Why aren't cats obedient?

It's a common complaint about cats: they don't obey.

I find this a little funny. Do these complainers have dogs who obey? Children? Spouses?

I have also had dogs, and they were obedience trained. I had a Newfoundland mix who was housebroken in two days. I had a Malamute mix who once held a sit/stay for almost 20 minutes when I got distracted. I had a Norwegian Elkhound mix who knew 20 tricks.

Do I have cats who are trained like that? No... because cats would require much more effort to be trained like that. Training my dogs was a process we both enjoyed. Cats have different instincts.

Dogs are pack animals who are expecting to be told what to do. How they react depends on their breed and their individual drive; what I call will to power. I had a spaniel mix whose reaction to any new household addition was to roll over and show his belly. This dog never cared to be the boss.

While my Malamute mix insisted on being the boss of one area; security. I decided he had better qualifications that I did; and I let him decide who came in through the front door.

Cats assume they are the boss; of themselves.

This is where a lot of cat misconceptions come in. We see that cats don't want to be bossed. We assume cats want to be our boss. But that is not how cats think.

The best way to think of our cat relationship is that of a friendship among equals.

Because that's how cats think of it.

For more about proper cat training, see The Myth of Obedience.
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