Cats are great additions to one’s home and just as adorable as dogs. More than pets, they’re considered to be members of the family. Just like any animal, they have their distinct features and characteristics. These felines have two moods: either they’re active and playful, or they wish to be left alone in their self-marked territory (also known as their corner). Cats make people happy because having one increases humans’ serotonin and dopamine levels. Because cats are independent, they have been described as “useful mirrors for human interaction,” especially for those dealing with issues on anxiety and socialization. But while they put a smile on our faces, they also need to receive the same amount of care and love.
Cats are full of surprises. One minute they’re sleeping and the next they’re spilling the water container where you will need staining rags at your disposal. This leads to the first step of taking care of cats — paying attention to them. Not only does this require playing with them, but also observing what they do and how they move. The owner must first understand the needs of his or her cats. Once established, cats are more likely to have a healthy relationship with their owner.
It’s crucial to take note here that their needs go beyond the basics, i.e., food, water, medicine. Adopting Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Dr. Elizabeth Colleran also created a similar pyramid for cats called Meowslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Cats also need to have a sense of social belonging in their households for them to be confident and comfortable with themselves and their surroundings.
Give them space
Here’s the tricky part about cats. More than surprises, they’re also unpredictable. When one is starting to be a cat mom or dad, it’s a challenge to know when their cats want to be touched or not. It happens to any cat owner, so they need to test the waters.
Cats don’t want cuddles all day, but that doesn’t mean they’re mad. Just like humans, they just want to be alone sometimes, needing their space as well. Aside from having their physical space in a house, they also need emotional space. It’s funny because they usually don’t stay in their beds. They like to relax anywhere as they please, most especially in dark, hidden places. When they’re done, they will sit on their owner’s laps (or laptops).
Keep things interesting for them
Lastly, owners must balance out everything in the house. Going back to Meowslaw’s Hierarchy of Needs, cats should feel they are at home. Even if they are “low-maintenance pets,” the house should accommodate their nature. This means having scratching posts everywhere, or soft toys lied around in one area so they can play with them. Owners can also set up areas where cats feel like pouncing or pretending to hunt. Moreover, this keeps an interactive environment between the cats and the owners, leaving both satisfied.
In general, cats are blessings in this world. Whether they are adopted or found on the streets, cats deserve to have a home. They deserve love and care like humans. Although they can be overtly curious and can cause problems sometimes, they’re not excuses to hate them. Cats, including every other animal on this planet, bring contentment and stability, and they must be protected at all costs.