Cat behaviour becomes interrelated with human behaviour when one asks: ‘Why do you own, or want to own a cat?’ Very often, apart from wanting to love and own a thing of beauty, it is to fulfil some need in ourselves; the cat is required to be, as so often is the case with a pet dog, a love object to take the place of the missing husband, wife, or mother; someone to come home to at the end of a working day; a living companion for the lonely. If this is true, there is no harm in it. Doubtless you and the cat will thrive in each other’s company. The cat may also perform a valuable function for the lonely, providing the incentive for that person to buy food and provide warmth of which they might deprive themselves if fending only for their own needs. But the cat must not be regarded as a human zombie. It must be allowed freedom and an independent existence. In my early twenties I shared a bedsitter with a ginger cat who, for months, I was reluctant to let out the window. Eventually, friends said rightly: ‘Don’t keep him prisoner.’
Why have they hung this toy so high? Funny, when I hold on to the paper it gets longer and longer. They do say that curiosity killed the cat and, er, satisfaction revived it. But. . . come to think of it, perhaps dive-bombing the table is more fun.
That is what the cat had become because of my over-protectiveness.
The unspayed queen, or undoctored tom, that is forcibly restrained from hunting, or seeking a mate, may become aggressive, resentful and even destructive. Neutering and spaying will cut short the cat’s instinct for sexual activity thereby making it contented and homeloving’, a more satisfied and satisfying domestic pet. Don’t nurture the view that, by keeping a pet tom entire or female unspayed you are allowing it to lead a normal life; not if you want it to be a full-time fireside companion. You can’t have it both ways!
It is also important to choose a cat whose personality and characteristics suit your own. The Devon Rex is playful and mischievous, the Siamese trainable and dog-like. You can even teach it to walk beside you on a lead!