Cats are more than just random animals that live in our homes; they are our family. And just like any member of a family, they inevitably bear the emotional burdens of global events they were not there for, atrocities they did not commit, and unhealthy familial dynamics they did not create. If you’re wondering, “How can I tell if my cat is adopting generational maladaptive behavior?” then here are some ways to tell:
She refuses to answer to her name if you upset her.
Remember when your mother did not speak to you for four months because you failed your math test that one time? It might sting that your cat is repeating these behaviors, but remember she can’t help it! She, just like you, is unlearning toxic communication and behavioral styles every day.
She hides in your room when you have company.
In a dysfunctional family, the living room is a danger zone, especially if you have company over. The living room is an arena where your parents share your darkest secrets with the rest of the family and you are subjected to intense scrutiny about your life choices. When your cat comes into the living room while your friends are over, do you always tell them about how you found her abandoned and starving in an alley? Imagine how terrible that makes your cat feel. Maybe if you didn’t project your savior complex onto your cat, she wouldn’t develop this avoidant attachment characteristic of your family.
She won’t let your white friend pet her.
Actually, this one isn’t that bad. Although it might hurt your friend’s feelings every time your cat darts away from their hand or bites them whenever they’re around, this generational response actually serves as an evolutionary advantage. Give her a treat every time she does this. Just tell your friend things like “she just needs a bit more time to warm up” or “those are love bites. I think she really likes you!” so that they don’t suspect you are raising a reverse racist.
If spotted early, you can protect your feline companion from the clutches of generational trauma. So try out these tips to develop healthy dynamics between you and your beloved cat!