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OK, Fess Up: Do You Prefer Independent Cats Over Doting Lap Cats?

I have to admit, I'll take an independent cat any day. How about you?

 |  Apr 18th 2013  |   152 Contributions


I was spending some time with my kitties the other night, admiring how they have preferences -- which bowls they like to eat from, which beds they like to sleep in, and where they like to lie when grooming themselves. Some are very independent, and typically don’t spend much time, if any, around me. These cats prefer to show up, eat their food, and leave the area as quickly as possible.

However, some of my kitties are real love muffins. They like to be in the same area that I am in order to investigate and supervise what I am doing. They like to be under my feet, rubbing and purring. These cats will gladly take advantage of my warm lap if given the chance.

It made me wonder: Do you prefer independent cats or lap cats?

Snuggly? Or independent? Graphic by Catster's Liz Acosta.

I admit, I prefer having independent cats. In part, this has to do with my allergies. As much as I love my cats, their dander gets to be way too much for me to handle. I will brush or pet them lightly for a few minutes, and then I have to call it quits. If I don’t wash their scent, dander, and fur from my hands and body, I will quickly break into hives. This is always followed by watery eyes and a lengthy sneezing session.

If I know I am going to be around my cats for a longer period and my affectionate ones are nearby, I take an antihistamine to help my eyes and nose. However, this has very little effect on the hives that soon follow.

Dark grey cat by Shutterstock

I wish this wasn’t the case, as I would love to have my cuddly kitties near me and lounging on my lap. They are so precious when they lie there purring and kneading my legs. It’s a joy to have them lie on a cushioned bench beside me on our back porch. However, my allergy challenges that soon follow are, again, way too much for me to deal with.

Recently, a client who adopted a new cat from a shelter contacted me. She loved the cat and enjoyed her new companion. However, she thought that something was physically or mentally wrong with the cat. The cat would follow her to every room in the house and never leave her side. When she sat down to rest, the cat would be front and center on her lap. She had never experienced such a loving lap cat.

All of her previous cats were very independent and only came out on their own terms. Her previous cats would never allow her to hold, cuddle, or pet them. She said she had always wanted a lap cat but really didn’t know if they existed. Well, I guess she found out that lap cats do exist. She had received what she’d asked for.

I truly do love all types of cats and find them to be wonderful and fascinating to watch. But, my preference must remain with the independent cats, for the sake of my health.

Do you prefer an independent cat or a lap cat? Do you want your cat to leave you alone most of the day, or follow you loyally around? Let me know which and why.

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