Thursday, February 2, 2012

Are you neglecting your shy pet?

Maggie the cat resting in her bed
Maggie gives the half-lidded look a try.
This household is full of some big personalities and most of these animals demand a significant amount of attention. When Liam isn't asking me to throw the ball, Eamon decides it's playtime and he begins to caper and scamper at my feet. When Eamon decides to rest, Lucy begins to wail for her grooming session. As soon as I'm done with that, Liam returns with the ball in his mouth. Often, it seems like I spend most of my pet-related time just reacting to the demands the animals make.

Gentle, quiet pets like Maggie tend to get lost in the shuffle.

Maggie rarely, if ever, asks for attention. Often, she's simply lurking in the background, hoping you'll notice her. Even her meow is quiet. In fact, sometimes she opens her mouth and makes no sound at all.

Cats like this are sometimes called "loners," and it's suggested that they should live in single-cat households. I'm glad that Maggie wasn't advertised this way. Since she can't get all the attention she wants from the humans, she asks the other animals to provide her with affection. She and Eamon are notorious snugglers, and lately, Maggie has even been approaching Lucy for quick grooming sessions. If she lived in a single-cat household, I'm not convinced she'd be more vocal with her attention demands. Perhaps she'd simply get no attention at all.

For my part, I'm trying hard to give Maggie some individualized time each day. I pet her each time I see her, and often, I scoop her up off the floor and take her to a chair to sit with me in the evenings. I'm hoping this will encourage her to speak up and demand attention when she wants it, but if not, at least I'm making sure she's not neglected in this wild and crazy household.