5 Ways To Respect Your Cat

5 Ways To Respect Your Cat

Today is National Respect Your Cat Day (March 28, 2024), so in honor of this momentous holiday, we wanted to talk about how we, as mere humans, can respect these elegant creatures. Here are a few ideas!

1. Don't Make Direct Eye Contact

Cats in the wild size each other up by staring each other down. Have you ever noticed that cats tend to go straight for the lap of the person who hates cats or is allergic? That's because people who don't like cats are less likely to stare a cat down, which causes your kitty friend to trust that person who is avoiding your cat's gaze.

2. Slow Blink Instead

If you just met a cat and want a sure fire way to become friends, master the art of slow blinking. Get down on the floor with the cat, and very slowly blink at the cat. This is a signal in the cat world that means, "I'm a friend! I'm willing to close my eyes around you, so I'm not going to hurt you!"

3. Give Your Cat Their Own Spaces

Cats can become easily overstimulated, so make sure that you give your kitty spaces to retreat to in your house. This might be a spot behind the couch, under your bed, in a closet, or under a table. One important part about giving the cat space: don't invade their privacy unless absolutely necessary. If your cat retreats to their safe place under your bed, but then you feel like hanging out so every day you move the bed to access your cat, your cat will no longer feel like they have a safe space to retreat to. Reserve this kind of intervention for important things like when your cat's safety is at stake, you have to take them to the vet, or you are otherwise worried about their health. 

4. Ask Permission Before Petting

We have a 7 month old daughter, and whenever she excitedly lunges at one of our cats, we always take her hand and say in a soft voice, "We ask permission, then we pet." When we ask permission, we want to give the cat our hand in a soft, palm up way so the cat can sniff us and make sure we're on the approved list. If the cat offers their head or body to pet, you may proceed. Remember, cats have their own boundaries, and it's in everyone's interest to respect them.

5. Maintain Your Cat's Space

Don't forget to give your kitty fresh food and water everyday in clean dishes, clean their litter box, and give them access to sun and ways to get above ground if possible. Your kitty will thank you for respecting them enough to give them a good living space!

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