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7 Ways Cats “Help” Us In the Kitchen

They lick plates, inspect floors, and "take inventory." What would we do without our cats?

Angie Bailey  |  Oct 28th 2015


We all know how “helpful” cats are, right? I suppose they’re more supervising than helping, at least that’s what they think — and we play along with it, because who wants to correct a cat? Not me.

Since we spend so much time in our kitchens, it’s the perfect place for our cats to join us for household tasks. Plus, I don’t think we really have any say in the matter. When we’re in the kitchen, there they are. They appear, I tell you!

Here are seven ways our oh-so-helpful felines make themselves oh-so-useful in the kitchen.

1. Put away groceries

"Nice job, but next time pick up the pace."

“Nice job, but next time pick up the pace.”

Cats love to see us return from a shopping trip because that means BAGS! They nose around inside the full bags of groceries, encouraging us to put everything away so they can assume ownership of the empty sacks. They’re kind of like little cheerleaders: “Quicker, quicker! You can do it! One bag down, two more to go!” If they weren’t there to motivate us, we’d probably take at least 15 minutes to unload groceries. Can you imagine?

2. Take care of the trash

"This lid appears to be a problem."

“This lid appears to be a problem.”

When a trash can becomes full, it’s much easier for kitties to grab goodies from the top of the bag’s contents. On a good day, that means prizes include cheese wrappers, yogurt cups, and deli meat containers. When we see the cats going after trashy treasures, we know it’s probably time to haul the bag outside. They have their paws on the pulse of our garbage, and we’re grateful!

3. Clean up crumbs

"I'm here to serve."

“I’m here to serve.”

It’s oodles easier to sweep when there aren’t many crumbs on our kitchen floor — and cats are more than happy to help lighten our load. Toast crumbs and Cheeto bits? We’ll rarely see pieces of those in our post-sweeping piles, because our cats have already taken care of their disposal. Isn’t that nice? Floor patrol!

4. Stare at us

"Do you think this job is easy?"

“Do you think this job is easy?”

Sometimes cats assist simply by allowing their eyes to follow us as we go about our business. Although it can feel unnerving, we know they’re only doing their job. It’s hard to be a kitchen supervisor! On top of ensuring we’re properly taking care of our chores, they’re tasked as lookouts for falling toast crumbs and Cheeto bits. There’s plenty of attention and skill required to fully perform in this area. They stare because they care.

5. Lick plates

"You're welcome."

“You’re welcome.”

Kitties know it’s much easier to wash plates and pans when they’ve already been through one round of cleaning — tongue-cleaning, that is. They’re only trying to make our lives easier, and we really should thank them more often. That’s what my cats tell me, anyway.

6. Inspect swept piles

"Has this pile been properly inspected?"

“Has this pile been properly inspected?”

You know that little pile of food pieces and cat hair that result from a good floor sweeping? Have you ever noticed how cats love to inspect those piles? They feel it’s their duty to make sure there’s nothing valuable being loaded onto a dustpan as tossed in the garbage bin. You know, like toast crumbs and Cheeto bits. Duty calls, people!

7. “Take inventory”

"You're gonna need some Cheetos."

“You’re gonna need some Cheetos.”

An open cabinet door is an open invitation to a cat. They’re always on the lookout for hiding spots, and if there are food smells as well, that’s a total score. This is why kitties especially enjoy time spent in food pantries. They carefully examine each can, bag, bottle, and box, taking complete inventory of the pantry’s contents. Thank goodness they go to all that trouble, because how in the world would we know what to buy at the store otherwise? They’re very thorough inventory specialists.

How do your cats “help” you in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments!

Read more by Angie Bailey:

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.