General Question

ucme's avatar

Okay, could you please tell me what it is that makes cats so appealing (please refer to details)?

Asked by ucme (39844 points ) April 26th, 2011

I’m not the greatest cat fan in the world. I mean, there’s been no incident involving a feline that scarred me, physically or otherwise. I just never did see the appeal. Now, here’s the “crunch.” My daughter….she’s 11yrs old…..has let it be known that she would like a cat. Far be it for me to deny her that pleasure. So, I guess I could become a kitty convert, with a little help of course. With that in mind….& with a touch of humility, I ask for the cat owners of fluther to step forward & praise pussycats to the max? I shall put this in general, with the hope it will remain there. Signaling my intent for sober/helpful responses. I thank you in advance.

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36 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

Get your daughter the cat and then you will know what the appeal is. You sometimes have to know one to love one. You’re going to get her one anyway right? And unlike dogs, they are self-cleaning, that’s one thing right there.

Jude's avatar

They’re independent, lap warmers, entertaining, they keep the spider population down, easy to care for and their purring is soothing. Ah, kittehs.

Seelix's avatar

They’re snuggly and cute, and despite what some people say, they have such funny little personalities that it’s hard not to love ‘em if you get to know ‘em.

They don’t eat much, don’t make much noise and aside from cleaning the litter box every day or every other day, they don’t take much work.

ucme's avatar

@lillycoyote Well yeah, it looks that way. I would however like to “bond” with kitty myself, you know….show willing :¬)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I have two.A male and a female Maine Coon.Not only are they beautiful but they are affectionate,playful,gentle and smart.I am able to easily groom and bathe them,clip their nails and now,brush their teeth…yes,that’s right
XD
They have both been in the car on trips and on my boat.They travel well.
Easy to care for,charming,beautiful and they $hit in a box!
What more could you ask for?

deni's avatar

They’re adorable, cuddly, intelligent, unique, fuzzy, adorable, they wear furry pants, they’re sassy, they’re self sufficient and independent, they’re loyal, smart, playful, affectionate, adorable, easy…..did i mention how cute and fuzzy they are? Cats are great. There’s a reason the ancient Egyptians worshipped them!

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
JilltheTooth's avatar

The cute-itude is basically unmatched. The purring thing is very soothing, and they do really weird stuff that is endlessly fascinating. With your…er…interesting sense of humor, @ucme I would imagine you would really enjoy a cat…

lillycoyote's avatar

@ucme It’s just that it’s kind of hard to explain what the appeal of cats is. If you can get a hold of this book, The Silent Miaow, by Paul Gallico, a man who may have loved and understood cats better than any one, you will begin to understand, hopefully. The book is out of print so you will most likely have to order a used copy from Amazon if you can’t find it in your library. It’s a classic. Lots of pictures so you can knock it off in an hour or two. Read the first customer review on the link and you will understand why I am recommending it to you.

ucme's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille You’re right, especially about the poo-poo, i’m sold! ;¬}
@JilltheTooth Well that remains to be seen, here’s hoping.
@lillycoyote Oh absolutely, I intend to read up as much as possible. Thanks for that :¬)

rooeytoo's avatar

I love most anything cute and furry and cats are definitely in that catagory. The disadvantage is that you can’t take them jogging with you, although I did have one that always accompanied us on our morning walks. He walked on a lead until one day he surprised me by going up a tree before I had time to react. Then he was up the tree with a leash tangled around the limb so I had to climb up to get him. From then on he walked without a lead (in a traffic free beach walk), he also liked to ride in the jeep. So jogging and home security are the only drawbacks I can think of.

My favorite is an orange tabby desexed male.

Mariah's avatar

They are just chill, more aloof dogs. Some kitties are ultra friendly – mine like to snuggle up to me and just purr and purr their heads off. They show me love by nuzzling. Sometimes they’ll pretend to be too cool for me, but they give themselves away by following me from room to room; obviously they like my presence more than they want me to think. :)
They stretch out in sun patches. They like to have their bellies rubbed. They act crazy if you give them nip. What’s not to love?

ucme's avatar

Ooh, how rude of me! Thanks @haleybug14 welcome to the madhouse…..fluther :¬)

optimisticpessimist's avatar

You can also leave them for a weekend as long as you leave plenty of food and water available and not have to get either a sitter or boarding.

Jude's avatar

My other boy. Chevrolet Kentucky (get off of that sheet metal!!).

tinyfaery's avatar

When a cat loves you, you have been graced. A creature that really needs nothing from you chooses to be near you and to offer you affection.

yankeetooter's avatar

I agree with @tinyfaery. Cats’ love does not come cheap…when they love you it’s for real. Don’t get me wrong, I love dogs too, but as someone who is not home much, cats are ideal for me because they are more independent. They are very entertaining as well…

deni's avatar

Oh god, I didn’t even mention how entertaining they are. Everyone else is right…they are SO FUN to watch. Tearing around the house, staring at the ceiling and then sprinting across the room, hiding from dust, trying to catch a crumbled up receipt. It’s never ending.

GracieT's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille has it right. I agree with her on everything, even the Maine Coon part. (I love Maine Coons!) As much as I love dogs, cats are easier to care for, and despite what everyone says about how aloof they are they will become attatched to their people- we feed them! Cats also have the amazing ability to make everything better, just by being there. (Of course, all animals that we keep as pets have the same ability, but cats excel at it!)

knitfroggy's avatar

There are so many things I love about my cats. One thing I especially love about them is they are low maintenance. Don’t have to let them outside all the time, don’t have to pick their poop up off the carpet, Cats don’t chew your shoes or knock over the trash can. All you have to do is make sure they have water, food, and a clean litter box and they will love you for life. I’ve been told I’m a cat snob because I will only have male cats. I think they are more loving than female cats.

Seelix's avatar

@knitfroggy – That’s interesting, because until Mr. Fiance and I moved in together, I had only had females. We have one of each now, but they’re both from before we lived together so it’s hard to say whether one is more loving, because the girls and guys tend to stick together.

Another great thing about kitties is that you can leave them alone for the weekend if you need to. Just leave some extra food and water out, and make sure the box is clean when you leave. Cats aren’t nearly as likely as dogs to gorge themselves on their food, so it’ll last when it’s out for a few days. And if you have to be away longer than that, you can just have someone look in on them, change their water and litter and there ya go!

ucme's avatar

Hey, thanks a lot folks! The wheels are well & truly in motion.
I’m genuinely chuffed I finally got a question into general, which is funny because i’m not usually that easily pleased.

Buttonstc's avatar

Another advantage is that it’s not necessary to devote several months teaching them not to poop or pee all over the house as with dogs.

Cats are naturally fastidious about cleanliness and even the littlest kitten has already been litter trained by the Mama cat.

Dogs can tend toward being obsequious and slavish in their adoration of their humans. If a cat accepts you, it’s because they choose to and that’s high praise indeed.

They are also the most graceful of creatures (except for little kittens) and they can weave their way in and out of shelves and tabletops without disturbing any of the objects they encounter. Their balance is amazing. Poetry in motion (if you admire that sort of thing).

If there’s a blizzard or heavy rain outside, you can stay indoors instead of having to venture out 2–3 times a day to walk the cat. Just scoop the box and you’re done. The ultimate in low maintenance.

Nothing beats the sound of a contented cat purrting on your lap or lying next to you in bed. If kitty ends up attached to your daughter and deciding to sleep with her at night, you may find yourself considering getting another one for you and the wife.

They really do grow on you. They have silent charms which become more evident over time.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

They’re soft and fluffy and just begging to be touched. They’re sweet and snuggly and purrrrrrrr in your lap as you stroke them. They give you their love, even after you’ve accidentally stepped on their tail. They’re warm, silly little things that chase your toes under the covers. Plus, they’ll instictively eat any bugs and rodents that threaten to invade your turf.

If you get one from a shelter, it’s most likely already litter trained. You can also get one from a shelter that’s already fixed, that way you’re not out $200 for spaying/neutering. Cat maintenence is simple- scoop out their box once a day, or every other day, depending on how much that kitty poops. Completely dump the litter box and replace with all fresh litter once a week, to keep the odor down. Leave out plenty of dry food and water, and maybe give a “treat” once a day, and they’re happy.

Also, like someone else mentioned, it’s so easy to go out of town for a weekend when you have a cat, as opposed to a dog. Make sure to scoop the box just before you leave, leave out several bowls of food and water, and they’re set. No boarding, no sitting… just a cat with the house all to himself for 2 days, who’ll be ecstatic to see you return, and will rub all over your legs while looking at you adoringly.

I like dogs, but I really am a total “cat person”. I have two already, but if I could adopt a few more, I would.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Detail: fuwwy wittwe pawv!

gondwanalon's avatar

People who don’t like cats never had a good one. Make sure that the cat that you get is friendly. Not mean or afraid of you. Go to the library and check out some books on cats. “The Complete Book of the Cat” by Angela Sayer is good.

gailcalled's avatar

They have sweet breath,
their whiskers never give you razor burn,
they are better than a heating pad or foot warmer in cold weather,
they find your location in a 3000 sq.foot house or in a two-acre woods,
they take care of the rodent population,
and will often eat a moth, ant or house fly,
which will both amuse you and save you the trouble of fetching the fly swatter.

Kismet's avatar

About 6 months ago, behind where I worked, a kitten was dropped off.
With much begging to my boyfriend, we took her in.
My appeal to her at first was that she was cute as a button, though I have never considered myself much of a cat person, I couldn’t find the heart to not accept the poor thing after being neglected.
Owning her has been a lot of fun, but also a pain.
I love the way she smells, though almost a year, she still has such a soft sweet smell. She is SUPER playful, which could be a good or bad thing. She follows my boyfriend and I around the house, like a little shadow. She makes me smile and she gives me something exciting to come home to.
Overall, just owning a pet is a good way to teach your child responsibility. Because cats are so independent they are a good critter to get. You don’t really have to potty train it like a dog, and you can leave it for a weekend with food and water and it’ll be just fine.

It’ll be an adventure if you chose to. But you know what is best for your kid! Everyone is different! :)

yankeetooter's avatar

The playfulness does wear off somewhat as they get older, @Kismet, but my cats always had what I like to call “crazy hour”, where they would go tearing down the hallway and back for no reason that my roommate back then and I could see…it was hilarious!

trickface's avatar

You guys are making me sad missing my kitten Gigabyte who was the most boysterous, hyper and playful kitty I have owned (4 as a child) and the first and only I have owned independently. She would leap and dive and roll and chase around our small apartment but also purr, knead, pounce and snooze on you. I’m allergic but it doesn’t stop me loving cats.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Once they allow you in their presence, they’ve been known to display unconditional love and affection toward their people.

That is, of course, if you give them sufficient helpings of stinky goodness and kitty crack.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Imagine a really comfy, soft, squishy pillow that when you put your face on it, it just feels amazing. Like a stuffed animal. Now imagine that the pillow purrs, and snuggles, and looks at you lovingly all the time. Now imagine that pillow will probably love you, but doesn’t just give their love away to every Tom, Dick, and Harry who so much as smiles in their direction, much less pets them or feeds them, but rather says “Hey, you should give me a reason to love you, probably by being lovable and awesome.” And now imagine that this pillow is a living being, who’s sad when you leave for work in the morning, and happy when you get home and night, and bugs you to go to bed because they just can’t stand not snuggling and cuddling with you any longer. They don’t care if you look like crap, are having a bad hair day, haven’t showered yet, totally blew up inappropriately at your boss, wrote a bad check, and stood your girlfriend up again. They just want cuddle. They never scream at you how they “hate you” when you won’t let them get a cell phone, or decide to sulk for a decade straight. They don’t talk!

Ok, yes, you do have to clean up their litter box. But, you also have to clean up after a dog (if you’re responsible, and don’t just let your dog take a dump in the neighbor’s iris garden and then run away), and you have to change a child’s diapers. But you do this because it’s such a small price to pay for unconditional love.

There’s a whole political debate – dogs vs cats. Some people hate how independent cats are. I like it; I think it makes them fully autonomous beings who wouldn’t dream of an unhealthy, codependent relationship, and yet are fully capable of loving another being, thus becoming the sought-after ‘interdependent’.

My cats love just being near me, which I take as a sign of love. I’ve got one on the couch to my right, about 2 feet away from me. Another one is on the chair behind me, and the last one just curled on on top of my desk, her bum right against the arch of my foot. My littlest one doesn’t cuddle as much, but rather prefers to be 1–5 feet away from me at all times, sleeping at the foot of the bed, waking up and following me to the bathroom when I get up to pee at 3am, then following me back to bed. It’s kinda like marriage – everything is slightly better when you’re near me.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I have to be careful when I ignore my cat when she wants to be petted. If she gets behind me, she will jump on my back and drape herself across my shoulders. (Thought I was being attacked the first time it happened.) You see, she’s quite fond of using me to “make biscuits” and she often demands I sit so she can lounge across my lap.

She won’t be denied.

Wherever I am in the house, she’s there too. And when she tires of laying on me, she’ll assume a position somewhere above me (if she can) and go to sleep.

Bellatrix's avatar

I love their independence and their downright arrogance at times. They really do think they rule the world and we evolved to love and serve them. If you piss your cat off and the people next door are providing a better living arrangement, they might just bugger off. Now while all of this sounds fairly negative, I actually see these traits as positives. Cats choose to love you or not. They have great self-esteem. If your cat loves you, you will know it too. I have had cats that have waited at the window every night for me to come home. One insisted I was there and stayed with her while she gave birth. She literally would not let me leave the room. When they do decide they own you, you know you are pretty special.

They can also be very funny. You can make them chase little lights and feathers and leap around the room like crazy. And of course, they are so soft and furry. I hope your daughter loves her kitten.

gailcalled's avatar

And a minor but nice bonus is that they act like free thermometers (and rain gauges if you led them outside).

Cold? They lie on top of you or even under the duvet.
Moderate?” Up hight where the heat rises.
“Sunny and mild?”: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45159532@N08/4776770913/in/photostream In a bright spot, such as on the piano
Really hot? Sprawled on the wooden floor, looking exhausted.

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