Why Does My Cat Always Want Attention When I’m on the Phone?

Is your cat’s behavior very predictable whenever the phone rings? It’s very common for the family cat to show up and start meowing and/or crawling all over the cat parent’s lap whenever a call comes in. What’s the story? Is kitty jealous of the phone? You may think so but the behavior is really just another example of your cat’s intelligence.

Are You Talking to Me?

When you’re talking on the phone, the cat hears your voice. In some cases, there’s no one else in the room except you and the cat. Perhaps kitty thinks you must be talking to her since she doesn’t see or hear another person.on the telephone Why Does My Cat Always Want Attention When Im on the Phone?

Reinforcing the Behavior

Animals repeat behaviors when they have a pay-off or when they serve a beneficial function. You may not even realize this as you’re talking on the phone but you may actually be reinforcing your cat’s behavior. If you’re on the phone and the cat comes over to you there’s a good chance you pet her or acknowledge her somehow. Maybe she jumps up in your lap and you start stroking her without even paying attention to what you’re doing. The cat soon learns that whenever you’re on the phone, there’s an excellent chance she’ll get some attention.

If your cat is exceptionally insistent when you’re talking on the phone you may have tossed a toy to distract her or perhaps you’ve even refilled the food bowl in an attempt to keep her occupied instead of meowing at you and asking for attention. If that’s the case, your smart cat has also learned just how successful that technique is for her and she’ll do it again and again. As a cat parent, keep in mind that your smart little cat is always learning and so pay attention to the behaviors you reinforce.

Need More Information?

For more specific help with cat training or cat behavior problems, refer to any of the books by Pam Johnson-Bennett, including Think Like a Cat.

 

 

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About Pam Johnson-Bennett

Pam Johnson-Bennett is the star of the international hit TV series "PSYCHO KITTY" airing in the UK on Animal Planet and in Canada on Nat Geo Wild. She is award-winning author of seven best-selling books on cat behavior including Think Like a Cat: how to raise a well-adjusted cat – not a sour puss. Think Like a Cat has become known as the cat bible. Pam is considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting. In addition to her television series and public speaking engagements, Pam owns Cat Behavior Associates, a private veterinarian-referred behavior company in Nashville, TN. Pam Johnson-Bennett is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant.