Satisfy your cat’s need for attention by introducing a variety of activities and integrating mini pet sessions throughout the day.
You’re right in the middle of writing up that report and updating the matching presentation deck. You’re in the zone and motoring along and making great progress.

Then, like a stealthy ninja, your cat leaps up from the floor to your desk. It then nonchalantly strolls over to your keyboard and decides that it’s the perfect place to lie down, roll over and get some tummy rubs.

No surprise really. In fact, it’s a great tactic for them.

Your furry feline sees that you’re focusing on and paying attention to that odd inanimate thing called a laptop. So, it knows that it’s the exact spot it needs to be in order to get some belly rubs, head pats and long petting strokes.

You quickly give your cat a short head scratch and put it back down to the floor.

Unperturbed, your cat jumps back up to your desk and again, splays itself on the keyboard. You do the requisite quick pat and put it back down again.

This process repeats several times until it goes from cute to annoying to frustrating.

You’re in a bind.

It’s great that your cat is so affectionate, but you gotta focus on work. You need to find a balance between getting shit done and providing affection to your needy cat.

Dealing With Your Needy Cat Right Meow

Cats have a very different way of socializing with humans. They are just as affectionate as dogs but go about it in a more independent way.

Unlike dogs, cats don’t typically respond to requests for love and attention. Calling Fido over will usually result in a wagging tail by your feet fast. Doing the same for your cat may perk up their ears or wake them up from their slumber but they’ll decide when to come over for some pets and rubs. It’s on their terms, not yours.

And, when they decide it’s time, nothing else matters - not the emails, spreadsheets, note-taking, conference calls, etc. They want some lovin’ now.

It’s this independent nature and their persistence that can be annoying at times. You don’t want to totally ignore your cat, but at the same time, you need to focus on work.

Here are a few ideas that you should try out this week.

1) Create An Official Petting Zone

Just like humans, cats can be creatures of habit. They tend to do the same things in the same spots. You can use this to your advantage.

Instead of allowing them to lay across your keyboard, you need to clearly reinforce that doing so won’t get them any affection. However, if they go to another spot right next to you, they’ll get the attention. This will train them to go to that spot.

The key here is to be diligent about not being affectionate when they interrupt you by being all up in your business. But, when they go to “the spot”, be sure to give some ‘em some love.

Set up another chair right next to you with their bed on it or a bunched-up blanket that can cradle them.

Or, if you have a large enough desk area, you could have the same set up on your desk off to the side.

In either case, be sure to reinforce the pets and rubs when they’re in the “official petting zone.” Cats are smart. They’ll get it.

2) Make Another Irresistible “Hotspot”

The laptop isn’t the softest and comfiest place to lay on. But, cats do it anyway because it’s in your line of sight and also because it’s WARM.

Give your cat another more irresistible spot closeby and they’ll choose that over your hard keyboard most times.

Use the warming factor as the key attraction. This is when having a heating pad is ideal. Wrap one up in a pillowcase or two or even a bath towel and place it nearby within arm’s reach.

Plug it in, let it warm up and then put your cat on it and they’ll quickly get it. That thing will be a total cat magnet.

3) Provide Some Live Entertainment

If there’s one thing that can take their attention away from your hugs and kisses, it’s the sight of birds. It’s an instinctual thing that can’t be overcome. Deep down in their genetics, cats are like tigers that need to hunt for prey.

You’ve seen them “hunt” tons of times before. They’ll find a way to perch themselves at a spot by the window for some bird or squirrel watching. And for sure, it’ll keep them engaged like kids on Minecraft.

Check out this 1.5 minute video and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

VIDEO: Cats Chattering at Birds
LENGTH: 1:21
Summary points:
  • First two cats are chatting about bird recipes
  • Mr. Tuxedo in the back seems to prefer mice
  • All three are frustrated AF about not being to hunt
With this tactic, location is everything. Ideally, if your home office window has got a great view with trees and birds, that’s the best spot because it gives them the best of both worlds - birds and you nearby.

Get a tall table or anything stable that is window height and put some old towels or a small blanket on it. It’ll be the perfect place.

If you really want to guarantee some action for your cat, set up a bird feeder outside that’s close by the window. That’ll definitely catch and hold your cat’s attention.

4) Turn Your Cat Into A Couch Potato 

If you don’t have a good view outside or maybe, you live in a city apartment without much of a view, you still have an option for your bird-loving cat.

We’re all couch potatoes at some point during the week. Whether it’s a movie marathon, a series binge or simply just channel surfing, the TV is a great entertainment resource.

It can be the same for your cat too.

If you’ve got a newer internet-enabled, high-definition, flat-screen TV, connect it to the web and play this 8-hour YouTube video clip of birds. It’s like having a huge window right in the middle of your living room.

VIDEO: Videos For Cats
YOUTUBE: Paul Dinning
LENGTH: 8:05:42
The combination of birds and squirrels will keep them in a hunting trance for a good amount of time.

The extra bonus is that having the TV on while you work can also benefit you too. Just hearing and seeing nature can relieve stress.

5) Tire Them Out With Fun Play Exercise

Yes, cats do sleep anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day. But, when they’re awake, they can go berserk and go crazy running around the house. To help minimize the craziness, you need to get them moving to burn off some of that energy.

If you’ve got the budget and space, a cat exercise wheel (yes, it’s a thing) can be an easy way for you to get them to get their steps in for the day.

Otherwise, having several 5-10 minute playtime sessions during the day with a laser pointer and/or feather lures can be a great way for them to burn off some energy. It taps into their hunting instincts.

It’s also a great source of laughter and entertainment for you too. Laughing is one of the best ways to manage work stress.

6) Make Time For Micro-Break Petting Sessions

If your needy cat can’t go for more than an hour without some attention, try getting into the habit of taking micro-breaks in between your tasks. Use these micro-breaks as your opportunity to give ‘em some love.

The bonus here is that when you pet, nuzzle and cuddle your cat, you’re stimulating all sorts of oxytocin in your body. It’s the feel-good snuggle hormone.

According to this study from the Pet Behavior Science Journal, petting a cat actually reduces your heart rate and blood pressure. It’s a great stress reliever. But, you already knew that. 😉

Other studies have also shown that cats are happier too when you pet them. Well, duh!

Micro-breaks for petting is a win-win situation.

7) Separate Room For Meetings And Calls

Sometimes, no matter what you do and how much you’ve planned ahead, your cat’s timing for attention will conflict with your meetings and/or calls.

If you’re leading a meeting and they start pouncing on you and your laptop during a meeting, excuse yourself, mute your mic, turn off your camera and put fluffy in another room temporarily.

It’s not ideal, but when they get out of control and get really disruptive, you need to let them know that it’s not cool to do that. And, putting them in a “time-out” in another room will send the message - eventually, they’ll get it.

Happy Cat Means Happy Work

Your furry feline is hands down your bestie when you’re working remotely from home. You love their mischievous little antics and weird behavioral nuances.

It’s all love but you gotta get work done too.

It’s all about finding the right balance of belly rubs and brain work. Get to an ideal balance that works for you and your cat and things will be blissfully purrfect.

Embrace your cat’s unconditional love.

And be grateful for being able to work from home with your furry feline. It’s one of your 101 reasons to smile every day.

Enjoy the moments.

Feel Better,

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