t allow pets.
8. Your cat basking in the sun will be the most photogenic/peaceful thing you’ll ever experience.
Sadly, my cat always knows something is up when I storm downstairs to get my camera, and thus, the opportunity for some Instagram likes is lost. But my eyes? My eyes will never forget. It’s just glorious.