Cats are not evil, they are misunderstood

Gabriella Tapp ‘23, News Editor

Unfriendly. Temperamental. Sneaky. Many tend to associate negative words and the like with cats, strictly declaring themselves as ‘dog people.’ Pessimistic stereotypes have caused cats to be wrongly mistreated for generations. According to the Washington Post, “studies show cats are abused at higher rates than dogs or other domestic animals in almost every category of abuse.” However, when given a chance, cats can be our furry best friends, too.

Most of the backlash that cats receive is purely based on false beliefs—and can even be traced back to misogynistic notions. For hundreds of years, cats have been falsely associated with witchcraft and the devil, provoking unnecessary hatred and mistreatment towards these innocent animals. This fear of felines has been passed down for generations, making many people apprehensive to even approach cats. 

Additionally, false ideas surrounding cats have been generalized to women, perpetuating misogyny. Many ‘negative’ stereotypes of women have been compared to cats. Women are often called ‘catty,’ are known for causing ‘cat fights,’ and ‘pu**y’ is  generally a word used to degrade  someone who is deemed weak. Just as society tends to look down on women, it does the same to cats. 

Contrary to popular belief, cats are not necessarily antisocial animals; they simply have a specific language humans must understand in order to create a bond. Just like introverted humans, cats need alone time as well. Being able to read a cat’s body language and acknowledge when they need their space makes them more willing to open up and be more affectionate—just on their own terms. When a cat’s ears are down and back, they are hissing, or their tail is swishing, they are communicating that they want to be left alone. Alternatively, when a cat blinks slowly, headbutts you, or rolls on their back, they are being affectionate and conveying that they feel safe. Recognizing these different signs can help create a stronger bond with one’s cat. 

The truth is, cats are scientifically proven to make wonderful household additions. Not only do they offer loving companionship, but studies show that owning a cat has physical and mental benefits. According to Healthline, one particular study found that “people who had owned cats in the past were less likely to die from a heart attack during that time than people who had never owned cats—even when accounting for other risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, and body mass index.” Cats have also been known to improve mental health by decreasing stress. Having a warm cat laying in your lap and kneading your skin with their soft paws can have a very calming effect. A cat’s purr has a consistent frequency between 25 and 150 Hz, and these frequencies are known to both speed healing processes and decrease anxiety. 

Cats have been wrongly discriminated against for far too long. They have been proven to enhance both mental and physical health of their human companions. Seeing that one is able to understand a cat’s language, these furry felines have the potential to become man’s best friend.

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