Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our March/April 2017 issue. Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.
I find it a bit silly to have holidays designed to practice things that should be a way of life. Case in point: Respect Your Cat Day, observed today, March 28. We cat people respect our cats 365 days a year, don’t we? Still, it doesn’t hurt to raise awareness by having an official time for what should be the norm.
According to the website Sometimes Cats Herd You, Respect Your Cat Day started in 1384 in England, when King Richard II issued an edict forbidding the consumption of cats. Well, that sure was a good start!
Speaking of eating animals, like many pet lovers, I am a vegetarian. But, respecting your cat means respecting that he is, in fact, a cat and a very different species from humans and from other animals.
Cats are hunters and apex predators in many areas of the wild. Their digestive systems are designed to eat meat, not plants. I cringe whenever I open a can of cat food, but I know I must respect the fact that my cats are carnivores.
Another way to respect your cat’s catness: Feed into his hunter instincts. Cats love to stalk and hunt and pounce on either real prey, like mice, or toys that play the role. Just watch your kitty go crazy swatting frantically at the wand toy or pouncing on that plush mouse. Let your hunter enjoy the chase by providing stimulating toys.
And, finally, we shouldn’t take it personally when our cats don’t behave like dogs. Cats have an independent spirit, and though many are very affectionate, they still like to do their own thing and enjoy their solitude.
We should respect our cats for their quirks and embrace it all as part of their charm. After all, I’m sure there are many things about our humanness that our cats could do without — like the need to cater to our desires and whims as well as the cats’.
About the author: Kellie B. Gormly is a Pittsburgh-based journalist otherwise known as “Mother Catresa” to homeless kittens and cats. She blogs about her adventures in fostering at Mother Catresa’s Chronicle.