As pet owners, we all know how easy it is to become attached to our furry friends. They’re always there for us, they love us unconditionally, and they bring us so much joy. However, sometimes our attachment to our pets can become unhealthy. When we start to prioritize their needs over our own, it can signal that we have a codependent relationship with them. In this article, we will share the telltale signs that you and your feline friend are too close for comfort and how to handle it.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that loving your cat is not the problem here. However, if you refer to your cat as your “significant other,” “boyfriend/girlfriend,” or “partner in crime,” it might be time to reassess your relationship. While it’s okay to love your pet, it’s important to remember that they are not a substitute for human companionship.
Another sign of a codependent relationship with your cat is canceling important plans to stay home with them. While it’s understandable to skip a book club or an exercise class to hang out with your cat, canceling big plans is a cause for concern. Have you been a no-show at family get-togethers? RSVPed “no” to friends’ weddings or baby showers because they aren’t cat-friendly? Put your dating life on hold because you’re happy cuddling on the couch with your fur baby? These are all red flags that you’re too attached. Sometimes your cat should entertain themself so you can have a playdate!
If you’ve thrown your cat a birthday party with invitations, decorations, favors, and a cake, you may be going overboard. While it’s fun to celebrate your pet’s birthday, your cat would likely appreciate a quiet night in with you more than a big party. Similarly, dressing in matching outfits with your cat is rarely cute. While a collar or bandana in the same hue as your clothes can be a fun way to coordinate your style, full-on identical outfits indicate that you’ve become too enmeshed.
If you’ve gone all out with a professional photoshoot for you and your cat, including matching outfits, props, and multiple backdrops, it might be time to take a step back. Remember, your cat loves you no matter what you’re wearing, and they’re always photogenic, even in candid shots. Similarly, if you’re considering getting a tattoo of your cat’s face, it may be time to reassess. While it’s okay to love your pet, a tattoo is a permanent reminder of your cat’s presence in your life.
Furthermore, if your career has stalled because of the amount of time you dedicate to your cat or all your discretionary income goes to your cat, it’s time to re-evaluate your priorities. While it’s natural to want to spend as much time and money as possible on your furry friend, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance in all of your relationships. If you’re constantly putting your cat’s needs before your own, it might be time to delegate some of that care and focus on bringing home the bacon.
Lastly, if you prioritize your cat’s comfort over your own, it’s a sign of a codependent relationship. Do you find yourself choosing the color of clothes you wear based on what will make your cat’s fur look less noticeable? Do you wake up early on the weekends to feed your cat? Are you constantly adjusting your home’s temperature to ensure your cat is comfortable? If your default is bending over backward to make your fur baby content, it’s time to reprioritize.
If you’re concerned that you might have a codependent relationship with your cat, it’s essential to talk to a mental health professional. They can help you understand why you’ve become so attached to your pet and develop healthy boundaries and coping mechanisms. Similarly, if you’re concerned that your cat has separation anxiety or other behavioral issues, it’s important to work with a behaviorist.
In conclusion, loving your cat is a wonderful thing, but it’s essential to maintain a healthy balance in your relationship. Your job is to care for them, not smother them. Remember to take care of yourself, too, and maintain a healthy balance in every relationship, including the one with your feline companion.