One of the things I like about cats is their independence. Especially since I have two, I know that they will be okay if I am away for long periods of time.
On the other hand, that independent thinking can be a challenge to one’s patience. I fully understand the saying “like herding cats.” Since I can’t leave my cats unsupervised in the rooms outside my bedroom, I have to keep them in my room while I am away or sleeping. Well, sometimes my cats refuse to follow me to the room even though I beckon them.
Sometimes, they’ll come if they hear the sound of me putting food in their bowl. I will also try to entice them by bringing out their treats, and rattling the bottle to ensure their great hearing gets a load of what they’re missing. The last resort I want to take is physically catch my cats since they are more agile than I am and can hide in places that I can’t reach.
One of my cats tends to be more cooperative than the other, so I will use that in dealing with my cats. When Mr Knightley comes as beckoned, I will reward him with treats. Mr Darcy will hear that and come to the room to get a piece of the action.
Basically, we have to accept that it’s hard to make cats do what we want them to do. The trick is to make them want to do what we want them to do. That’s also how we can train cats to do tricks. They don’t do tricks to please us the way dogs do. They want the treats. They’ll do what it takes, even if it means condescending to perform tricks to amuse us humans.
Oh, and reverse psychology can work, too. Since my cats are sociable, they don’t like to be on the other side of the door from where I am at. So if my cat refuses to come into the bedroom, I’ll close the door as if I’m keeping him out. Then he gets sad and waits for me at the door, meowing.
Of course, there are the times where no amount of psychology could help. When it was time to put my cat in his carrier to take him to my car for the long road trip, he put up quite a ferocious fight. He threatened me with his teeth but didn’t inflict damage. He hasn’t been so opposed to getting into the carrier like that. I think it might be because the last two times I put him into the carrier, it was to take him to the vet. I was finally able to get him into the carrier by using a tactic from when my cats were kittens: grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and holding on to it as I guided him into the carrier. That trick is like magic to anyone who has ever had to contend with a misbehaving kitten or cat.