Cats are pretty popular pets in the United States. According to the ASPCA, around one-third of all US households now have a cat, to the tune of an estimated 74 to 96 million feline friends.
But these whiskered pets are more than just furry family members, as you can actually learn some great life lessons by taking a closer look at cats. Check out the following fifteen things you can learn about love and life just by observing your feline buddy.
1. Continued Affection Creates A Bond
With cats, regular petting, holding and even hugging can create a bond. In fact, one of the reasons that feral cats—animals that grew up in the wild, away from human contact—can’t be domesticated is because they did not receive affection and love from humans when growing up.
Humans work in the same way as cats do in this instance. Displaying and receiving affection on a regular basis makes you more open to both giving and receiving it, and it strengthens your bonds with other people. Don’t be afraid to both give and receive affection, as you’ll feel more loved and improve the most important relationships in your daily life.
2. Purring Is Quite Contagious
When a cat purrs, do you smile? If so, you’re not alone. The Chicago Tribune reported that cat purring may have a calming effect on humans, and that cat owners were found to be less likely to have a heart attack than non-cat owners in a 2012 study.
Being happy is contagious in people, too. If you’re happy and you let it show, you can boost the mood of your loved ones, too. Try to be more positive in life, and don’t be afraid to spread your joy around; after all, it’s catching!
3. Being Patient Pays Off
Cats are naturally cautious. You may have noticed that when you bring a new animal or person into your home, your cat took their time getting acquainted, and that’s a smart move.
While you don’t want to live your life in a swirl of paranoia, it’s perfectly fine to be a little cautious and patient when it comes to new things and people. By taking your time with something or someone new, you can avoid potential problems in the future.
4. People Show Love Differently
Dogs are pretty predictable in how they show love, but cats are a lot more unpredictable and subtle, and this is totally true of humans. Learn to appreciate the different ways people in your life show you love, even if it’s not always what you were expecting. Learn to be more open to demonstrations of love in whatever form they may come.
5. It’s Okay To Seek Attention Sometimes
Cats are pretty famous for making it known when they want a little attention. The Internet is literally full of photos of cats creeping on their owner’s chests, keyboards or laps out of nowhere.
Like cats, it’s also okay for you to ask for love and affection sometimes. Maybe you had a bad day at work or are just stressed out or feeling lonely —whatever your reason, it’s perfectly normal and natural to need a little boost of love!
6. Slow Down And Enjoy Life
A cat doesn’t rush to get up in the morning or gobble down its food. They enjoy life, whether it be sleeping all day on the couch or finding that perfect patch of sunlight to nap in.
Take a page out of the cat book and slow down when you can so you actually enjoy life instead of rushing through it. If you find yourself over-committed, take a hard look at what you’ve planned and try to eliminate things that don’t make you happy or serve any purpose in your life.
7. Big Disagreements Can Be Overcome
Despite the longstanding dog-cat feud, you can still find photos of many cats living happily with man’s best friend in the same household. This is a result of working through their differences and learning to get along, which is something you can do in your life, too!
Don’t approach conflict as if it can never be solved, as that will set you up for failure from the start. Really open yourself up to the perspectives of others, and learn to work through your differences instead of being frozen by them.
8. Rest Is Necessary For Mood And Health
According to PetMD, cats sleep for an average of 15 hours each day. While you don’t need to sleep that much, adults do need around seven to nine hours each day, per the Sleep Foundation. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your mood and your health may suffer, so work on establishing a nightly routine that gets you to sleep early enough.
9. Being Standoffish Doesn’t Always Pay Off
Cats are known for being a bit aloof, and that is actually why some people prefer dogs as pets over cats. But some cats do learn that being standoffish isn’t appealing to others, and the same is true for humans. Most people prefer responsiveness instead of remoteness.
Work on being more open and less aloof. It’s not always going to be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.
10. Alone Time Is Okay
Cats do love being alone, but that’s what makes it better when they want to play and cuddle with their owners. For humans, having alone time sometimes is not only okay, but it also can enhance your time with others. When you need some “me” time, don’t be afraid to take it, as that is what will make your “us” time more valuable.
11. Being Clean Is Attractive
Cats are famous for how much time they spend each day grooming, to the point of what would be overkill for humans. But being clean is definitely a trait that other people value, so try to stay on top of your hygiene routine, even during busy times.
12. Accept Only The Best
A cat almost expects to be well-treated, well-fed and well-handled. You should have the same expectations for yourself!
13. Keep A Little Mystery
A cat’s mystery is part of what makes the animal appealing, and this applies to humans, too. While you don’t want to be super-secretive, you can keep love relationships fresher with a little mystery now and again.
14. Stop Taking Things Too Personally
A destroyed houseplant or clawed couch isn’t shocking to a cat owner, and they know it’s not being done out of spite; it’s just something cats do sometimes.
People may also offend you without meaning to, and it’s important not to take those instances too personally. While obviousness doesn’t excuse bad behavior, it should change how you view the root of the incident.
15. Being A Little Unpredictable
Do something out of character sometimes to keep life interesting. A cat will follow a routine most of the time, but sometimes, it spices life up by a run around the dining room or a leap onto an appliance. While you probably don’t want to run around your living room, feel free to do something new, fun and silly sometimes to let off some steam!