5 Ways Cats Can Improve Your (Human) Relationships

Emily Parker CatologicalIn the past I’ve written about my belief that cats can provide women with insight into male behavior. Today’s post takes this concept a step further. Cat mom to two black cats, Emily Parker of Catological.com writes about five ways to improve your human relationships by paying closer attention to the relationship you have with your cats. I think you’ll enjoy her perspective and would love to hear your thoughts on the subject! 

Do you struggle with your human relationships? While cats aren’t four-legged furry people, how you interact with them can provide insight into what may be going wrong in your human interactions.

Here are five areas to examine as they pertain to your feline interactions that can translate into stronger human connections.

1. The power of mood

Have you ever noticed that your cats tend to flock to you when you’re relaxing, reading, doing yoga or meditating? Cats are very sensitive to your mood and if you’re anxious or angry, chances are they’ll keep their distance or behave aggressively.

meditation, cat, breath work

Mindfulness practice with Tamar and Kip

It’s not so different with human. We want to be with people who have a soothing effect on us, not those who agitate us. Be mindful of this in your relationships. Are you exuding a vibe that will attract people and keep them with you?

2. Who’s crazy?

How you treat your cat very much affects how your cat treats you. You’ve probably seen or heard of households where the “crazy” cats don’t listen to their humans, and act out.

Here’s the thing: it’s neglected, abused, or poorly treated cats who behave like this! If you are calm with your cat, treat them well, and are patient and kind with them, they will generally reward you with their love and attention.

If you’re in a relationship where you think the other person is acting “crazy,” it may be worthwhile to do some self-reflection. Could your actions be contributing to this behavior?

3. Be Selfless 

If you’re always ignoring your cat because your needs are more important, why do you have the cat in the first place?

Poor treatment can be anything from neglecting to keep the litter box clean, leaving your cat without proper supervision and care for days, and withholding affection because it’s not convenient for you at the moment.

Now, ask yourself the same question about other relationships in your life. Are you always “too busy” for your friends, your family, even your aging parents? Do you burst into other people’s lives only when you need something?

Sooner or later – and you may already be noticing it – the other party will stop putting up with selfish mentality.

4. 1-on-1 Time

You don’t have to spend hours playing with your cat to bond or make amends. He for she probably wants to be off on his own or sleeping a lot of the time, anyway!

But make it a habit to spend 10-20 minutes petting, talking to and playing with your cat every day. Before work. After work. Before bed. Pick a time and build it in to your daily routine. Let him/her know that you care about him and are glad to have him in your life.

Once you’ve developed a caring habit for your cat, spend some time thinking about ways to build healthy relationship habits with the people in your life. Make a monthly coffee date with a friend or sibling. Carve out time for a standing date night and mark it on the calendar in advance.

5. Practice Gratitude

By voicing gratitude you are letting your cat know how much you appreciate him/her in your life. They may not understand the words, but they will understand your tone of voice and accompanying petting or treats!

This is a good way to learn how to “give” in relationships, and not just expect or take. It’s immensely valuable for your cat and powerful for the future of all your relationships.

tabby cat

Haddie and Kip may not look happy, but they are (I think!).

The way you treat your cats is likely an accurate representation of the basic level of care you bring to other relationships. If you’re cutting corners with your cat, you may well be doing the same with the people in your life.

By starting small and giving our feline friends the love and attention they deserve, we can start to develop deeper and stronger relationships in all aspects of our life.

Emily's sweet kitties Louis (left) and Gus (right)

Emily’s sweet kitties Louis (left) and Gus (right)

Be sure to check out Emily’s website catological.com for tons of great information afrom how to treat your cat to walk on a leash, to dealing wtih the loss of your furry friend.

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  • I really like number 5. There is something beautiful about caring for someone without expectations of what they can give back. Just accepting and loving them for what they are.

    • So very true =^^= Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂

  • jmuhj

    These are essential life lessons for everyone, not “just” cat lovers! Most people in this society would benefit from taking these suggestions to heart and putting them into living practice in their lives. Love the pix and videos *especially heart-tugging one with Petie*

    • So very true! I KNOW, it’s hard to see Petie videos he was such a lovely boy, but I don’t want to forget him =^^=

  • One of the most beautiful parts of my relationship with Bear is seeing that my parents’ legacy won’t be mine. I can love him freely, his needs don’t scare me and I don’t find them inconvenient, I change what I give based on his needs, I see him as separate, etc, etc. One of the things that I noticed growing up is that how people treat cats is very similar to how they treat children – and quite often, adults too. That’s helped me heal a little because it showed me that I wasn’t the problem. I hope that makes sense.

    • Okay, besides the lovely note, I must say I do love the name Bear for a kitty. Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I know what you mean =^^=

  • Most of this is true. Although, since I’m a therapy cat, if my human is anxious or stressed, like she was earlier, I’m more likely to follow her around, like I did today. I want her to know I am there for her.

    • Awww how lovely you are Summer. Mwah mwah mwah! I think Kip has the nature of a therapy cat the older he gets – he’s always by my side. Wish it helped my anxiety more! But maybe I’d be worse off with out him! =^^=

  • Sherri Smith

    I love animals much more than humans, therefore, I tend to treat animals better than humans. I’ve been that way since I was a kid. Animals never judge. Cats are wonderful for therapy!