I’ve recently read an article on the legal battle that is happening regarding the term “pet guardian” vs. “pet owner” and how the animal rights activists are trying to get rid of companion animals all together. This post is not about that issue. I choose not to politicize my pets – I just want to clear the air before I share with you my opinion on the difference between cat owners and cat parents.
I am a homeowner. I am a car owner. I own dishes and appliances and way too much clothing. I take care of those items because I want them to last as long as possible – so I don’t have to buy more. However, I do not consider myself a cat owner. My cats own me.
I value the material possessions I have, but if every one of those items were to burst into flames I would only care about making sure that my cats were alive and healthy – because the rest of it can be replaced. My cats cannot. That’s one of the reasons I consider myself among cat parents – not cat owners.
I call myself a cat parentsbecause I view my cats as my children. It’s my responsibility to make sure that they are healthy, happy and safe at all times. Because they can’t talk to us, we have to be sure that the food that we feed them is providing the nutrients they need. Exactly as we would do with our children.
For those of us who have done the research on cat food, we know that cat food doesn’t actually give them all the nutrients they need. Therefore, we supplement their diets with extra nutrition. Just as we would do with our children.
I spoke with one of our customers the other day who said, “my family thinks I’m crazy because I spend all of my extra time, money and energy trying to find the best food and the best supplements for my cats.” I don’t think she’s crazy. I think she’s one of the best cat parents I’ve met. It’s this kind of attitude that understands the ole cliche – “and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Whether it pertains to us or our feline friends, prevention is truly the best medicine.
Another person posts on social media posts, “My mom is obsessed with her cat. She couldn’t come to dinner tonight because the thing was sick. I’m glad my cat doesn’t rule my life. #crazycatpeoplesuck”. This was posted by someone I would consider a cat owner.
So, in my opinion, cat parents are those who take care of their cats like they would any other family member. Giving them the best quality life, health and happiness that they can. Cat owners, on the other hand, simply have cats for their own gratification – not for the gratification of their cat.