Affectionate cats are more common than you may think. They are more independent than most dogs but are still great pets. In order to understand cats, it is important to choose the right one, when looking to adopt. Choose an alert cat that comes to you and shows affection. It is true that some cats may be a bit aloof, but like people, each is an individual and have different personalities: there are quiet ones, vocal ones, introverts and extroverts. Find one that likes to play or reaches for you, as these are good signs that he or she is looking to bond with you. The best place to look is the pound or humane society, because animals in there usually don’t stay in long before well, being put to sleep. So, save a little life and have a great selection to choose from, go there and spend time getting to know the kitties.
My whole life we have always had cats. Most of them have been very bonded to us due to the fact that my family truly loves animals and considers them part of the family. We pet and talk to them (no we aren’t eccentric or obsessed, this is what cat lovers tend to do), and it isn’t unusual for one to be sleeping on our laps or between our feet. The vet always tells us that we have "great cats." My guess is that it’s because they know they are loved and cared about. Those who have pets but don’t give them much attention to them teach the animal that it needs to be independent and entertain itself instead of seek their owner out. It is sad when animals aren’t given the attention they need, just a little acknowledgement here and there is what is needed daily. For example, if the cat is next to you, reach out and skritch it behind the ears. Chances are you’ll make it melt, then and there, on the floor. Try behind the ears, under the chin, up and down the back (going against the grain of the fur is OK), and some cats even like their belly rubbed. I have one who begs me to rub his belly and even lets me vacuum him!
If the cat starts stomping on the computer keyboard, don’t get mad at him, he’s only trying to get your attention. Same with a newspaper or magazine. Sure, it can get annoying to try and read when a cat is purring in your face, but at least pet him a moment then gently put him down on the floor and encourage him to go find something else to do. Get a cat condo or cat tree, because those are wonderful distractors. Cats enjoy being up high, so get a tall one and watch him spend time on the top shelf (or, as we call it at home, "the penthouse".) If you get one, sprinkle catnip and encourage kitty to go up there, usually they don’t need prompting, but some may need a little help.
Don’t listen to old wives’ tales of cats "trying to suck the breath out" of people. Cats may sit on your lap and purr in your face, but they are not malicious. They like closeness and can be very expressive in showing their pleasure, so kneading, purring and climbing up and curling in your arms is harmless, as well as really cute. If you’re not in the mood for it, just give them a little attention, then put them down on the floor, and divert their attentions with a toy. Cats will frequently try to lie on your feet, lap or in your hair when you sleep. They are treating your like their mother, how they get close and sleep against her body when young. Again, there is nothing malicious about this, it is simple cat language for "I like and trust you." Cats do sleep a lot, about 80% of the day, I’ve been told. Don’t fault them for that. But, when awake, they can play, even learn to fetch, and be lively family members. They just need to recharge their "batteries" more often, that’s all.
By understanding cat behavior and choosing a pet that matches your personality, you will have many years of happiness with him. Make sure to show others how to treat him, if they aren’t sure about or aren’t used to cats. Many people who hate cats simply don’t understand them and misinterpret their behavior. Enlighten them a little, it’s no big deal. If you have room in your life for a cat, you will soon see that they are a wonderful addition to the family. With a little love, you will have found yourself a best furry friend.