Cats have many ways of getting our attention. When felines decide they want their owners’ attention, they may do any number of things; some adorable, a few gross, and several disruptive. Your cat may roll on its back with a look that demands attention. Sometimes, they may start kneading on you only to stick their bottom in your face. More people are working at home since the pandemic. Those owners know all too well the time-tested, attention-getting cat trick; walking across your keyboard. Although it may seem like your cat is demanding more than its fair share of attention, the question remains; how much attention do cats need?
Care and love
Each day, you make sure to meet your cat’s physical needs by giving them food and water. They likely have a comfortable kitty bed they never use because a bed, chair, or couch is much more comfortable. Additionally, you clean the litter box often because your cat often sneers at you if it’s too full. But what about emotional connection? How often do you spend quality time interacting with your cat, and is it enough? Sometimes it’s challenging to spend time with your cat because often, your schedule and there’s conflict. After all, cats do things on their schedule with little regard for their human time; think of all the cat bottoms that have made appearances on Zoom calls. According to Cat Checkup, cats need at least ten minutes of your full attention each day. Even though this may seem like a small amount, many people are always near their computer or phone waiting for an important email, so it might seem challenging not to answer that urgent email. Yet, a cat needs that time to feel close to you and love on its human. Depending on their personality and temperament, you can do many different things when spending time with your cat. Undoubtedly, kittens will prefer a more active ten minutes. However, older cats might never have lost their kitty instincts and like a lot of activity. Other cats might prefer sitting on your lap or lavishing in the attention, sometimes bumping their head on your hand, a feline hug. Some like to knead on your lap. If the cat seems lost in its world during this time, resist the urge to answer an email or make a call.
Dogs aren’t shy about telling us what they need. They walk to the door indicating its potty time, or they pick up a toy and drop it at your feet. However, it can be challenging to know when a cat needs attention since they are much more aloof. If you see one of these signs, it probably means your cat needs more quality time. Many breeds of cats, like Abyssinians, are vocal by nature. Yet, even these cats can seem chattier than usual. Often, this happens during the night when its human is trying to sleep. By no means should you get up and play with them, but it may be an excellent plan to budget a little more time in your day to interact. After all, your cat will be happier, and you’ll get your beauty sleep. Unfortunately, cats also get destructive if they feel they are not getting enough owner attention. Worse, it’s not its scratching post, but a piece of furniture or a door. Since a cat knows that you will get up or ask them not to do it, they are getting the attention they crave, even if it’s negative attention. Felines also like to catch you unaware at the most inopportune times; think Zoom calls with your boss. If a cat constantly startles you by pawing your leg, they probably need more attention than you are giving them. Again, it’s ill-advised to give into the cohesion. However, you should find a block of time to pick up a favorite toy or spend a quiet moment enjoying each other’s attention.
Spending time with your cat not only makes them happy but also increases your well-being. According to Animal Bliss, your cat won’t be the only one to act out because they aren’t getting attention since petting a cat reduces your stress and anxiety; you may be less likely to get irritated on the phone. Additionally, cats are known to decrease blood pressure in humans. Remember one of the cat’s negative behaviors, scratching? If you spend time with your cat each day, studies show you are much more likely to get a better night’s sleep. Your cat not scratching in the middle of the night will also help those dreams to be sweeter.
Catering to your cat
Perhaps after trying these suggestions, your cat still acts more demanding than you’d like. Since cats look at us the same way they do other cats, it’s natural they will expect some concessions. It’s best to stop trying to change them and instead learn the art of kitty compromise. Cats don’t like to eat alone, so you can put their food bowl near where you eat. If your cat likes to be underfoot when working, placing a cat bed near your desk might help. If you don’t have a spot like that, a perch or cat tree will work great. Another thing you can do is to talk to your cat, especially effective if you have a chatty catty like an Abyssian.
Sigmund Freud once said, “time with cats is never wasted.” Although cats need attention much like dogs, giving them more attention than recommended is never wrong, even though it may lead to a spoiled cat. Felines can be equal parts, endearing and frustrating since it’s more difficult to tell what’s on their minds. It can sometimes be a guess whether they want to play or are plotting your untimely demise. However, spending time with your cat each day has many health benefits and often a lot of laughs at their quirky antics.