We’ve all had time to reconsider our daily lives and routines, our safety and all the other things we probably took for granted, until quite recently. Now we have settled into the new situation, it has changed yet again. Some of us are getting stressed and anxious again since our lives have become unpredictable, over and over.
What does this have to do with cats?
Cats, as do all animals, like to know what is safe, where their next meal is coming from (sometimes twenty times a day), who they can trust and who to stay away from. They want to know where it’s warm and cosy and where they won’t feel like something is going to be risky.
Your cat is probably far better than you at observing all of the routine changes, no matter how minute they are. Cats are very good at this, highly sensitive to it in fact. It isn’t a surprise, since they can be so skittish one moment and completely unbothered, the next. If you’ve ever owned a cat that is hugely confident with absolutely everything and everyone, that is a rarity. Most cats take offence rapidly and won’t hold back from scratching, even if you are trying to pet them for a moment longer than the 1.25 seconds they decided was going to be acceptable.
My point is that your cat wants you to understand that for them, changes can be stressful too. They don’t make a big fuss about things, because that’s not a good survival tactic, but they will show you in plenty of more subtle ways that they aren’t happy. Keeping away from certain people, leaving the room when things happen, grooming themselves frantically, even sleeping ‘propped up’ rather than splayed out. Things can change from moment to moment, so that cat that displayed his fluffy belly to you in the sunshine will suddenly grab your arm and scrabble his back feet in. Us humans have to learn our lessons, don’t we?
Cats can be demonstrative and cuddly sometimes, but not all cats are. Forcing them is not a good idea, since you can be really hurt. Cats do not live under the ‘dominance’ myth, any more than dogs do, and to anyone suggesting this – stop it, it’s harmful and untrue. So, what’s new with your cat? Well, nothing really, but your thoughts about cats could reflect what we know now. Cats are sensitive and intelligent, care about territory and resources and will battle for these. It’s a safety game. Just as our lives are currently.