Kitty etiquette question…

Just bumped into this query on a public relations service and thought it was interesting:

I’m seeking an etiquette expert (someone who has an etiquette-related Web site, foundation or book) who can provide smart advice about the following situation for a reader Q&A page: “A friend’s cat is extremely affectionate and always curls up on my lap when I visit. The problem is, it makes me feel uncomfortable. How can I tell her to restrain her cat without hurting anyone’s feelings?”

My answer would be to simply be honest and say that while you like her cat, you aren’t comfortable with the cat laying on your lap.
Perhaps, you might add, she has a thick towel you could drape over your lap so that you don’t have to worry about the cat’s claws (if that’s the issue)?
If it’s allergy-related, then I’d say that directly and ask that the cat be kept in another room when you’re present (or not go there at all: if it’s a cat allergy, then it might well be that you’d have the same reaction from the dander in the room regardless of whether the cat is present or not).
If it’s fear and discomfort around the cat, well, maybe it’d be a good time to learn how to overcome that with a friendly, loving kitty in the picture? Or just say that you’re not comfortable around cats and ask that she either hold the cat on her lap or have it in another room while you’re present.
If you were answering this journalist’s query, dear reader, what would you suggest?

3 comments on “Kitty etiquette question…

  1. Being chosen by a cat to be a resting place is an honor.. however, if it is one you don’t wish to accept, you should let the owner know what your issue is with the cat so they can remedy the situation.
    The cat owner will be befuddled unless it’s an alergy problem. If it is using its claws on you then the owner would be aware of the problem.. if it’s a bunch of hair.. they’d understand but would wonder why you don’t just ask for a lint brush.. but if you just don’t like to be sat on by a cat. Well.. you could go to a therapist and pay them to figure out why you are so uptight.
    … of course.. that’s why they have editors.. so the last line wouldn’t make it into the final draft.
    Enjoy!

  2. I don’t like cats, but of course, they like me. In that situation, I just remove the cat from my lap in view of the owner. If the owner has any manners, they will take the hint. 🙂

  3. The best cat advice I got from a long time friend was to just pick up the cat and remove him from your lap.
    Sorry thats not a joke or being factitious. I think he realized the pain people go through feeling obligated to having a kitty in their lap.

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