10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My Cats

By Katie, 5:31 am

It’s no secret that I like am obsessed with my cats. I spoil them with treats and toys. I talk to them in a special kitty-voice. I give them endearing nicknames, and make up silly songs about them. Yes, I am that person. :lol:

But my relationship with my cats is more than just fun and games. Indeed, I’ve learned some pretty important life lessons from them! ;-)

5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Domino

If you want something, ask for it.

If Domino wants some attention, she doesn’t drop clues and hope I take the hint. She jumps right into my lap, finds my hand, and literally pushes her head into it over and over again. Which makes it pretty darn clear that she’s in the mood for some petting. It’s a good reminder that if we want something – support, encouragement, or a day off from laundry duty – it’s easier to get it if we ask.

There’s no need to rush through a meal.

Domino is the slowest eater ever. No matter how hungry she is, she still takes tiny little bites and savors each one. I like to think of her as my role model for mindful eating…but don’t worry, I won’t start lapping up my water anytime soon. ;-)

Curiosity doesn’t always kill the cat.

What’s in that lamp, Domino???

As we get older, it’s easy to lose touch with that healthy sense of curiosity we had as children. Watching Domino – both when she was a kitten and today – helps me to reconnect with that eagerness to learn and understand.

Take time to appreciate your solitude.

Domino is not the most social of cats. While she feels comfortable with Dave and me, she prefers to hang out under the bed when we have company over. A good reminder that there’s nothing wrong with turning down a party invitation in favor of a little “me-time.”

It’s polite to wait your turn.

It isn’t “Ladies First” in our household! Even though there are two food dishes, Domino still always waits politely for her younger brother Hamilton to finish his breakfast before she takes her turn. I’m not the most patient person in the world, so I could definitely stand to follow her example a little more!

Here’s Domino before her little brother came along.

5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Hamilton

When you’re happy, express it.

You would not believe how loudly and forcefully this cat purrs. It’s like he’s shouting “I LOVE THIS!” over and over again when you pet him. And it works: his obvious enthusiasm only makes me want to pet him more. A good reminder that when we’re filled with joy, there’s no reason to contain it!

Don’t stress yourself.

Domino can be a bit skittish and on edge, but it takes a lot to shake Hamilton. I very much envy his go-with-the-flow, nothing-can-faze-me attitude. He trusts that no matter what the situation – his owners went away for the weekend, there’s a dog barking outside, whatever – it’s all going to be just fine.

Don’t be ashamed of your body.

You’ve got it, flaunt it! ;-)

Never stop playing.

Hamilton is currently two-and-a-half years old, which I think is something like 26 in human years. But he is living proof that we don’t have to stop playing just because we get older. He’s always up for a good game of fetch (yes, my cat plays fetch) or an intense round of chase-the-string. I think he’ll be playful until the day he dies, and I hope the same can be said for me.

It’s the little things.

A toy mouse. A belly rub. A crunchy tuna-flavored treat. Hamilton has taught me a lot about fully appreciating life’s little joys.

One of those joys being my wonderful pets!

What life lessons have you learned from your furry friends, past or present?

43 Responses to “10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My Cats”

  1. Can I just say that the last photo of Domino just made my heart melt. What a precious face.

  2. Kristine says:

    I have learnt:

    If you have done something wrong, all you need to do is learn “the puppy dog face”.

    ;) Hehe. (Warning: this only works on your parents!)

    • Katie says:

      Haha, darn it! I guess I should stop trying to use it on my husband, then! ;)

  3. Laura says:

    I just had to put that one on my facebook page!

  4. This is great!! The “don’t be ashamed of your body” one is a great lesson… though perhaps one of the most difficult.

    I’ve often watched my cat eat and thought it would be good to take lessons from her. She never overeats, never undereats, and always seems to enjoy every bite. She is the perfect judge of how much she really needs to feel her best.

    • Katie says:

      Isn’t that awesome? Animals and babies are really our only models for what eating looks like outside of society’s messages and pressures.

  5. i have to say that loving unconditionally is what i’ve learned from my pets…they’re uninhibited in sharing their love and i can only imagine fearless in doing so :)

  6. Awww this was so cute! Loved the picture of Domino in the lamp — silly kitty!

  7. Lori Lynn says:

    I have 2 cats as well- Addie and Sadie– but I think Addie is almost the opposite of your kitties– she’s always hungry! Any time I get close to the kitchen where I keep her food, or her food bowl, which is in the bathroom, she’s starts meowing, even though there might be food in the bowl! My other cat Sadie, has a bit more manners, and doesn’t like it when I enter her “space” while she’s eating. If I get close to her while she’s eating, she will leave and hide (She’s part persian/siamese, so that may be why!).

    • Katie says:

      Interesting! Is Addie Persian/Siamese too, or is she a different breed?

      • Lori Lynn says:

        Addie is just a regular orange tabby– I got Addie in a pet store. Sadie was a rescue, found by my friend’s husband on the side of the road.

  8. I guess I would learn from my furry friend that relaxing is super important. We have quite the lazy dog! I have definitely learned a lot from Makenzie though and how she approaches life. That’s for certain!

  9. christina says:

    such a cute post!!

  10. Katie says:

    I love this! When my basset hound died in August, I kind of gave a little speech about him later and said a bunch of things like this. He was the funniest little guy – looked funny and acted hilarious! Here’s just a few things I learned from him:

    1.) Accept the things you are good at and the things you aren’t…and love yourself regardless. “Okay so my legs are too short to swim…but they make me EXTRA good at tug-of-war because I’m close to the ground and can really anchor on!” Be yourself!

    2.) Making other people laugh turns their day around and is priceless.

    3.) Always show your love. If someone is shy to warm up to you, just keep tryin’. (He was relentless at getting another dog to like him! I’m not sure it worked, but he never gave up trying and it was so funny to watch.)

  11. Oh I am so with you re kitties!! I’ve had them my whole life and they have added so much. I can’t imagine life without them!

    I think the number one lesson I’ve learned from my cats is this: don’t be afraid to show how you honestly feel! :-)

  12. Alina says:

    I feel like you read my mind! I have learned so much from my cat Frank too! He is a loud purr-monkey as well :)

  13. Milla is the same way. She takes a bite of food, walks off, and eats it slowly. Then, she walks back and takes another bite and does the same thing. Eddie is the opposite. He must’ve learned bad habits from me–inhales food basically.

  14. This post is equally helpful and CUTE!! I’m such a cat person, so this totally spoke to me (especially the photo of Hamilton “flaunting it”…I’m dying over here :P )

  15. I truly admire my (parents) dogs so much. They are so playful and calm and they dont care what they look like or take their lives too seriously.

  16. omg i love this post. and i couldn’t agree more to everything!!!

  17. Adorable kitties! I have 3 chinchillas and I think the one big lesson I learn from them is to appreciate all the little things in life. Just looking at them makes me feel like all the worries in the world melt away and that everything will be ok!

  18. Lisa says:

    I love this post. It’s so perfect! I learned from my cats that snuggles are the best way to spend a day. :)

  19. Jory says:

    I talk to my cats in weird voices and give them a million nicknames too – sometimes, they even respond to them better than their real names, yikes! :)

    I hope you and Dave had a great Thanksgiving.

  20. Hamilton is rockin’ the curves. Love it! We really can learn so much from animals and small children. Not that they have that much in common, but both have something to teach!

  21. Oh my goodness. I laughed hysterically after seeing the don’t be ashamed of your body photo. It’s definitely being flaunted. ;)

  22. Your cats are very wise.

    I learned from my guinea pig vegetables and fruits make the best snacks. From my dog I learned how walks tire you out in a good way (and more walks the better).

  23. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by BARNABAS INSPIRES U, Katie McLaughlin. Katie McLaughlin said: 10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My Cats http://goo.gl/fb/hqXXy [...]

  24. Simply Life says:

    Ha! I love those pictures! Too fun!

  25. Hayley says:

    This was the cutest post!! I have two cats myself so I’m partial to those little furballs. :) I’d have to say I’ve learned from our youngest cat that it’s the little things in life that bring the most pleasure. Give her a Q-tip, a plastic candy wrapper, or a wrapping bow and Minnie will be busy for hours. I like to think that we’re alike in that it doesn’t take a lot to excite either of us. :)

  26. hahaha the lamp!
    i never had a cat but my neighbors had a Tabby named Hailey and i loved her. always came over and i fed her ham and sometimes small bowls of milk. she passed away a year ago..and now i consider her my spirit guide <3

  27. I love this post!! It’s so adorable — and also filled with wisdom. :) I love how pets become part of the family, and are able to teach you some pretty important lessons in their own way. It’s pretty cool. My dog is still a puppy, but already he’s reminded me of things like unconditional love, enjoying the small things in life, and delighting in exercise — that little guy loves to run just for the sake of running!

    And I just have to say that all of these pictures made my heart melt. Both of your kitties are super cute!

    • Katie says:

      Thanks, Lauren! And I love that lesson about delighting in exercise. I’ve never had a dog (but want to someday!) but can imagine that they offer tons of wisdom when it comes to moving for the pure pleasure of it.

  28. Your cats are too adorable. :) I think my heart is now officially in a puddle on the floor. My cat does that same “rock your body” pose as Hamilton on occasion. What is it about cats that leaves them with absolutely no inhibitions? Lol!

  29. This is one of the cutest posts out there! I absolutely love it.

  30. sooo true!! we love our cats and they do teach us lessons and help us enjoy life

  31. Domino and Hamilton are SO cute!!!! Domino looks exactly – no kinding – exactly like one of our kitty cats named Dale, though Dale is a little more full-figured than Domino. ;)
    How true — cats are so wise. I love how they think of themselves as kings and queens; we can learn so much from these little majesties. ;)

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