Cat psychology : Do your cats also vary behavior depending on how they got somewhere?

So I have noticed that if the kitty decides on his own to get on my pillow, or lie on a blanket, or lie on his cat tree platform, he is friendly and affectionate and purrs extremely loud if you pet him.

But if he’s in one of these favored locations and you pick the cat up and move him to another place he normally likes, this is not true. He tries to leave and go back to his original spot. Even if he stays for a while, it’s under duress and he doesn’t purr much or act as friendly.

This is sort of maddening to me. The spot I move him to is just as warm and safe as the spot he was previously. It tells me the cat is non Markovian - not only does the state (where the cat is) matter, but also the path he took to get to that state.

I think this falls into the category of “Well, duh”.

How would you feel if some giant were to randomly pick you up and deposit you somewhere else?

Heck, how do you feel when you’re on an airplane, and the flight attendant tells you you have to switch seats? Even if all the seats are essentially the same, I expect you’d be annoyed at having to pack up all your stuff and move to another seat. Even if you understand why they asked you to move, it’s still annoying.

It is doubly annoying if a giant flight attendant picks you up and deposits you in a different seat.

That’s exactly what I was about to post, with the following example: even if the giant were to take you from your favourite tv-watching armchair and put you on your favourite (soft, hard, water- whatever) mattress.

You weren’t in lying on a mattress mode, you were in watching tv mode!

It’s interesting to me that you frame this in terms of the “path he took to get to that state”, as though the cat is some kind of mindless robot. This tells me that you have no understanding whatsoever of cats.

The cat is a being with a mind and will of his own. He simply doesn’t like being pushed around.

Cats don’t like being made to do things. They like to choose for themselves and do things their own way in their time.

SameulA is surprised a cat gets annoyed when you move it from a sleeping spot. DUH!!

You think a cat is bad? Try it with a toddler.

I think the issue is more accurately started as a cat’s reaction to a place depends on whether or not they want to be there at that time.

Link not working.

Oh, god, I would never presume to know where/what/why a cat has chosen a spot to be (as in the royal ‘we shall be here’). They don’t mind, they respond with claws if you force the issue. And you cannot reason with them. It’s better for me to provide choices and stand back and approve. And tell them how beautiful they are.
(Plus, hope we don’t have to get in the cat carrier this week, ugh)

It’s a link to this thread, but the colon after “https” is missing. :confused:

Maybe it’s like a cat and it didn’t want to be here. :stuck_out_tongue:

LOL. Helena330 fucked up. I’m pretty sure that post was meant for Giraffeboards.

The “well, duh” extends further than you might like to believe.

Cats have such a problem with being moved to a nice place because cats are not intelligent, and react with irrational fear to things that are excellent, simply because they were not expecting them.

Having a dog can be like having a friend. Having a cat is much more like having a pet fish - they are off doing their thing and haven’t got a clue about you except that you feed them.

(We often anthropomorphize cats’ lack of intelligence as “an aloof nature” or “an independent personality” - but the same can be said in the same way about a fish or a plant. Fish and cats are aloof because they have no idea what’s going on, not because they were raised in formal settings.)

I think the cat is fairly smart. It seems to have awareness of when I’m paying attention to it, excellent motion control, ability to emit crude status messages to fellow cats, ability to recognize me by acoustic signature from long distances, it’s still able to hunt, correlate times of day and situation with possible feedings…a lot of subsystems.

But yeah, it doesn’t have the kind of high level executive reasoning you or I have.

And I’m just sorta amused by how it seems to have a state variable for “location intended to be” and “present location”. Such that if you move a cat, even to the bestest spot the cat loves to be at, it will want to leave.

It has nothing to do with intelligence, and everything to do with control. The cat doesn’t want you to decide where it’s going to be. Dogs want to please humans, and will happily go where you want them to go. Cats, not so much. Cats want to control where they go, based on what they feel like doing, much like you or I.

Seriously, dude? It’s fine if you’re more of a dog person than a cat person (I’m both myself), but you clearly know nothing about cats. As someone upthread pointed out, they’re creatures with minds and wills of their own. When they’re carried away from the spot they’re currently hanging out in, of course they mind because if they wanted to be in their other favorite spot, they’d be there already. You may enjoy, say, a warm shower, but do you particularly want to be put in one when you’re cuddled up in bed?Same principle.

And sure, cats have no clue about or no interest in their owners. That’s why when my boyfriend comes home from work they gather around him and won’t leave him the hell alone because they’re all happy that dad’s home. That’s why our oldest cat joins us in bed every night, alternating between settling down on his chest, or mine. She’s the same cat who nursed me through an awful breakup years ago. She sat by my side for a solid 8 hours while I alternated between crying and sleeping, during the time when cats like to run around and play (overnight), because she sensed my distress and did her best to help. Ever gone through a particularly stressful period in your life with a cat? They pick up on it, and get stressed out too. Ever move with a cat? Their anxiety grows the more stuff you pack up because they sense a change is coming and cats aren’t too nuts abou change. They’re headstrong, and willful, and sometimes a pain in the ass, but they’re certainly not unintelligent.

Dogs share many similar traits to the ones I described too, so I’m not sure where you’re getting that dogs are good companions/friends but cats are not.

on preview: what Nisslbody said, too. Dogs are eager to please. Cats do what they want, when they want, in their own time.

Okay, but you haven’t met DavidwithanR’s pet fish.