Life lessons we can learn from cats
Have you ever thought about what life lessons we can learn from cats? Probably not. You probably have much more interesting things to do that scrupulously watch my four cats to decode their behaviors. Honestly, it was one of those things where I was trying to find a positive twist on their annoying attitudes that sparked this philosophical experiment but alas, I discovered that they may actually have some things to teach us humans.
So on this cold, snowy afternoon, I have compiled a list of the 9 life lessons we can learn from the snootiest creatures in existence to live better more fulfilling lives.
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Life Lesson 1: Cats have high expectations for others – and we should too
Cats know what is expected of those who are in their lives. Your job as their
slave owner is to feed them, clean their toilet and to love them through all of their mood swings. They don’t let people walk on them and they definitely don’t let others treat them poorly.
Life Lesson 2: Know your worth and know that you’re priceless
On that note, cats teach us to know our worth. They are fully aware that they are damn near priceless and should be respected as such. Also, they understand what others think of them is only the concern of the haters. They will never give their love unless its worth their time and energy. Plus, they also won’t waste their time on those who can’t seem to see their perfection.
So how can that apply to us? Well, maybe we can take back a few conceited notches, but cats bring up a good point. They develop a good self-esteem and hold others accountable. We waste so much time dealing with and sometimes catering for toxic people that put us down and/or mistreat us in other ways. This life lesson teaches us to understand that it is not our job to cater constantly to others and also that we need to teach others how to treat us.
“We need to teach others how to treat us”
Cats teach us lowly humans that we are worthy, beautiful beings. The only way the haters can hurt us is if we let their words affect how we view ourselves. Cats are the prevailing champions at ignoring the haters (and everyone else) and just living their best lives for them. If there’s a theme of life life lessons we can learn from cats it’s how to save our sanity from letting others walk on us.
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Life Lesson 3: Know you’re gorgeous and take care of your beautiful self
90% of a cat’s day consists of sleeping and grooming. *that is not a scientific fact. I merely made it up on the spot to express how often it seems they do these things. * They get their beauty sleep and they take care of their bodies. They take pride in themselves and know that they are sexy no matter what the scale says.
We need to be nicer to our bodies. Most of us always feel like we’re running on empty and are simply surviving off caffeine. Shockingly, we are discovering that that isn’t sustainable. We all feel like death. Cats teach us that we should be prioritizing self-care so that we can give the world the best of us rather than what’s left of us. This life lesson is probably the hardest to work on, but is by far the most rewarding. Love yourself, rolls, whiskers, and all.
Life Lesson 4: Be independent
Next, cats have a reputation for being fiercely independent. Most wild cats (with the obvious exception of lions and a few others) are solitary creatures. That means your house cat is just as self-sufficient as a tiger or mountain lion (that’s a dirty lie and we all know it. They’d die without our attention). However, cats are more independent than other domesticated animals are. They teach us that every one of us should have some level of independence because you can’t always guarantee you’ll have someone around to help, but we all still need to function. Plus, if you’re not independent, cats will sit there and watch you…and they’re gonna judge the crap out of you.
Cats know how to do their own thing, living their best lives for no one but them. We humans should take note of this. Independence with goals, dreams, and every day things not only makes us more self-sufficient, but also builds long-term success for a happier more stable life. In other words, you do you, boo because you’re a strong independent woman.
Life Lesson 5: Know when to ask for help
But by the same token, cats know when it’s time to ask for help. Mainly that time is at 3am when they’re starving to death and can’t break into the food vault, but still. They are smart enough to know that sometimes to get what they want in life or to get where they want to go, they need to ask for assistance.
Humans are no different. Anyone who says that they made it solely on their own is 100% full of bs. Those people have had help from other humans at some point. We are social creatures that piggy back off ideas, technology, and support of those before and around us. That is what makes humans so innovative.
Thus, you can’t always be solely independent. You need to ask for help. You’re not a wizard, you’re human. You can’t do everything and it’s silly to expect yourself to do it all alone.
Life Lesson 6: Things are better when they’re warm
Sunlight, heaters, computers, laps…things are just better when they’re toasty. I think cats find comfort from seeking out warm things (as most living creatures do).
When life starts getting hard, sometimes taking a pause and enjoying some warmth can help. A cup of hot cocoa, a fuzzy blanket, a nice hug from a loved one, maybe even a tasty cinnamon roll straight out of the oven, can help improve your mood and overall well-being. All of those things release hormones in your brain to increase your mood, whether its oxytocin (a loving bond hormone), serotonin (a happiness hormone) or maybe it just lowers your levels of cortisol (a stress hormone). Take it from the cats, when life gets you down, grab something warm.
Life Lesson 7: Things are always better after you take a nap
Like I said before, cats sleep… a lot. This helps reset things. Can’t focus? Take a nap. You’re overwhelmed? Sleep. Are you sad? Nap. Ate too much? Nap. Let your body restart a bit and take a chill pill. We’re all sleep deprived which is horrible self-care. Take it from a cat and just take a freaking nap.
Life Lesson 8: Establish healthy boundaries
Next, cats have a strong ability to establish healthy boundaries. Try and pet a kitty’s belly. Try and pick up a stray cat. Unless they specifically invite you to do so, they will draw blood. Thus, they are the masters of making and maintaining boundaries with those in their lives whether stranger, family, or friend. They never apologize for setting boundaries, they don’t feel bad for taking care of their needs and saying “no”. Granted they never apologize for anything, but I digress.
In other words, boundaries are crucial to have any healthy relationship. And that goes beyond relationships with others. If people are constantly crossing or violating your boundaries, it is also really hard to have a healthy relationship with yourself.
If you ask someone not to touch you, say certain things to you, tell them “no” to an activity, or something to that effect; you are setting a boundary. If that person continues to push, touch you, say those things to you, etc. they are violating your boundaries. Be like a cat. Maybe don’t cut them open with razor like nails but consider cutting them out of your life. You are under no obligation to stay in anyone’s life, ESPECIALLY if they refuse to respect your needs and wishes.
Life Lesson 9: Know the right time is to say “fuck it” (and know that it is often the right time)
Finally, sometimes in life, you need to know when to throw in the towel and stop while you’re ahead. Some things are just not worth your energy, time, or worry. Sometimes that means you just need to take a pause and distract yourself with a laser pointer. Other times it means you need to find a new angle to look at things (like high up on a perch). And sometimes you just have to walk away and stop dealing with the things that are draining the life out of you.
Cats also choose the right times (or worst depending on how you look at it), to ignore the rules for their own successes. For example, one of my cats, Amelia, loves cheese. Whenever I’m cooking with cheese she ignores all the rules. She has literally put her paw in a hot pan on the stove while I was cooking some queso. Her paw got a bit burned, yet she proceeded to spill the whole pot on the floor. (She was fine, the queso…not as much). So instead of one little lick of melty cheese, she got to lick a whole bunch off the floor while I was trying to clean it up.
The point of that anecdote? Amelia took a risk. Yes, it was painful and difficult, but she also got a whole lot of reward from basically saying “fuck it, I know what I want and I’m going for it.” When you really want something amazing, sometimes you’re going to have to say “fuck it” and get ready for a wild ride.
Take it from a cat and just take a freaking nap.
Takeaways from Life Lessons we can Learn from Cats
So there you have it and now I bet you had no idea that cats taught so many life lessons we can learn from. I’m sure you’re shocked. Probably the biggest takeaways from this whole observational study is take care of you because you’re a freaking gem.
As a final note, I would like to point out that these are the things that my cats have taught me. And to be honest, my cats are also the biggest bunch of loving assholes you’ve ever met, thus maybe we shouldn’t get too caught up in the details. I’m curious to know though, what other life lessons can we learn from cats? Am I just a crazy cat lady (yes, probably) who needs a new hobby? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!