Written by: Holly Garcia – @meistertravelcat

How many stories have you heard about crazy cat ladies? Or really just about one universal crazy cat lady.

The spinster from down the street, who nobody actually really knows because she stays inside most of the time talking to her 12 cats, except for the occasional outing to the mailbox and back, disheveled in her bathrobe and slippers, with several cats trailing behind.

Despite the many stories I’ve heard about this one specific type of person classified as the cat lady, I don’t actually know anyone who fits that description.

I’ll be honest, I’m pretty introverted.

I generally like animals more than people, I’m far from having my shit together, and cats definitely follow me everywhere. The perfect evening for me would literally be a quiet night in with my cat, drinking wine and watching Friends.

But the problem is… I fail to see a problem with that. Does spending time and caring for my animals really make me crazy?

We all know the most popular stereotype of cat ladies: that they’re crazy. But some other reasons I’ve heard for why we own cats is:

1. We’re depressed

Although I personally struggle with depression, studies have found no correlation between mental illness and having cats.

The fact that this stereotype is so widely spread that there had to be studies done on it just to confirm that loving cats doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you speaks for itself.

To me, all that means is there are more people than not who don’t have compassion for all living things.

2. Cat ladies are “spinsters”

I might get married one day, I might not. But if I don’t, it won’t be because I can’t find someone due to my love for cats.

Marriage isn’t a priority for me. Besides, I generally find men difficult to deal with and not worth the sacrifice… or my sanity. I’m much more likely to be driven crazy because of men than cats.

3. Cat people are lonely

Some cat owners might be alone, but far from lonely…

Cats are great companions. Why do some people hate cats so much? I’m not sure where the common stereotypes of cats were derived from, but they’re mostly negative, and definitely not true.

The problem is, like many stereotypes, people accept them way too easily instead of challenging them by doing their own research and finding out for themselves.

Another interesting (or irritating) thing I’ve noticed is these stereotypes are usually in comparison to dogs.

Common stereotypes of cats

1. Cats are assholes

If a cat is being an asshole to you, you probably did something it doesn’t like. Could be the way you were petting it, or maybe you were invading its personal space.

Cats aren’t mean for no reason.

They use their defense mechanisms in the ways they know how in order to protect themselves when they’re scared or don’t feel safe. Or maybe they just don’t like you.

Do they really need another reason?

2. Cats don’t need attention

Although cats are more independent and can take care of themselves better than dogs, cats still need lots of attention and affection.

They also need to be mentally stimulated along with regular exercise. Making time to play with your cat is a great and effective way to bond with them.

3. Cats are destructive

Many behavioral issues in cats reflect the time and energy you put into caring for them.

If you leave your cat by itself all the time and never play with it or let it go outside, then don’t be surprised when your cat decides your Feng Shui is outdated and rearranges some things out of boredom.

4. They smell

Compared to what?

The great thing about cats is that they clean themselves and are practically odorless (at least to me, and people have told me I have the nose of a bloodhound). Their litter box is a different story, but at least they bury it (you’re welcome).

It’s much easier to clean when they go where they’re supposed to, as opposed to some dogs that just shit wherever they’re standing. And they definitely DON’T bury it.

5. They’re too much work

Hopefully, this isn’t in comparison to dogs again. Cats are much easier than dogs, although they require as much attention and love. At least they’re easy to housebreak and clean up after, and are a bit more independent.

6. Cats don’t get along with dogs

Let me stop you right there. Here are my cat and dog going on a walk together. And here they are snuggling. The cuddle puddle speaks for itself.

cat and dog bonding together

7. “Cats are stupid”

Have you met people?

8. Cat’s don’t care about you, and you work for them

While the old saying “Dogs have owners, cats have staff” may be true, as long as you give your cat the love and attention they deserve, they will give it back.

They’re just not as needy, and cat people don’t care as much about feeling needed.

The Facts about Cats

Cats are generally very social and curious

My cat, Meister is very outgoing, and he’s friends with all the neighborhood cats. They all hang out every day. He’s also very friendly with other people, dogs, and kittens.

Cats are very affectionate

Most cats love attention and being petted, or curling up and going to sleep in the comfort of your lap. Meister spends a lot of time outside, but comes in throughout the day to check in with me and always runs up and loves on me.

They’re comforting

Cats are proven to reduce anxiety and boost serotonin levels. Seriously. Google it.

Cats are adventurous

Many people believe that cats have to always stay home. But cats love exploring, whether it’s indoors, outdoors, or even away from home for some.

There’s a growing community of adventure cat owners who take their kitties with them on all kinds of trips: mountain hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, surfing, you name it.

It may be hard to believe, but cat exploring is a thing. Here are a few adventure cat accounts on Instagram that are definitely worth checking out.

@bodhi_theadventurecat, @surfercatmav, @adventurrio, and curated pages such as @catexplorer.community, @adventurecatsorg, both of which have actually featured my cat, @meistertravelcat!

Surprising Cat Facts

1. They can be taught to do tricks

Meister knows how to sit, shake, high-five, fist-bump, double high-five..etc

2. They can be leash-trained

If you start from a young age and take it slow, you can absolutely train your cat to walk on a leash. Cats go at their own pace. There are many resources for cat training.

I highly recommend checking out catexplorer.co’s blog and podcasts. They have a lot of useful information and tips from other cat explorers.

white cat outdoors on leash

3. Many can be taken places (not all)

Most cats enjoy the sun and being outdoors (don’t we all?), as well as exploring safely with their human!

However, cat exploring is not for everyone, and is something that should never be forced.

4. They can swim

(but always be careful and never force your cat to do anything, especially swim. I have no plans to give Meister swimming lessons because I’m terrified of water myself.)

Can you blame us for loving cats so much? Cats are amazing animals, and we would do anything for our pets. Wouldn’t you do the same for your dog?

The difference there is dog people tend to choose dogs and only dogs, but all the cat people I’ve ever met and known have shown a deep compassion and respect for all animals.

Instead of calling us crazy (among other things), try replacing your pejoratives with things like non-discriminatory, kind-hearted, compassionate. Because “crazy cat lady” isn’t a thing.