You don’t hate cats, you just can’t handle rejection

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Lena Pearson, Opinion Writer

In a world full of dog lovers, cats are destined to have quite the negative stigma, but it’s nearly impossible to find a valid reason as to why they are deemed inferior. The nature of cats is vastly misunderstood, sometimes causing confusion and fear for those who are unfamiliar with the species. Cats will inevitably react to poor treatment by asserting their dominance, but your one negative experience isn’t enough to prove that they’re all evil.

The most important thing to understand about cats is that they simply are not dogs. Most cat haters struggle with the idea of an animal that is not constantly at their beck and call, and cats refuse to conform to this ideal. Felines hardly rely on anyone but themselves, unlike dogs who are known for their loyalty and compliance toward their owners. Although cats are extremely independent animals, that doesn’t stop them from forming bonds with humans; they just need personal space. The two household pets can still make equally good companions despite their behavioral differences, but dog supremacists will always accept obedience over independence.

Dogs are very social animals who are generally outgoing with the people they come across, while cats often keep to themselves. This difference in behavior tends to frustrate plenty of dog owners, leading them to assume that cats just don’t like them. A feline with a reserved temperament isn’t inherently standoffish or mean; it just takes them more time to warm up to unfamiliar faces. There is little to no changing of the willful tendencies that cats possess, so there is no sense in trying to rush this process. It is all a matter of time before the animal comes around on its own thanks to its owner’s respect and patience.

The only time a cat has lashed out at me, I will admit, was in response to me pestering it. However, this was before I learned about the ways that they show discomfort. Cats are highly expressive animals and even their faces can convey their aggravation. Once their ears move backward and their eyes are fixed in an unblinking stare, you will know that you’ve crossed the animal’s boundaries. Felines are wise beyond measure and will always signal when they’re ready to pounce, so if you aren’t backing off at this point, it’s on you. With all of the obvious warning signs, the claim that cats are aggressive without reason is completely unfounded.

What many avid cat haters fail to realize is that encounters with the animals are almost entirely avoidable. There is truly no need to shout your dislike for an innocent creature from the rooftops, even with the excuse of an allergy as a backup. Having an allergy to cats is commonly used to justify the loathing of these furry friends, but it is unreasonable and lacks a great deal of logic. When you think about it, people who are allergic to peanuts don’t hate peanuts, they just steer clear of them. The same reasoning should be applied with cats, if you hate them so much, just mind your business and they will mind theirs.

While you have every right to prefer a certain animal over another, there is never a valid reason to truly despise one. Cats have adopted a reputation for being “hostile” simply because of their willful nature, but they really just require patience. Respecting a cat’s independence is of utmost importance, rather than training them to be your at-home circus act. If you are looking for a pet who will follow your every command, just get a dog.