Shocker alert: cats are snobs.
Although they are the most graceful, independent and sassy house pet, they are definitely suited to a certain household/owner.
I, personally, love cats. I grew up with them and I relate to their disdain towards constant affection. I don’t know if I’ve ever qualified as a “cat person” but as far as owning a pet, I definitely don’t have the time and energy for a dog.
I’ve always been stuck in the middle. I love dog’s nature over cats, but I’d rather have a cat’s independence as a pet. But overall, I appreciate both.
During lockdown, people got to spend more time with their pets. This was probably one of the more positive things to come out of the pandemic; that owners were able to give their pets the attention they crave…. but only if they’re dogs.
Anyone that has lived with a cat before knows that a cat’s attention span for affection is limited. They love being alone, calling the shots and despise doting. So how did cats feel during the long 2020 lockdowns?
A new study by James Cook University has found that about half of cat owners reported feeling their cats were “put out” by their increased presence during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The study surveyed around 400 people who were living alone during the lockdowns, with a focus on how pet ownership related to levels of mindfulness, depression and anxiety.
Interestingly, the study found that just having a dog was enough to improve its owner’s mood, but that cats didn’t always return their owner’s affection. Shocker.
Led by psychology lecturer Dr Jessica Oliva, the study was a reminder that lockdown was one of the first times that pet owners were able to experience a full day in the life of their pets.
“Our pets usually live in luxurious conditions, they have a warm bed, they have toys for entertainment, jackets for winter,” she said in an article on ABC. “But they do lack certain freedoms that we lost during the lockdown — freedom to come and go as they please, freedom to socialise, exercise is restricted to one hour a day.”
The study showed that dog owners felt a reduced level of loneliness, thanks to their pet.
“A dog was an excuse to go outside and exercise and provided that routine, and also that doing so afforded an opportunity to socialise with other people doing the same thing.
“We don’t see it in cat owners,” said Dr Oliva.
So basically, dogs loved the attention of their owners being home, which meant endless cuddles, more than one walk a day, lots of attention and a body to cuddle up next to on the couch. Cats, on the other hand, were kind of annoyed at their owners for being in their space.
“Um, this is my house?” I can just imagine this question on their mind at all times. Cats are the eye-roll emoji, after all.
“About 50% of cat owners reported that their cats were behaving in ways that were interpreted as being ‘put out’ by their owners all the time,” said Dr Oliva.
“Whereas almost 100 per cent of dog owners reported that their dogs were just loving the fact that they were home all the time.”
But of course, travel won’t always be restricted and we’ll eventually need to go back to the office more, so it’s super important that dog-owners can be sure that they’ll be able to care for their pet for its whole life
“While it’s great that lots of cats and dogs have been rehomed from shelters since the beginning of the pandemic, this should still be a really well thought out decision reflecting a commitment to care for and enrich the life of the animal for the duration of its lifetime.”
Sometimes it can be hard to find time for “the little things”, which could be self-care, more time spent with your pet and the ability to keep your house clean during the workweek, but if lockdown taught us anything, it’s that these things matter and we need to make an effort to factor them in.