You Versus Your Cat: Who's In Charge?


Remember how I warned y'all that we have visitors in town and I that I'm taking time off from health and fitness blogging? Well, I wasn't kidding!

Today's topic: Who calls the shots in your house, you or Fluffy?

As it happens, there's some new research relevant to the question, and some silly pictures, but I'm mainly curious about what you do about the whole training and discipline question. Do you let your pets boss you around?

(And note: while this post happens to feature cats, I'm very curious how this issue plays out for dog owners as well).


Cat's Rule

In our house, the cat is much more skilled at behavior modification than we are. She has trained us to feed her what she wants to eat; to wake up when she thinks we've had enough sleep; to carry her up and down the stairs when her arthritis is acting up--she can even get us to turn on water faucets and wait for her to finish drinking by boycotting the water dish. We, on the other hand, have trained her... to do absolutely nothing she doesn't feel like doing.


"Lie Down, Maile! ... What a Good Girl!"

How does get away with it? Well, for one, we are mere humans and she is a cat. However, one of our favorite commenters, Mary Anne from Kentucky (who blogs over at Solarity) sent in a study revealing how cats vocally manipulate us. One of a cat's secret weapons? It's called "solicitation purring." They apparently have a very specific purr they use to get our asses out of bed and do their bidding.

Is anyone surprised?


But Some Humans Fight Back!

Got a cat who jumps on counters? Here's one hilariously geeky solution: The Blender Defender. It's either really clever or really crazy. Probably both.

And I keep hearing that cats can be trained to use toilets,

Photo: trainedcat

and even to do circus tricks!

Photo: ehfisher

Alas, not in the Crab/Lobster household. Cuddling and purring, though, she's pretty good at. I guess we can't complain!


How about you folks? Is your pet in charge or are you? Any cute tricks or helpful tips?

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