Your Cat Is Always Cautious

How to Think Like a Cat - Stephane Garnier 2018

Your Cat Is Always Cautious

’The cat loves fish, but hates wet feet’


Cats are not hotheads, and they always learn from their misadventures. Your cat will never approach a new place, a car or an object without first observing it for a long time and taking infinite precautions. Cats avoid putting themselves in unnecessary danger. Anything new is first inspected, sniffed and analysed in minute detail.

Being cautious often avoids problems, conflicts and accidents. But — no doubt from lack of instinct — humans have always accumulated their knowledge and experience through seizing the smouldering ember with both hands in order to understand that it burns. It’s a weird way of going about things, when you think about it. Humans don’t know anything unless they have learned it. Can you imagine your cat walking over glowing ashes?

How many of us have fallen sick after eating spoiled food without realising it? And yet, how many times have you seen your cat turn up its nose and not touch the food bowl if the contents have dried out a bit, or refuse to eat the piece of ham you offer until it has sniffed it from every angle?

There is little chance of your cat poisoning itself, for your cat uses its senses and is cautious, including about what it eats.

Humans are often intrepid by nature, and therefore imprudent, just like a child who must be warned about everything, taught everything and protected from any danger. But who taught your cat that fire burns, that water drowns and that big, barking dogs should be given a wide berth? Who taught your cat that those large, noisy things rolling down the street are cars that can run you over? Cats know these things by instinct, they sense danger, unlike a child.

We have lost many of our instincts, many of our senses, even in our relations with people. How many of us have at some point said: ’I just knew he was going to do that to me. I’ve had a funny feeling about him from the start.’

Your instinct was right. The truth about this person formed your perception of them, and yet, did you follow your instinct when this feeling of rejection of the other first came upon you? No. We often prefer reason to instinct. It’s such a pity when, as time goes by, we realise that our instinct never fails us, and that it always guides us, for the good of our wellbeing, towards caution.

First impressions never lie. For a little more caution in the future, try to reconnect with your most primal instincts, listen to yourself and trust yourself. You will never regret it.

When there is a doubt, there is no doubt. Follow your instinct!