How Cats Get What They Want

See the secret to getting what you want. (Hint: Be a cat.)

By Janiss Garza | Posted: July 7, 2014, 5 p.m. EDT

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Kitty Entitlement
Sparkle gets KFC, hand-delivered, upon request.
Kitty Entitlement
"Can I get you anything else?" Cats get what they want in part because of their confidence.
I'm not a big fan of KFC but every so often, I bring home two of their chicken thighs to share with Sparkle. I lock us away from the other two cats (who would go crazy and overwhelm the both of us with fried chicken lust) and as I pull off pieces of the chicken, I blow on them to cool them off before offering them to her. She eats them right out of my hand, politely taking each piece from my greasy fingers. Sometimes, if she thinks I am being too slow, she'll impatiently wave her paw in the air. Usually she eats the better part of one chicken thigh, and sometimes a good portion of the second too.

I guess you could say she is spoiled, but why shouldn't she be? Indulging her does not mean she will grow up to run roughshod over salespeople, hotel staff and waiters with a nasty attitude of entitlement. Since she's a cat, the only recipient of that kind of behavior is me. And I don't care. Even if I didn't give her the hand-fed KFC service, she would still sit on my mousepad when she wants attention, shun food that does not please her and turn her head away from me the moment I try to take a photo of her. Sparkle's expectations are already over the top and I long ago resigned myself to never living up to them.

I think part of being feline is that delightful and often maddening sense that the world (or at least dinner) should be handed to them on a silver platter. Of course, not all cats fit the classic diva mold. Boodie, our "shy," non-dominant cat, often acts like she doesn't deserve anything. She's always been No. 3 out of our trio, and she just accepts being last in line as if it's her due. This makes me feel sorry for her and give her extra treats. Hm. Maybe she isn't so dumb after all.

And not every cat can pull off that sense of entitlement with the flair Sparkle does. Binga, our impatient tortie girl, wants everything now, and if you don't comply, she will nag you incessantly, or if the object of her desire is within eyesight, she will just flat-out take it. As a result, she often gets less than Sparkle or Boodie – I'm so busy trying to get her to stop her bad behavior, I'm tempted to just throw her a crumb and get it over with.

While I could do without the manipulation and blatant theft, I do have to say that a lot of people could use a dose of the self-confidence our feline friends display. After all, how do you expect to get anything unless you ask for it – and fully expect to receive what you are requesting?

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Reader Comments

Julie    Mt pleasant, MI

7/9/2014 7:43:14 AM

I share cheese and icecream with my cat and she does the paw thing, but also if I talk baby talk to her and she's close to me she raises her paw to touch my face.

Julie    Mt pleasant, MI

7/9/2014 7:40:15 AM

I share cheese and icecream with my cat and she does the paw thing, but also if I talk baby talk to her and she's close to me she raises her paw to touch my face.

BarbaraAtNutro    Morton Grove, IL

7/9/2014 5:31:42 AM

That confidence is what makes them a cat and not a dog. I do not think that I have ever had a cat that did not get what it wants. This article is so true and well spoken. A true cat lover the author is. The pecking order spoken about here is also oh so true and very well put that the one on the bottom of that order is able to get just what it wants too. Loved reading this, great article that any cat lover can surely relate to.

Bryan    International

7/8/2014 6:59:20 PM

Wow! That's truly beautiful and spoken like a true cat lover. I have two, a brother and sister and they are the love of my life (next to my daughter and two grandchildren, of course). It always seems like we let them have their way, but we just want them to be happy. Especially if you're kind of cat owner like me who doesn't let theirs out. And it's good this owner has more than one. I know that with my two, when they get a good game of tag going, even though they're both 4 years old, they are hilarious!

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