As cat owners, we take the role of parents to our beloved cats. We must secure their well-being and happiness and give them the best possible life. This means we need to recognize their needs and provide them with the environment they need to be their best selves.
KittyNook believes that knowing your pet parenting style is vital to be an effective cat parent. There are four major parenting styles in human children: authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, and uninvolved. These same parenting styles can also be applied to cats. Understanding which type of cat parent you are (or what you aspire to be) is essential in making better choices on how to raise your cat.
Here are four types of pet parents and their qualities. Which one are you? Which one do you aspire to be? Please share it in the comments below!
Hands-Off (or Uninvolved) Style
As a hands-off cat parent, you will likely let your cat do what they want and learn through experience. This means that you do not have your cat's best interests or safety in mind as a priority. Unfortunately, this can cause harsh (and dangerous) lessons for your feline. For instance, if your cat pleads to go outside, although you know there are roaming tomcats on the prowl, you still allow them out.
The hands-off approach to parenting means that your cat lacks the socialization required to become a well-adjusted family pet. Cats of hands-off parents can become shy or aggressive when confronted with new situations without regular human interaction. Furthermore, untrained cats may develop unwanted behaviors such as scraping furniture or urinating outside the litter box. As a hands-off feline parent, it is essential to identify the dangers and take action to ensure your pet is safe and healthy.
Being a permissive feline parent can be both fulfilling and challenging. It's hard to say no when your cat does something they're not supposed to do, like being up on the table while you're trying to eat. Or when your cat wants attention while you're asleep, it can be hard to ignore their appeals. You might find yourself giving them that tiny piece of chicken just because you can't resist. Your cat wants some love and affection from their favorite human! That's always good, right?
Permissive parenting is not without its dangers, however. If cats can do whatever they want without consequence, they might become highly dependent and develop bad habits, which can result in behavioral issues. Permissive parents must work on setting boundaries and giving (and sticking to) structure to keep their fur babies well-behaved and healthy. With persistence and consistency, permissive cat moms and dads can create a home where everybody is happy!
An authoritarian style is a tough-love approach focused on respect and rules. This type of cat parenting involves setting boundaries and expectations on how your pet should act and penalizing them if they don't comply with the rules. The punishment can be anything from verbal scoldings to physical discipline, but you must remember that it needs to never involve any abuse. The goal is to educate your cat on what is expected of them without damaging your connection by fear and trauma.
This parenting style also involves putting your cat away (e.g., in a kennel) when you're not around or restricting their capacity to make their own choices at any time. This can be advantageous in specific circumstances, such as when you must leave home for an extended period or if your cat has been displaying harmful behaviors. However, you should only do these things as a last resort and never as a form of discipline or punishment for your pet.
Being an authoritative cat parent is a very fulfilling but also challenging role. It requires patience, understanding, dedication, and time to train your cat to act appropriately. As an authoritative cat parent, you expect good behavior from your cat, but also know that you play a crucial role in making this happen. You use positive reinforcement when your cat makes good choices. This parenting style is distinct from the authoritarian style, which mainly utilizes punishment and negative reinforcement.
The rewards of being authoritative cat moms and dads deserve the effort required to get there. You can create a loving connection with your pet with perseverance and consistency. Your cat will learn how to react appropriately in different situations and understand the boundaries established by you as their owner. This parenting style encourages self-reliance while still providing guidance and assistance when needed. In the long run, you and your pet will undoubtedly gain the most from this parenting style as it creates a solid bond between you that will last for years.