The 8 Most Common Ways My Cats Get My Attention


My cats make no bones about it. If my cats want my attention, they make sure that they use every means possible to get it. See if any of these situations sound familiar:

1. They growl when an unfamiliar car pulls into the driveway

My Chester has lapses when he thinks he’s suddenly a dog. If a really unfamiliar vehicle pulls into the driveway, he emits a low, slow growl. Just once. It’s enough to make me pay attention. Heck, he’s a better guard than the dog, who doesn’t always pick up on this stuff.

2. They quickly knock something off the counter, and stare at it innocently

This makes me laugh (unless the item was breakable). It might be the ice cream pail that I use to store dry cat food. (If the cat is lucky, the bucket usually lands upside down and pellets go rolling all over the play. Feast time!) It might be a sink drain, which gets instantly batted and lost somewhere. What’s classically “cat” about these occurrences is the poise that the cats demonstrate right after the act. “What? Who, me? I didn’t do that. And why in heck are you so bent out of shape about it, mama? Get over it!”

3. They do amazingly cute food tricks

See this video. I was lucky enough to catch it on camera. Cute! They’re so rhythmic about it that it almost seems premeditated. I didn’t even realize what was going on until I heard the back-and-forth noise of a bowl sliding across the floor. I’d never seen my cats do this before, but cats are extremely adaptive beings if anything.

4. They open cabinet doors in original ways

I have seen cats who were able to slide a paw in the top of a drawer and nudge it open, but I’d never seen more extreme methods of opening doors — until Norton. I wrote about this at Catster. Norton will actually use his body as leverage — hanging onto the handle of a drawer from below, until the drawer has no choice but to open. I think I need to keep Norton better entertained. Otherwise, I can be sure that Norton will find his own entertainment!

5. They wrestle against the outside of the bedroom door to wake us up

Our cats know when 5 a.m. approaches, and in their world, it’s TIME FOR US TO GET UP. Now. Since they usually don’t sleep in the bedroom with us, they’ve devised this clever way to get our attention. Extremely physical wrestling ensues right outside the bedroom door. They don’t mind flinging their bodies right into the door to make a point, and two cats can make a surprising amount of noise.

6. They jump on our faces to wake us up

Occasionally we give in, have pity, and let one cat share the bedroom. We usually regret it! At about 4 a.m., Chester decides he’s had enough and has jumped on our faces, pawed at our noses, or done something to pull us out of deep, lovely sleep. Why do I keep learning this lesson?

7. They edge onto the keyboard, just enough to make typing hard or to screw it up

The computer must be like a competitor for some cats. The closer they can get, the better. When I get into my work, I get in deep. I don’t always react quickly enough if a cat suddenly jumps out of nowhere and walks across the keyboard.

8. They jump on our shoulders and refuse to leave

Norton is really good at riding shoulders, and sometimes he’s really reluctant to get off. This morning my husband had to get going, and Norton was happily riding shoulders. As my husband tried to lean down so that Norton could jump off, Norton simply backed up and balanced on my husband’s back. This is a determined and smart cat, for sure.

These cats make the practice of daily life a daily adventure! How do your cats get your attention? Share your stories in the comments.

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About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of a short story collection about people and place. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

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