The Truth About Cats and… Cats

Lisa Ahmari is a pet nanny at and owner of Bellingham Bay Pet Nannies in Bellingham, Washington.

Every now and then I will hear a confirmed dog-lover say in a mystified voice: “I just don’t understand how people can love cats as much as dog lovers love dogs!”

The speaker is often someone who has never lived with a cat or has had a bad experience with a cat known to be impatient or aggressive. Very likely, this person has also been suckered by the untruths about cats that permeate our culture. Cartoons, such as “Lady and the Tramp”, which portray cats as devious, mean-spirited animals, as well as cruel myths from as far back as the Dark Ages, have made kitty-human relations an unfairly rigged game.

Those of us who have had the honor of befriending many kitties throughout the years know the truth: Cats are not devious or mean-spirited. They are not aloof and they do not “use” humans for food and shelter. The bond that is created between a cat and a human can be as strong and deep as the one that can exist between humans and dogs. The cat just speaks a completely different language than the dog. Humans who fail to acknowledge this and fail to learn the language of cats will never be privy to the magic, beauty, love and entertainment a feline companion brings into one’s life.

Dogs are pack-oriented, needing social connection to survive. Just like us. They have been interwoven into our society for more than 15,000 years. They are wonderful, sweet, fun companions. Cats are not pack-oriented. When feral, they join social groups for company, but not out of necessity. Because of this, they don’t play by the same rule book that is used by dogs and humans. After so many centuries of familiarity, the dog adores us almost by default. If a cat adores you, it is because he or she has CHOSEN you, making a CONSCIOUS decision to trust you and lavish you with loving attention.

The truth about cats? They are warm, charming, affectionate, elegant, dignified, playful, independent and strong. They can also be absolutely hilarious. Other than those who have physical or psychological ailments, I have never met a cat that did not have a sense of humor, but each has its own particular brand of humor.

Cats are graceful, sophisticated and self-confident. The majority of them are masters at setting boundaries and demanding respect from every being they meet. Most are furry little bundles of courage, almost from the time they leave the womb. They are softness and serenity and having a cat curled against you, purring with contentment, will do more to alleviate your stress than any trip to a spa.

So to the dog lovers who don’t understand us “cat-worshippers”, I commend (and share) your bond with our canine buddies. But until you are also owned by a cat, you’ll never know the magic you are missing.

Lisa-Nanny
Bellingham Bay Pet Nannies