Why Everything in the House Belongs to Us

It is constantly amazing to me, and I assume to the rest of you in CatWorld, that my humans consider all of the items in their home to be “their” possessions. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. Everything in the house is clearly ours. Unless we just don’t want it, in which case we ignore it.

My humans think it’s “so cute and adorable” when I rub up against the furniture, or against them, or anything. We all know that’s just another way of marking our possessions, but OK, whatever.

The trouble arises when humans feel as if we are trespassing on “their” items or even damaging “their” possessions. This can get particularly unpleasant if the items are furniture, clothing or shoes. Especially shoes, in the case of female humans, who seem pathologically attached to “their” shoes.

What to do in the case of humans trying to “train” (ha!) you not to sit on, scratch, chew, or otherwise damage “their” stuff:

  1. Look as penitent as you can manage at the moment of being scolded.
  2. Do this ONLY if they have caught you in the act. If the damage has become apparent later, you are free to act as if you have no idea what they are talking about.
  3. Once they are satisfied that they have gotten their point across, they will usually leave the room or at least turn away. Wait a few minutes and then, if the act that got you in “trouble” was getting up on a piece of furniture, feel free to get right back up there. After all, it IS yours.
  4. Scratching and chewing can be a bit more challenging. You may really enjoy chewing a particular shoe; however this may result in it being removed from your access altogether. If this happens, accept it and move on. There are always other things to chew.
  5. Disciplining your humans can be a tiring and taxing task. Do not let it get you down. Remember, scratching your furniture, climbing your drapes, and chewing your shoes or other items can be an excellent way to remind your humans that you are hungry, or thirsty, or want to play, or any number of other rewarding activities. Most humans will catch on to this pretty quickly, but it is advisable to not overdo it. If you use this as a disciplinary tactic, use it sparingly. Otherwise the humans may simply get to the point where they decide not to care about “their” stuff anymore and just let you shred or chew it to pieces, and you will have lost your strategic advantage.
  6. Eliminating waste outside your litter box. This is a last resort, and I do not recommend it except in cases of dire emergency OR if your human has been extremely negligent in cleaning it, and you are teaching him/her a lesson. If you decide to take this step, remember it may backfire. It is essential that the human see you do this, so that it is imprinted on his or her feeble little brain that he/she has somehow transgressed and offended you deeply. A truly devoted human will clean your box immediately and will apologize profusely, and maybe even give you treats. BUT! Misuse this tactic, or over-use it, and you may find yourself in the dreaded Car, going somewhere from whence you may never return.

I hope you have all found this column helpful. As always, your comments are welcome. Until the next time, good grooming and sleek fur to all.