1. Cats Are Independent
People tend to like pets that fawn over them and cannot live without their owner’s company. Cats do not fit that mold. This personality trait is not true for every single cat; there are some who are insecure and clingy. However, the average cat will be very self-possessed and will exert their own will over what their owner wants at any given time. Cats do not always come when called (although many do as long as it suits them), will hide when you really need them to go to the vet, and hate to be restrained in any way. Cat lovers learn very quickly not to hug their pets too closely and to always let the animal go when they do not want to be cuddled anymore. Even docile cats will scratch to escape a tight embrace. If you try and force a cat to stay in your arms that animal is less apt to come to you again. Cats are not pack animals like dogs and do not require affection to survive. They can definitely fair better when alone or homeless than dogs. Despite being independent and proud, cats still gift their owners with attention and love if the human is worthy.
2. Litter Boxes
The very idea of a litter box can tip the pet scale away from owning a cat. Many people simply do not want a box in their home where an animal goes to the bathroom. Unfortunately litter boxes have gained a bad rap because owners forget to clean them enough and the smell and mess becomes overwhelming. Imagine having to step into a filthy outhouse every day that has overflowed and then you can empathize what cats go through in full litter boxes. Also, people need to have one box per cat in the house hold to avoid power struggles amongst their feline roommate. When a cat out of necessity starts elimination in areas outside the box it can become a chronic issue. Cats are creatures of habit and often develop favorite litters, areas and even times of day to go in the box. Try not to disrupt the routine and keep the box clean so litter won’t be the reason your cat is an outcast in the home.
Cats like to scratch and you will never stop them from doing this activity. The only hope of saving your carpets, furniture, staircases and curtains is to divert their attentions to acceptable scratching areas. The fact to remember is that cats do not scratch to make you mad or because they maliciously want to destroy your possessions; they scratch because it is natural for them to do so. Scratching exercises their muscles, sharpens their claws and takes off the old covering on their claws. The easiest solution to the scratching dilemma is to buy your cat a post and put it somewhere convenient for the pet. If the cat does not seem interested in the post try rubbing some catnip onto the post. You can also discourage the animal from scratching areas other than the post by employing a few proactive tactics. For example, the judicious use of a squirt gun when you catch the cat scratching might change their behavior but this method will not work when you are not home. Another effective method for stopping the scratching is rubbing fresh orange peels or spraying bitter apple on sofa arms and carpet to scare your cat away; they hate the smell. If you cannot stop your pet from scratching ask for advice at your local pet store. There are many products designed to keep cats away from areas in your house. These anti scratching products use scent, sound and texture to keep cats at bay.
There are very few things in life as surprising and disgusting as walking through your home, especially at night, and stepping on a warm, mucus coated glob of fur with your bare feet. Even seeing a hairball can forever put people off owning cats. Hairballs are produced because cats lick themselves clean, sometimes spending a considerable part of their busy day grooming and chewing on their fur. Cats don’t swallow their fur on purpose; they have no choice because their tongues have little backwards barbs on them which do not allow the cat to spit loose hair out. Most of this ingested hair passes through the intestines easily but sometimes if there is too much hair it mats up and can get stuck. Cats need to regurgitate the hair ball or serious health issues like blocked intestines can result. The easiest solution to this potentially serious problem is to brush your cat regularly. This will reduce the amount of loose fur your cat ingests and be a pleasant bonding activity. You can also feed your cat petroleum jelly or butter to help lubricate the passage of the hair wad and make sure you buy high fiber cat food to keep your cat’s digestive system healthy.
5. Cats Seem Perverse
Cats have very strong personalities which can rub people the wrong way. They run around the house, careening off of furniture and walls, knocking valuables off of shelves for fun, leaping down from cupboard tops with no warning and then attack your feet when you try to change positions in your sleep. Sharing your home with cats can be like living in a minefield; you never know what the day might hold. Men in particular have a hard time with pets that cannot be controlled or at least intimidated and cats tend to be immune to disapproval. One of the most common complaints by non-cat lovers is that these pets seem to take delight in leaping into the laps of people who genuinely do not like them. This behavior seems like a deliberate act designed to annoy but there is a reason for the cat’s actions. Cats are aggressive animals and will make eye contact, move towards and hiss at other animals when threatened. People who dislike cats tend to ignore them, avoiding both eye contact and physical interactions. Cats see this type of reaction as extremely friendly so they jump right up to make friends. They don’t know the cringing person does not like them.
Many people are allergic to cats and tend to hate the little creatures that produce such unpleasant symptoms. A common misconception about cat allergies is that all that congestion and red eyes is caused by the cat fur. This is incorrect. Cats have a protein in their saliva which is put on the fur when the animal grooms itself. This protein can also be transferred off the fur onto couches, carpets and beds when the cat walks, plays, sleeps or rolls around. Allergens from cats also can be airborne for long periods of time so you need to utilize several strategies to control exposure. Rubbing the animal with a microfiber cloth can remove some of its dander; this is more effective (and safer) then bathing the animal. You can also keep the cat out of your bedroom completely to make it a dander fee zone and wash all your bedding (and chair covers) at least every two weeks in hot water. Getting a high quality HEPA air filter system and vacuum can remove a great deal of allergens from your home. The easiest way to minimize your symptoms, besides getting rid of the cat, is to wash your hands after petting the animal with a good antibacterial soap.
7. Attitude Based in History
Some schools of thought maintain that men dislike cats because of the subconscious association to witches and continuing historical prejudice. Cats went from being worshipped by ancient cultures such as the Egyptians to being despised for over 800 years after the 10th century. Accused witches were usually women who performed healing and midwife duties. These independent women were feared and persecuted and their cats were labeled as witches helpers in the dark arts. Cats were thought of as agents of the devil and many believed that witches could turn into cats to perform their wicked magic. Hundreds of thousands of felines (sometimes with their human companions) were burned, buried alive, drowned and otherwise put to death in the name of protecting the church or community. Cats, especially black ones, to this day are still thought to be bad luck if they cross your path. This fear and distrust is not logical but catching sight of glowing cat eyes in the middle of the night can bring a shiver down many people’s spines.
8. Cats are not Manly
Stereotypes are not acceptable in modern society but several still revolve around pet choices. Cats have gained a reputation as being somewhat feminine despite the obvious macho attitude that most cats tend to exude. This misconception might have its roots in the familiar story about old ladies and their many cat companions. Countless jokes are made about mature single women who start to accumulate cats as a defense against their lack of masculine companions. This feminine scenario has no place for a single man and his cat. Cats are only considered okay as a man’s pet if he acquired the animal through his wife or girlfriend. Otherwise he would have a big masculine dog to walk and throw sticks to in the park. Despite these prejudices cats are actually perfect for men because they require very little maintenance besides feeding them and cleaning the litter box. Cats are also very forgiving if an owner has to work late or has no time for cuddling.
9. Cats Rub Against Everything
Cats despite their well-deserved reputations for independence also like to rub their faces and bodies against people. Women tend to love this type of appreciation but men are not as enchanted by the shedding fur and inevitable cat behind in their face. Cats rub against their owners for many reasons including the need to be affectionate. Cats also rub against things they want to mark as theirs in a territorial manner. Basically cats have glands located all over their bodies that secrete different pheromones which are used for communication through scent. When your pet rubs against your legs these pheromones cling to you and tell other felines that you belong to a cat. Cats also like to butt their heads against you to produce a shared scent which is comforting to the animal. Anyone who has tripped because of a cat twining through their legs can attest to the fact that cats will rub up against their owner when hungry as well. No matter what your cat is trying to tell you, it is obvious that rubbing and cuddling are crucial to feline communication.
10. Cats Are Not Dogs
The most prevalent reason some people don’t like a feline is cats are not dogs. People tend to fall into two camps when it comes to pet ownership: dog people and cat people. Dog people enjoy the loyalty, unrestrained affection and need to please that canines display to their owners. Cat people are proud of the quirkiness, personality and self-reliance that felines exhibit. Cats should not be penalized because they are hard wired genetically in a different way from dogs. Canines are pack animals that are submissive to their owner because that person is the “alpha” in the pack. They display loyalty and obedience because many types of dogs have these traits breed into them over centuries. Cats are not part of packs and are in many ways still relatively undomesticated. Cat and human relationships are often give and take scenarios where each receives a benefit from the other. Cats are fed, kept warm and dry while humans get the pleasure of the cats company and occasionally a dead mouse or two.
I personally like cats just as much as dogs and that any preferences between the two is just a person’s likes and dislikes. This ‘person’ can be a man or women and can like dogs, fish or gerbils. I’m just happy when a pet gets a good home and every pet deserves that! Let’s all treat our pets like they should be treated, with as much love as they give us.
Before you get any pet, do your research on it. Does this pet fit your lifestyle? Your home? How much can you afford to spend on a pet? Should you get a baby animal or an older animal that needs a home? How much time and energy can you put into that pet?
Talk to a person who has a pet like you’re interested in and see what they have to say. If your are thorough in your search for the perfect pet, you will have the perfect pet at home and they will love you forever.