man celebrating cats first birthday codependent with cat
(Photo credit: ajr_images / Getty Images)

Signs You’re Codependent With Your Cat

woman celebrating cats birthday codependent with cat
(Photo credit: AegeanBlue / Getty Images)

Naturally, you love your furry friend, but what happens when the relationship with your feline companion is too much of a good thing? Sometimes, people become attached in unhealthy ways to their fur babies. While your cat is integral to your life, they shouldn’t be your whole life. You might be codependent if you constantly put your cat’s needs before your own. We will share the telltale signs that you and your feline friend are too close for comfort.

You might be codependent with your cat if…

You refer to your cat as your “significant other”

Do you introduce your cat as your “significant other,” “boyfriend/girlfriend,” or “partner in crime”? While it’s OK to love your pet, it might be time to reassess your relationship if you view them as on par with a life partner.

You’ve canceled important plans to stay home with your cat

Skipping book club or an exercise class to hang out with your cat is one thing, but canceling big plans to hang out with them is concerning. Have you been a no-show at family get-togethers? RSVPed “no” to friends’ weddings or baby showers because they aren’t cat-friendly? Put your dating life on hold because you’re happy cuddling on the couch with your fur baby? These are all red flags that you’re too attached. Sometimes your cat should entertain themself so you can have a playdate!

You’ve thrown your cat a birthday party

We all love celebrating our pets’ birthdays, but you might be going overboard if you’re throwing your feline friend a full-blown party with invitations, decorations, favors, and a cake. Your cat would likely appreciate a quiet night in with you more than a big party.

You’ve dressed in matching outfits with your cat

Matching outfits are rarely cute, and that applies to you and your cat. (Can you say fashion faux pas?) While a collar or bandana in the same hue as your clothes can be a fun way to coordinate your style, full-on identical outfits indicate you’ve become too enmeshed.

You’ve had a professional photoshoot for you and your cat

Getting professional photos taken with your pet is a fun way to capture memories, but if you’ve gone all out with matching outfits (see above), props, and multiple backdrops, it might be time to step back. Remember, your cat loves you no matter what you’re wearing, and they’re always photogenic, even in candid shots.

You’ve considered getting a tattoo of your cat’s face

If you’re thinking of inking your love for your cat onto your body for all eternity, it might be time to take a step back and reassess. Would you get your partner’s face tatted on your bicep? (Please say no.)

Your career has stalled because of the amount of time you dedicate to your cat

We don’t blame you for wanting to spend as much time as possible with your furry friend, but if your career has plateaued because you can only work certain jobs or schedules in order to cater to your cat, something’s awry. If your cat’s needs have you calling in sick to work on the regular, it’s time to delegate some of that care and focus on bringing home the bacon.

All your discretionary income goes to your cat

Do you constantly browse pet stores for new toys, apparel, and treats for your cat? While spoiling your cat is fun, it might be time to re-evaluate your priorities if you spend more money on your cat than on yourself.

You prioritize your cat’s comfort over your own

Do you find yourself choosing the color of clothes you wear based on what will make your cat’s fur look less noticeable? Do you wake up early on the weekends to feed your cat? Are you constantly adjusting your home’s temperature to ensure your cat is comfortable? If your default is bending over backward to make your fur baby content, reprioritizing is in order.

How to handle a codependent relationship with your cat

You should absolutely love your cat and provide the best life you can for them. But chances are, they don’t need you to do as much as you think you do. Your job is to care for them, not smother them. Remember to take care of yourself, too, and maintain a healthy balance in every relationship, including the one with your feline companion. If you’re concerned you might be codependent with your cat, talk to a mental health professional. If you’re concerned your cat has separation anxiety, work with a behaviorist.

ChatGPT assisted in the creation of this article.

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