Just Hold Me!

Learn the art of doing nothing with your cat. Your pet will appreciate the one-on-one time with you, and you'll appreciate the time to relax.

By Maryjean Ballner | Posted: Tue Feb 1 00:00:00 PST 2005

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cat and ownerMany people think they must always be "busy" with their cats. They continuously talk or pet them and relentlessly chase after them to see how or what they're doing. But cats are low-maintenance creatures. They don't multi-task. In fact, they often prefer to do nothing. And guess what? They prefer you to do nothing with them!

How can you do nothing with your cat?  The most effective technique is to simply hold her. That's right. Cats don't want less attention, they want less active attention.

What a treat for your cat to share quiet time with you, quietly.

The preferred holding position is for you to sit with your knees propped up on a stool or chair. This tilts you back a bit, and allows the cat to rest against your chest and feel the warmth of your body. Wrap your arms around her in a secure but loose grip. Allow your cat's head to rest on your forearm, or support it with your cupped palm.

Now comes the tricky parttime to do nothing. Can you?

This is an opportunity for you to slow down and concentrate on gentle, rhythmic breathing. There will always be busy time later. Feel your cat rise and fall with each breath. Enjoy as she curls up and luxuriates in your peacefulness.

If you feel compelled to do something, hum. The vibration is relaxing. Try to return to silence; even resist the temptation to caress your cat. This is true downtime.

Try this for two to four minutes each day. Remember, less is more. At first, the time may seem excruciatingly long to you. But your cat? She appreciates that you've learned the art of doing nothing. What a unique way to spend quiet time together. 

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Reader Comments

Jeffrey    Kelseyville, CA

9/5/2014 4:18:10 PM

I don't have a cat now but both of my cats were very much this way. Samaya my long haired calico, just enjoyed sitting for hours with me. She also just enjoyed being in the kitchen with me watching me while I spent hours cooking. Khensu my Siamese also just loved being in my lap for hours, or on the bed. He entertained himself quite easily.

kate    acworth, GA

9/5/2014 2:13:25 PM

does not apply to my cats. Skittles doesn't like being held at all but will sit by me for hours and in winter with a blanket - becomes a lap cat. Snoopy is a ragdoll and will tolerate being held for a bit sideways (lying down in my arms). Chewie just a few seconds, but wants his petting in the bathtub. They wear me out - so I'd be interested in how to get the cats that want to do nothing :-)

Brian    Palmetto, FL

9/5/2014 8:17:28 AM

That's what I just did about an hour ago with my cat Angel! She must have been enjoying her position on my chest because she stayed there for about 5 minutes. Angel spends all day in my chair between my feet snoozing. As a disabled Veteran, I find my 3 cats to be very therapeutic. Angel just finished grooming & she's curled up against my leg snoozing right now. So, it's like they say, "Who rescued who?"

BarbaraAtNutro    Morton Grove, IL

4/3/2014 2:52:59 PM

Wow that would be awful hard to just lie still. I would truly have the urge to pet. However, I can't imagine a better way to relax and think it would be beneficial for both the cat and the pet parent. Very relaxing! Doing nothing very interesting indeed.

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