Have you ever noticed how cats have quirky preferences? But do you appreciate them? Do you allow them? I have a fascination for watching the natural tendencies of children and animals. It must say something about their personality, character and their emotions.
For example, we have two female cats that love to jump up on the bathroom counter to drink their water from a cup. Lately, my husband is telling me that they both have a preference for the right cup rather than the left one. We have no idea why that would be. Another one, our shy cat will not drink his water from the dish on the floor if someone is too close by. He gets nervous when there is activity too near him, and this stops his drinking. Another cat, I rarely even see him drink. He must be a closet drinker!
One of them also jumps up on the bathroom counter to get brushed. She starts purring to let me know that she is hoping to be brushed. Her daughter won’t lie still when we try to brush her, but she lets my husband know she is interested in being brushed by stretching out on the floor in the bathroom.
She seems to like to chew on things, especially fingers, so we have had to try to reduce that tendency by not indulging her, or else she’ll try to crunch down hard with her back teeth, ouch, no thanks! Another cat loves to lick or chew on plastic, and that habit is okay with us and rather amusing to witness. These are tendencies they have had from a just a few weeks old.
We have had cats that liked to sit on the heating register while others did not. I used to put boxes on the registers so that they could sit on them when they got extra hot in the winter. Many of them liked sitting in boxes, so warm boxes were even more appealing.
I also had cats that liked to eat up high and this was quite necessary due to a dog that we had. It gave the cats a lot more security to eat when they wanted to and without disturbance. This particular cat also liked to be see fresh kibble poured into his dish and then patted a few times before he would purr and dig into his food dish. They are just little habits that make them feel loved. Funny, this is the only cat that I have ever known that doesn’t like to eat ANY canned cat food or human food. He just likes kibble.
One of our previous cats liked to climb into a bowl shaped basket to sleep. She also liked to chew on my hair, which actually was not a great habit but she got emotional comfort from it. This cat developed an over eating disorder that was connected to her lifetime neediness that stemmed back to insufficient mothering in those important early days and weeks.
Cats seem to acquire their favourite sleeping spot. They all have different preferences. One sleeps in the dark closet, one sleeps by my side and another checks in on us every few hours and plunks himself on top of us when he thinks its time for us to wake up. The youngest one retreats to the basement where she curls up under a bed. I think this relates back to her kitten days when my daughter kept her in her room with her at night. She moved out a few years ago but the cat keeps going back to her sleeping spot of former times.
Habits and preferences of cats are interesting and when you can observe and honour some of their preferences, I’m sure it helps your cat to feel respected and cared for. Another thing that makes them feel appreciated is to talk to them when you see them or pass by them, maybe stop and give them a pat. Be sure to give each of them a little bit of quality time each day. This leads to a happy, contented cat.