Good news: even though kitty obesity is on the rise, your cat definitely won’t hate you if you put her tubby ass on a diet.
The New York Times reports that cats are getting fatter — just like our children! — and pet owners are reluctant to put them on diets, for fear of repercussions. If you own a cat, you’re familiar with these “repercussions.” Think about what happens when you don’t feed your cat when it expects to be fed.
“Oh my god, she’s mad at me!!” you think to yourself as you guiltily shovel food into a waiting bowl. “I’m so sorry, princess, I will never do this again,” you say out loud as the pudgy master manipulator you live with dives face first into a bowl of kibble.
As pet owners, easily manipulated by the machinations of an animal whose very existence is predicated on being in control, we often “misread” what Princess Cuddleface is trying to say. According to Dr. Emily D. Levine, the lead author of a study published in the The Journal of Veterinary Behavior,
When cats rub up against their owners throughout the day, owners like that behavior, she said, so they feel guilty and think, “ ‘Oh, they must want more food.’ So people feel good feeding their cats and don’t know other ways to give them affection.”
Your cat doesn’t want affection. Food is not affection. Your cat is bored. But, your cat knows that you will feed its fat little face whenever you feel guilty, so it ratchets up the cute in order to trap you, unwilling human. And so it goes.
Break the cycle. Train yourself not to be manipulated by your cat. You’re already removing their feces from a box that sits within sight of your television; don’t let them have this one, too.
Original by Megan Reynolds @mega_hurt