First of all, we do not believe that being a “cat lady” or “cat laddie” is a negative thing. Cats are awesome! But we know some of our readers might not appreciate what that kind of term connotes, so we want to provide some helpful tips about how to be both a concerned, caring and devoted cat owner, without launching fully into what many people refer to as being cat-crazy. Here are our two cents about how to have it all while avoiding derogatory titles.

What does the term “Cat Lady” generally refer to?

Mostly when people use the term “cat lady” there is a certain stigma attached to the phrase. It usually refers to a matronly, older woman, who is single, a little off-beat, and who finds solace in the company of cats. The woman might regard the cats as her “children” and have no sense of personal boundaries with them at all. This term brings images of a lady hoarding numerous cats in a small space, such as a cramped apartment or a residence overrun with felines. The place is usually littered with cat hair, meowing, distinct smells of urine and or cat food, and overall unpleasantness that occurs when humans have limited interactions with other humans. This is not a pretty picture.

No one wants to be regarded as THAT man or woman. However, the negative aspects here are far less about having too many cats, than they are about people who lack social interaction, discipline, and a balanced lifestyle. Yet people who adore their felines friends often get thrown under the bus. So let’s take a look at how to maintain a balance between being a loving cat owner and crazy-eyed feline fanatic.

Start with a diagnosis

Let’s begin by becoming introspective. Indulging in a little self-reflection never hurt anybody! Let’s first analyze: how cat crazy are you? Read through the list, and see how you line up in this assessment. If you find yourself heartily agreeing with every point, or blushing at how closely some of those choices reflect your life, you may be too far gone. In which case, embrace your cat-ladyness (or cat-laddiness- we don’t judge), and unite with others of your kind. (No dogs allowed! Unless you like dogs. Then the more the merrier! See? We really don’t judge.)

Are you an in-betweener? Maybe you love your cat, your friends know how much you love your cats, but there are many other aspects of your life which you are equally interested in, and it shows. Good work! That should keep the pesky labeling and name-calling far away. If you are unsure, here are some helpful things you can do to bring balance in your life and ward off any future insults.

Keeping the Cat–Crazy Under Control

To avoid being labeled a “crazy cat person” here are a few boundaries to consider.

Don’t dress your cat up in costumes and take pictures of him on a regular basis.

Don’t own more cats that you can reasonably afford. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment with more than 3 cats, you can expect some “cat lady” slurs here and there.

Don’t let your cats breed and then keep the whole litter. Get your cats neutered or spayed to avoid this problem.

Don’t let your house become ridden with unsightly evidence of your cat, such as an odor of urine, or of cat hair, and toys everywhere. Though we know nothing stays perfectly clean all the time, a tidy house shows respect for your human guests.

If people throw around the term “cat lady” around you, just shrug or laugh it off. As long as you are staying active and balanced in your life, juggling human relationships along with your feline friendships, then it really doesn’t matter what people say. Just enjoy being yourself.