Basic Cat/Human Etiquette

It should not surprise any of you in CatWorld that there are some basic rules of etiquette governing how we interact with our human slaves (or servants or whatever you prefer to call them). However, it’s probably not very surprising that the humans don’t always seem to know these rules.

So, as my first piece of advice to all you fabulous felines, I offer the Basic Rules of Cat/Human Interaction:

  1. The Cat is always right.
  2. The Cat is always in the right spot at the right time. The human should not attempt to dislodge, yell at or discipline the Cat. If the Cat desires to go out, the Cat shall go out. The same applies to coming back in.
  3. The Cat’s dignity is irreproachable. No human shall ever laugh at a Cat. Ever. No matter what that Cat has recently done, or attempted to do, that has seemed humorous to the human.
  4. The human should understand his or her incredible good fortune at being the chosen companion of the Cat, and should appreciate this fact daily as well as show his/her appreciation in the form of good food, comfy places to sleep, excellent toys and just the right amount of attention.
  5. The human should not pet or otherwise interfere with the Cat’s current activities unless the Cat indicates this is a good idea.
  6. It is always clear, at least to the Cat, when this is NOT a good idea.
Theo the cat sleeping

All Cats should have plenty of comfy places to sleep. At the top is a picture of my current afternoon nap spot. Also, it should always be clear when the Cat wants attention. The “paws-over-the-face” trick is a guaranteed human-pleaser.

 In exchange, the Cat shall: 

  1. Agree to be talked to in terms that would be considered beneath a Cat’s notice unless the human talking is the Cat’s personal human or humans. Close personal friends of the human who speak to the Cat in this manner may or may not be tolerated on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Chase and kill small creatures within the house, including spiders, crickets, cockroaches and other vermin, and eat them as desired. This makes female humans very happy and frequently results in treats.
  3. Exercise good judgment as to the killing and presentation of other, larger creatures, particularly those from outside. The demise (and also potential dismemberment) of some of these creatures may not elicit the praise the Cat would quite naturally expect.
  4. Behave in such a manner as to elicit praise and petting from the humans the Cat lives with. This can include but is not limited to: playing with toys, rolling around on the floor with paws waving, stalking imaginary objects and just generally being what the humans call “cute, adorable and precious.” Again, this shall be on a case-by-case basis and is certainly not performed “on demand” for the human’s other family members, friends or significant others.
  5. Make clear at all times that the Cat chooses to live here. This may take the form of occasionally ignoring the human when he or she calls us, but shall not be performed so frequently as to upset the human, or in their words, “piss them off.”
  6. Show our affection to the human(s) when appropriate, with loud purring, leg-rubbing, head-butting, stretch-greeting, tail elevation and other physical activities calculated to further endear us to them.

Clearly, all Cats know these Rules. It is up to us to make them clear to humans, and to enforce the Rules. Only then will the humans behave appropriately.

Good luck with your human training programs. I look forward to hearing from my feline friends with additional tips and tricks for training humans.