Cats and humans both want the feeling and comfort of safety and security. The individual priorities may differ but the fact is we all want to live our daily lives without the fear of threat.
7. We Like Our Personal Space to be Respected
When you get in an elevator and there’s another person already in it, your natural tendency is to stand on the opposite side. People prefer to space themselves in public situations, whether it’s on a bus, train or in a waiting room. Nobody likes to have their private space violated. Even at home, members of the family may have preferred seating areas when it comes to watching TV at night. Some people are comfortable being very close and others want a little more breathing room. Cats are the same way. Cats have a need for personal space and it’s important to watch their body language to see whether they’re giving an indication that a decrease in distance is desired or not. Where misunderstandings occur is when people don’t give cats any choice or they don’t observe clear body signals.
8. We Find Comfort in Familiarity
Change is often scary for most people, whether it’s a move to a new city or starting a new job. Familiarity in everyday life is reassuring and comforting for humans as well as cats. Even though we may not enjoy change, for the most part, we do get some kind of warning so we can prepare. We also know the fear we face regarding change is usually temporary. For cats though, change comes without warning and it can be truly frightening. A cat doesn’t understand why he has suddenly been shoved in a carrier and then is let out in a new and totally unfamiliar home. A cat doesn’t get a say in whether the family is going to expand by the addition of a new baby or a new pet. The cat is often taken by surprise when it comes to life changes whether they’re small or large. Change, even when it’s for the good, is still a scary process. Cats will be the first to tell you that.
Enjoy the Similarities and be Understanding of the Differences
Learn to look at your cat’s world through his eyes and you’ll begin to see the true motivation behind behaviors. You’ll start to appreciate the feelings, fears and needs you have in common with your cat. You’ll also get a better understanding of how cats differ from humans so you can stop assuming incorrect motivations (such as assuming the reason for a cat’s behavior is based on spite or a deliberate act of disobedience). Look at cats for what is beautifully unique about them but also what we share in common with them.
Need More Information?
To understand more about cat behavior and training, refer to the books by best-selling author and cat expert, Pam Johnson-Bennett. Pam’s books are available at bookstores everywhere, through your favorite online book retail site and also here on our website.