We’ve all heard the common stereotype that dogs miss you if you simply step out to check the mail, and cats couldn’t care less if you never come home (except for wanting to be fed). But is that really true? Do cats not bond with their owners?
Actually, no, that’s not true at all! If you’re expecting an exuberant reaction from your pet cat when you return home from a long day at the office, you might indeed be disappointed. Whereas a dog might greet you at the door, tail wagging, quite obviously happy to see you, you’re more likely to find your cat napping somewhere and completely unaffected by your arrival. But that doesn’t mean your cat doesn’t care about you! It might just mean that they show their affection in different ways (and that they pick up on your habits and are therefore not surprised by your return home).
Cats do bond with their owners, and they do demonstrate their affection. In general, however, these displays are much more subtle. For example, you might notice your cat…
- Rubbing against your ankles as you walk (no, they aren’t trying to trip you)
- Climbing into your lap and purring as they settle down
- Begging for attention by rubbing their heads against your newspaper (or these days, your smart phone)
- Meowing to say hello
- Even licking you, at times (this is grooming, much as they would display with other cats with whom they are bonded)
So yes, your cat does “love” you. But yes, they also love being fed and cared for. In order to reciprocate your cat’s feelings, we do recommend staying on a regular feeding schedule (they love this) and visiting us regularly for checkups. They might not appear to love this as much, but it’s necessary.
We should also discuss the right food for their health needs. Cats often want things that aren’t so healthy for them, and many become overweight when confined to the home for their safety.
Playing with your cat is another way to show your love for them. Daily playtime will also decrease their chances of becoming overweight and developing associated health conditions.
And finally, have your cat microchipped, so that you have a better chance at finding them if you’re separated. Give us a call to schedule your next appointment, and we can discuss more ways to keep your cat safe and healthy for a long and happy life together.