Cats are utterly selfish. True or false? Pet owners know what we are talking about. Let’s be real here. No other animals are as temperamental, moody, or as difficult to please as cats. Apart from cat moms and dads, those who have even a small encounter with cats agree that felines have an attitude problem. Many consider cats as arrogant little pricks. You spend all your time and energy into building a beautiful relationship with your cat, but you aren’t. A cat has absolutely no interest in you as its owner. It is true that cats are totally different from dogs. They have different priorities. So comparing them based on their behavior and attitude is baseless. But the pain of cat owners is real. They would love some appreciation from their feline friend for taking care of them, giving them food and head scratches.
Dogs had wolf ancestors who passed on the flair for building social relationships. Cats, on the other hand, are descended from a territorial, solitary animal. Cats, with their inexpressive faces, are extremely hard to understand. You cannot wholly train your cat (there are exceptions), and they don’t have any obedience to you. Cats still obey the ancient rules of their forefathers – having a safe place to live is priority No.1. This means they are naturally passive to punishment and only respond to rewards and praise. So, it doesn’t matter how many times you lock your cat in its crate or spray water for ripping off the sofa; it will never learn.
Are cats selfish?
While people say that cats are selfish creatures, many debates that ‘selfish’ is a human trait. It is hard to apply to any animal other than humans because we are not even close to understanding their way of life and why they do what they do.
As said earlier, cats are extremely territorial. This means they have a clear view of where they want to be. For example, if the sun is shining across your bed in the morning and in any other room in the afternoon, the cat will demand complete access to it. And when you try to move the cat, you are actually making the cat move out of its comfort zone, which the cat doesn’t like. Hence, you will get an attitude. It is natural – similar to humans. We get attitude all the time when something inappropriate happens to us.
Simply put, if a cat has a spot, you just cannot sit there. Also, many cat-lovers debate that cats are not selfish but altruistic (selfless). If you own a cat or cats, you may have witnessed that your cat has a habit of gift-giving. That is, you might have seen a decapitated squirrel/bird/mouse/bunny on your doorstep. The cats are sharing something with you. This generosity of spirit doesn’t always include dead animals. Some cats drop their favorite toys, slippers, or any other house items outside your bedroom.
Does the nature of the cat have to do something with its ancestors?
There are many advocates of cats who believe that cats are incredibly emotional and understand your pain and suffering. A woman reportedly said that her cat kept her company during 19 hours of prolonged labor. People have also said that their cat would come up to them to provide comfort when they are feeling sad.
This suggests that felines are not always arrogant, cold, and calculating as they are commonly characterized. To understand cat behavior, we will have to put light on their origins. Domesticated cats still possess the basic instincts as their ancestors, and one of them is self-preservation and wariness.
Domestic cats are the descendants of wildcats. Wildcats have a cold nature and are intensely solitary creatures. So, this shouldn’t bother you if your cat is happy in its own company. And unlike other domesticated animals, cats were responsible for their own domestication.
About 10,000 years ago, wildcats started to live in and around places where humans began to settle. This was because there was easy access to food, and there were no predators. So, it can be said that cats are loyal, but only to places. What about humans?
The University of Lincoln conducted a study that showed cats don’t turn to their owners for reassurance (like many dogs do). When cats are faced with a challenge, like a new abode, place, or room, they will immediately explore it, but in the end, they think of getting back to their usual territory. This is the reason why cat owners are advised to keep their cats indoors for about 2-3 weeks after moving to a new place. Cats don’t easily leave their territory. So, it takes some time for the cat to build confidence in its new environment. Therefore, when cats feel that they are safe, they can be affectionate towards their owners.
Now, unlike dogs who just jump on you and start licking to show their love, cats show affection in a whole variety of ways. It is better if you understand cat behavior before bringing one in.