Resting domestic cat has traffic bollards placed around her for safety reasons

from Cat GIFs via Gfycat

The video is amusing and meant to be but I'll take a serious approach. This is a practical example of how you respect the cat. Respecting the cat is a rather amorphous concept. What does it mean in practice? Well, this, as mentioned, is an example in practice. I know it was done for entertainment purposes. But respecting the cat really is about allowing the cat to behave naturally and respecting their innate behaviours and the drivers behind it. 

It is allowing the cat to express themselves and taking charge of that responsibility. It means that the person takes charge of the relationship and ensures that their cat has the freedoms that they need within the limitations of safety. 

The first step in respecting the cat is to understand domestic cats and in order to understand domestic cats you have to understand cats in general and the domestic cat's wild cat ancestor. I preach (!) that people should love their cat as a family member but treat the cat as a cat. 

What that means is you don't treat your cat as a little person because that can result in feline behavioural problems and problems in the relationship between cat and person. It's a lot to do as well with expectation management. 

People need to have the right expectations when it comes to their cat and their cat's behaviour. I am sure that there are many homes were people adopt cats expecting something and the cat delivers something else and there is a gap between expectations on delivery which causes disappointment which in turn can lead to a cat being given up somebody else or a cat shelter. 

The only way you avoid expectation disappointment is by understanding domestic cats before you adopt them. It means doing your homework. I know this is incredibly tiresome and utterly boring but you've got to do some work on it before you take that big step. 

And it is a big step because there cannot be failure. It has to be a successful relationship. There are no other options. This is for the life of the cat.

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