Cats aren’t just little dogs. That’s something dog people innately know, but still, we tend to approach them as if they are. Have you ever seen a dog-person trying to call a cat towards them? It’s awkward for anyone watching and irritates the cat.
“Hey Snowball, come here boy,” calls the person, arm outstretched, hand waving the cat towards him. The cat only looks on suspiciously. When that doesn’t work, the person uses the tried and true energetic thigh pat. Dogs love that one!
The cat will either stand his ground, not sure what to make of the noisy display, or run away, preferring to watch the spectacle from a safe space behind, under or on top of a heavy piece of furniture.
When these methods don’t result in attracting the cat, the dog person will usually give up, their beliefs that cats are anti-social once again confirmed. If the person would quiet down a bit what they might notice is that the cat is not being anti-social at all. The cat is being cautious and curious.
How do you think you would respond to something 10–20 times your size calling out your name and waving its arms frantically? Is the logical response to run forward and accept whatever attention the beast wants to bestow upon you, as many dogs would, or to flee to safety and observe from a distance?
I was raised as a dog person but had a cat adopt me in my late 20’s. This cat was extremely dog-like, actually coming to me when I called his name, even if I included a little whistle when calling.
“Squeakers, here, boy! *2 short whistles* Come on now!” Answering to that was extremely tolerant and one of the most effective behaviors he demonstrated that won me over.
(To continue reading this article, please click here to go to where I first published it in Medium.com.)