Odds are, if you’ve made it here, you’re a big fan of cats, giant floofs, and those of the feline persuasion. Congratulations—and welcome to the club. Here’s your complimentary badge and cat list. Cats can be incredibly adorable and they’re bound to attract the attention of passersby, whether they’re strutting their stuff outside or showing off their shiny coats through the window.
However, this constant attention (however meowgnificent) can be exhausting. So some owners write up fun notes and put up lighthearted warnings for other people to read, so they know what (not) to do with their cats. Our feline-loving team at Bored Panda has collected some of the most engaging cat notes from all over the net, so we invite you to enjoy this list and have a scroll.
Pssst—upvote the photos you liked the most. And if you’ve seen any great notes about pets out in the wild with your own two eyes, tell us all about them in the comments! In the mood for some more fluffy content? Check out Bored Panda’s recent wholesome post about a postman cat right here.
Ingrid Johnson, a certified cat behavior consultant and the founder of Fundamentally Feline, went into detail with Bored Panda about the relationship between cats and strangers, the issues this sometimes causes, how best to circumvent them, and how strangers might react to friendly notes. Read on for our full insightful interview with Johnson.
My mother asked me to run her country garage sale for a while. A sign became necessary due to his misleadingly cuddly appearance.
Cat behaviorist Johnson said that strangers really do affect outdoor cats by interacting with them. The effect depends on the person in question and what they do. "They could be made fearful if passers-by do not treat them kindly but could be also made more friendly and outgoing if they have a lot of nice experience and are rewarded with food and affection."
One thing that a lot of folks don't think about when feeding cats in the 'wild' is that they might have very specific diets that are meant to treat medical conditions. "Well, who knows what they are eating outside on the neighbors' porch? A Good Samaritan could be putting food out for stray cats that falls short of the special characteristics of the prescription diet the cat needs," Johnson warned.
According to the cat behaviorist, how people react to friendly notes that owners leave behind about cats really depends all on the individual in question. "Quite sadly, many people still see cats as pests, so attempts to run them off of their property may persist despite being asked to be nice to the cat," Johnson highlighted that not everything is as friendly and perfect as we'd like in the real world.
"Another factor that people do not think about is that the roaming outside cats can negatively affect the lives of indoor-only cats and really wreak havoc. Oftentimes, when cats are indoors and they see cats coming up to their home and hanging around their doors and windows, they feel very threatened," the expert said.
"This can result in urine marking in the home especially around doors and windows and fighting with other housemates called redirected aggression. Redirected aggression is one of the most common behavior problems I help my clients within my consulting practice. It is a very challenging problem to resolve because we often cannot get neighbors to keep their cats inside, so the offending trigger is always there. It can be quite a debacle and creating a war between neighbors."
My local Publix has a cat that hangs out in the parking lot that has been named Moose. The store bought him his very own sign to make drivers aware of him.
"This is a good time to emphasize that cats should be housed safely indoors with loads of amazing environmental enrichment to meet their lifestyle needs. I am a big fan of cats having outdoor access, I just ask that it is supervised for safety, their safety, and for the welfare of other cats as mentioned above. Train your cat to use a leash and harness, yes, you can do this! If possible provide a 'catified' screen porch, build a catio, or take your cat for a walk in a cat stroller!" she gave examples of how you can enrich your pets' lives.
"I truly practice what I preach! Even if you live in an apartment you can open windows, place bird feeders, and bird bathes outside of windows etc. I'm also a big fan of bringing the outdoors in! Grow cat grass, bring in dried leaves, snow, branches, pine cones, allow them to experience the seasons and the sights and scents of the outdoors in a positive way." Johnson said that anyone wishing to check out fun enrichment examples can find them on the Fundamentally Feline Instagram page; meanwhile, a fun seasonal offering can be found right here.
This cat was on a fruit market today (the sign says "don't disturb the kitten, she's not here to amuse the customers, she's the boss).
While we absolutely adore cats, there are some things you should keep in mind. First of all, we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, so petting strange cats (or any pets) could spread the novel coronavirus just like any surface would. Even if we really, really want to hug them and tell them how gorgeous they are, we need to take social distancing very seriously. The CDC explains that we should treat our pets like our family members: they shouldn’t interact with others from outside our household.
Our suggestion? Rescue a cat from your local animal shelter to keep you company and brighten up your life or opt for petting cattos through your screen. Like in our wholesome cat list right here. Go on, you know you can’t resist.
I was surprised to see a cat at the doctor's waiting room. Then I noticed the sign.
The second thing that we should be aware of is how strange cats (and, by extension, all pets) feel about us. They might be gorgeous, but some of them will undoubtedly be wary of you. Or just plain cranky. So approach carefully. Stretch out your hand for the cat to sniff. Take it slow. If the cat bites you—it’s time to move on and rethink your life.
Finally, consider that you’re not the only person who wants to get the cat’s attention. So it’s vital to think about what’s in the best interests of both the pet and its owner. If you’re bringing the pet scraps to eat, you’re likely wrecking its diet. If in doubt, talk to the owner. Or heed their notes to the letter!
The sign says “Attention. Cat’s sleeping. Do not disturb!”