By Dr. Becker
Cats have weaved their way deep into Americans' hearts. Nearly half (46 percent) of households have one cat, 31 percent have two cats and 24 percent have three or more.1 No doubt, your cat probably has more than a few quirks you don't understand, but that make you love her that much more.
Maybe she likes to stare at the wall, gives you "love bites" when you pet her or races around the house for no apparent reason. Indeed, part of what makes cats so irresistible is their mystery and magic.
There are, however, many things you can learn from your cat, too, including valuable life lessons recently compiled by VetStreet.2 How many of these lessons has your cat been trying to teach you?
6 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Your Cat
- Persistence Pays Off
Cats have a way of getting what they want, and that "way" is often by pestering you until you give in. If you've ever given in to a 3 a.m. feeding just to get your cat to stop pawing at your head while you're trying to sleep, you know what this means.
But imagine if you went after your goals with that kind of fortitude and focus. You'd be unstoppable!
- Aim High
Cats can jump to heights that seem near impossible. They'll scope out their desired location, size up the distance, focus and jump, making the impossible look effortless. You, too, can aim high in your own pursuits. Doing so will help you to reach ever-greater heights.
- Love Those Who Feed You
The people in your life who do the most for you may be those you take most for granted. Typically, it's the opposite for cats. Felines tend to gravitate toward the people in the household who feed them.
They're no dummies; they spread their affection where they see fit, and often that's to the owner of the hand that feeds them. You, too, should strive to show extra affection to those who love you most.
- Be Alert and Listen
Cats are always aware of their surroundings, even when it seems they're relaxing or even napping. The slightest noise will cause your cat's ears to perk up and listen, and they're ready to respond at a moment's notice if necessary.
Take a lesson from your cat and make a point to notice what's going on around you. All too often, we miss out on the important details.
- Live in the Moment
Cats seize every opportunity to do what they want. Nap in the sun? Grab a bite of chicken? Tackle your shoelaces? Yes, yes and yes!
When's the last time you put your to-do list aside and simply let yourself revel in the current moment? And even better, when's the last time you simply devoted a day to doing whatever you want, with no worrying about tomorrow?
- Be Nimble
It's important to be able to react quickly, bounce back and side-step problems when they arise. Cats do this daily and even when it seems they've fallen, they almost always land on their feet.
Learn to Speak Your Cat's Language
Cats have a language all their own. If you want to be more in-tune with your feline companion, brush up a bit on what your cat's seemingly mysterious behaviors may be trying to tell you. For instance, a meowing cat is usually trying to tell you something, like it's time to eat or she wants attention.
If you respond vocally to your cat's meows, she'll probably "talk" more as time goes by, until you can actually have drawn out "conversations." And cats that learn they get food if they meow will definitely ramp up the behavior — especially around mealtime.
Senior and geriatric cats also tend to vocalize more, especially at night. What else might your cat be telling you? One of the ways cats communicate is by rubbing objects with their heads, ears and tails. This leaves their chemical signature behind.
Cats who live together often rub each other in a friendly fashion, possibly as a way of forming a "colony scent" that lets everyone know they all belong. When you pet your cat, you're also depositing your scent on your cat, which is a social act in kitty language.
You cat may even stick her behind in your face as a way of asking for affection and bonding time. If you'd like to experience all of this (and more) for yourself, take a trip to your local animal shelter, which will likely have dozens of unique kitties waiting to claim your heart as their own.