In an interview in Modern Cat, Mieshelle Nagelschneider speaks wisdom.
She speaks good advice for cat, animal, and man. Read and generalize. Think. Integrate. Be mentally active.
Apply these ideas to cats, but identify general principles, then apply them appropriately, scientifically, and passionately, to man and all animals:
Understanding how cats think and see their world is key. If you can create an environment that makes sense to their wildcat instincts, you should not have any behaviour issues. Also, because cats are not pack animals, they have no reason to please the owner or perform “obedient” behaviour like a dog would. If anything, cats are less like a dog and more similar in nature to a raccoon or a squirrel. It’s all about letting the environment do the work to guide their natural behaviours in ways that, in our eyes, are not behaviour issues.
Respecting a cat for what they really are—an animal with wild instincts—is the first step to coexisting peacefully with your feline companion. Create an environment where your cat can thrive. Remember, you can take the cat out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the cat.
In one of my animal behaviour classes at Harvard University I learned a piece of advice that has stuck with me through the years: In order to help our animals with behaviour issues, we must first learn to see the world through their eyes.
This advice shows what science is for and about. Science is not Platonic silliness. It is not book work detached from our lives, health, and happiness.
Science is the organized study of cause-effect relationships, and as such, it is vital and important for our survival and those we love.