A place for atheists with cats to exchange pictures and anecdotes and even ask for advice regarding our feline friends.
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Cats are more adult than dogs, it's true. If they don't like the home you provide they can do the old "I'm outta here." It's more work to keep a cat. You can abuse children or dogs and count on their continued loyalty/attachment. Not a cat.
A baby eventually grows up and leaves its parents, too. Friends may have other friends they like more than you. Boyfriends and spouses may have the potential to leave you, but I don't see how the possibility means they're not attached NOW. They choose to stay, which is more rewarding, IMO, than staying because of dependency or insecurity.
Dogs are more loyal than people, it's true... but if people (or babies) are the barometer for cat-attachment, then people are just as loyal and attached as cats... and dogs are the exception.
I do let my boyfriend out. I've had outdoor cats that never found another family. They could leave, but they didn't (and haven't). I think that says a lot about their attachment.
Cara, the boyfriend analogy works in a negative way. It happens that people who let their cats outdoors find their cat starting to belong to another family in the area who put out food it likes better. Likewise, a boyfriend may leave you for a girl who pleases him in a way you don't/won't or with home he has more in common. Cats are not loyal. In fact, they may be less loyal than boyfriends.
I had heard the results of that "experiment" before and didn't find it convincing. Why not compare the love/attachment of a cat to that of a spouse, significant other, older child/teen, parent or friend? What dogs seem to display is infantile attachment, but that is not the only type of love or love/attachment there is.
My boyfriend doesn't have a panic attack every time I leave the room, nor does he act as if he hasn't seen me for years when I return. I feel really confident he both loves and is attached to me despite a lack of infantile dependency.
I think cats are attached to their owners even if they don't show those feels the same way a dependent (and seemingly insecure) dog does. Cats are more confident. I don't want a clingy pet any more than I want a clingy boyfriend... and that's why I own a cat and have with an emotional secure partner. :)
Does your cat love you? If by that you mean emotionally attached and bonded to you, the answer is no. Your cat does not love you. Of course, we value their independence and this detachment of theirs seems to come along as part of that package.
There's a famous experiment demonstrating the attachment bond between children and their mothers. Mother brings the baby into a room where there is a stranger. Mother puts the baby down and the baby begins to explore. While the baby isn't looking, mother leaves the room. As soon as the baby realizes mother is gone, he becomes distressed and does not seek comfort from the stranger. When the mother returns, the baby makes toward her with haste, begs to be picked up, and clings to her.
Performing the identical experiment with dogs produced a very similar result. When the owner returns, the dog runs over to greet her and becomes rather clingy.
The same experiment with a cat went like this. The owner brought the cat in and the cat, rather than exploring, went to the stranger and introduced himself, jumping up on the stranger's lap. Then the cat proceeded to explore the room. When the owner left, the cat didn't seem to notice and when the owner returned he made no particular effort to greet her.
Cats don't bond with their owners in a childlike fashion the way dogs do.
When Squeaky was about a year old, I went away for 10 days to visit my daughter in Las Vegas. Friends of mine, who weree strangers to Squeaky, dropped by to check on her every 3 days to make sure her feeder had plenty of food and that her fountain was topped up. They reported that she was actively hostile to them as they went about their work, hissing and growling at them and staying on the opposite side of the room or even hiding under my couch or bed.
When I returned, I got a pretty good greeting and she was clingy for a couple days. At one year, she was still something of a kid which might explain that behavior. As she grows older, I can probably expect her to be more blase when I return from a long absence.
Oops! It must have been another video where she leaves. LOL Oh well, I don't think I can edit it.
Squeaky loves her new toy. She plays with it a lot even after two weeks. She goes offscreen for a few seconds, but she comes back. It's a very small 320x240 video, so don't expand it to full screen. It will be very fuzzy.
I love My Cat From Hell, but Jackson Galaxy is starting to drive me crazy. Every improvement is described as "amazing." Maybe I should send him a thesaurus.
Thank you (:
Kamoku is gorgeous.
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