Cats can be very unpredictable creatures. They will not cease to amaze you. For a long time I held onto a common misperception that cats are “non-demanding” and “patient” creatures. How naive was I to make that untested assumption? Now that I have found the above to not be true, I realize that I have a long way to go and lot to learn. Just as human origins remain a mystery even today, in the same manner cat behavior is shrouded in tales of mystery, surprise, and intrigue.
Well, my tale might not sound like unusual, but it sure caught me by surprise. Lately, one of my cats named Sammy has become real demanding and impatient in that he is always wanting to be fed even at odd hours. It’s not that we are giving him less food or have changed his food timings. It’s just that he seems to be always hungry. Well, in the past when we gave him food, he used to be satisfied and did not make coercive demands for extra helpings. But lately, that has not been the case with him. His behavior has become more child like wherein he will not budge until and unless you give into his demands. He loves to eat and in some instances will even chow down the other cat’s (Sonu) food if not completely satiated. If you do not feed onto his food fantasy, he will make all sorts of naïve faces and noises until his demands are met.
In situations where I have not given into his obsessive demands for more food, as a result of weight and health concerns, has backfired in that it has made him even more determined in his pursuit. He has figured out a way to work around me and ultimately get his demands met through pleas and petitions to my husband. My husband who is soft-hearted has not learnt to say, “no” and readily gives in as a result of which I am unable to enforce any kind of discipline on him.What concerns me the most is his health because being an indoor cat he is not able to get the needed amount of exercise that oudoor cats take for granted. Well, getting him out can also be a herculean task in and of itself since he has got so used to being cushioned up indoors that the outdoors can seem more like a threat.
Lessons to Learn: Firstly, “Do not make assumptions about your cat’s behavior, attitude, or personality.” Secondly, if you want to enforce discipline in your pet, it is necessary to have your spouse on the same page because when you say, “no” and your spouse says, “yes”, to something that they want, then it either sends a wrong signal or a mixed message that it is okay to have that. For example, what happens in cases when mommy says, “no”; and, daddy says, “yes” to something that the child badly needs or wants. It goes without saying, that the child is going to run to daddy because he or she knows that daddy is going to readily give in as opposed to mommmy who might put up a fight. Cats are no different than us. They are equally smart and/or in some cases even smarter than us and know how to get their demands met. That said, a piece of good advise, “never under-estimate your cat.”
Links to browse in order to learn more about cat behavior so you are not caught by surprise.