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15 Ways Teenagers Are Like Cats (Funny & Not So Much)

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

young cat owner playing with her pet at home

15 Ways Teenagers Are Like Cats (Funny & Not So Much)

Author Whitney Fleming once said, “The scariest part of raising teenagers is remembering the stupid things you did as a teenager.” Perhaps you’ll also think of your cat when thinking about some things your own teenager does. Maybe that explains why you called your kid by your pet’s name by mistake. Of course, these years are full of angst, fueled by the unknown. You were there once, too, and you survived.

It’s probably no mistake when you see your cat and teen acting similarly. After all, humans share 90% of their DNA with felines. The comparisons may be more spot-on than you think.

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The 15 Ways Teenagers Are Like Cats

1. Be Prepared for if Either One Is Bored

When you have an intelligent pet like a cat, you must provide mental stimulation for them. If you don’t give them something to do, you can be sure that they’ll find something to do, regardless of whether it’s appropriate or not. You can say the same thing about teenagers, although their outlets can have risky potential.

woman playing with her cat
Image Credit: Kmpzzz, Shutterstock

2. They Both Engage in Risky Behavior

Sometimes, you have to shake your head about the things that cats and teenagers do. Kittens may climb great heights and are subsequently reluctant to jump down to the floor. Some pets may suddenly start racing around the room, making odd noises with the hair standing up on their backs. Despite how silly it looks, it’s their way of burning off excess energy.

Teenagers do their share of questionable things. It’s part of growing up to push the boundaries. Often, the rush of getting a rise out of their parents motivates some kids to engage in these behaviors. Remember that adults usually have the benefit of experience to help them make informed choices that teens may lack.

3. Cats and Teenagers Have Mastered Turning on a Dime

You’re sitting on the couch, stroking your cat, when they suddenly swipe at you with claws drawn. You may notice your kitty slapping their tail before they strike or bite. Similarly, teenagers also display sudden mood changes, usually caused by hormonal changes as they mature.

cat snuggling with owner

4. Both Are Active at Night

Have you ever wondered why your teen stays up until 3 AM on the weekends? Well, their bodies release sleep hormones later at night than in kids and adults. Similarly, many cats are in touch with their wild side and are active at night or dusk/dawn. That’s typical behavior for your kitty’s ancestor, the African wild cat (Felis silvestris libyca).

5. They Both Make Their Feelings Known

Teenagers make it clear when something upsets them, usually accompanied by complaining. Cats aren’t very different. Just try ignoring a pet at the door that wants to go outdoors. Interestingly, our feline companions have learned that meowing works when it comes to interacting with humans. Wild species don’t use this vocalization nearly as much as our cats.

cat welcomes his owner at home
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

6. An Independent Streak Flows Through Cats and Teenagers

Wild felines are usually solitary. That behavior fuels their independence. These animals learn to defend themselves and succeed at hunting. It’s critical for survival. That’s not unlike a similar pattern in teenagers. Being independent helps teens develop the skills they need to succeed in life.

7. They Learn How to Get What They Want

Feline intelligence comes to the forefront when learning to make cause-and-effect connections. That involves things we’ve discussed previously, like meowing to get your attention. Teens are on a par with cats on this score. Whether you’re a cat or a kid, saving time and energy to get what you want is appropriate.

Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

8. Both Can Wreck Your Belongings

One of the most frustrating things about pets and teenagers is the damage they can do to your stuff. It could be instinctive behavior in cats, such as scratching your sofa to mark their territory. It can also be part of the risks a teen takes when joyriding in your car and getting into an accident. The solution in both cases is setting some house rules.

9. Cats and Teenagers Can Have Selective Hearing

Cats and teenagers have perfected the art of selective hearing. When it comes to food or money, they’re all ears. However, felines and teens often suddenly become deaf when you tell them no to something they want. It seems like they’ve never heard the word before, no matter how many times you’ve said it.

Cat Owner with Laptop
Image Credit: Monster Ztudio, Shutterstock

10. Both Like to Hide

Teenagers have their rooms; cats have boxes. Both accomplish the same thing: they feel more secure and safer. It allows them to call the shots with only one way in or out of their space. It also allows them to let down their guard.

11. Cats and Teenagers Are Stealthy

Cats must be stealthy to hunt successfully. For some wild animals, it’s crucial for survival. Teenagers may also get in touch with their feline side in crafty ways that may or may not benefit them. It touches on their need for independence and the pushing of boundaries. Teens know when their parents are likely to nix their plans, and stealth allows them to sneak out at night and skip the homework.

tabby maine coon cat in door gap
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

12. Looks Are Everything for Cats and Teenagers

One of the most distinctive of feline traits is self-grooming. That’s one benefit of having one as a pet. They’re remarkably self-sufficient. That’s not too different for teenagers. Looking your best is everything for young people, reaching sexual maturity and moving into their future roles as partners and parents. Being self-conscious as their bodies change is understandable.

13. Both Are Often Picky Eaters

Cats are known for their discriminating taste. This behavior helps to protect felines from ingesting toxic substances. Because of this, cats can be picky, not unlike our own children. Sure, some will gulp down anything they can, but a lot of teens prefer pizza and hamburgers instead of broccoli and salads.

Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

14. Cats and Teenagers Sleep—A Lot!

A common complaint among parents is the excessive time teens sleep. The fact remains that they need 9–9.5 hours daily to support growth and development. Cats aren’t too far behind, with adults snoozing for 16 hours or more. They are not necessarily lazy, although bored or sick felines may sleep more than healthy animals.

15. We Love Them for All Their Foibles

Despite how much teenagers and cats will test our patience and understanding, we can’t help but adore them. They make our lives complete with their unconditional love, even if it’s not always on full display. It’s there behind the bored expressions or half-closed eyes. Raising kids or pets is often challenging. However, the rewards are priceless.

cat resting withowner on sofa at home
Image Credit: U_Photo, Shutterstock

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You can’t help but notice how similar the behavior of teenagers and cats is. Both can be extremely trying when pushing the limits. It’s a process that is as old as time itself when it comes to teens as they move into adulthood.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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