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Your Cat's Just Not That Into You:

Your Cat's Just Not That Into You: "What part of Meow don't you understand?"

by Richard Smith, David Sipress (Illustrator)

Aloof. Haughty. Disdainful. Withholding. Moody. Petulant. Imperious. Sound like anyone you know? It does if you own a cat. And while you’ve probably made hundreds of excuses about why your cat’s this way, the sad fact is—your cat’s just not that into you.

Don’t despair. It’s not you. It’s your cat. Cats invented not


Aloof. Haughty. Disdainful. Withholding. Moody. Petulant. Imperious. Sound like anyone you know? It does if you own a cat. And while you’ve probably made hundreds of excuses about why your cat’s this way, the sad fact is—your cat’s just not that into you.

Don’t despair. It’s not you. It’s your cat. Cats invented not being into you. Richard Smith is here to explain, and help.

Forlorn cat owners everywhere will see themselves in this book—in the “I Guess Her Mind Is on Other Things” excuse. In the “Maybe She Needs Her Own Space” excuse. In the “Maybe He Didn’t Recognize Me in My New Hawaiian Shirt” excuse. They’ll educate themselves about feline indifference through the Know Thy Kitty Quizzes. Test their cat’s I.Q. Take the Schnapps-Porsche Well-Adjusted Cat Owner Analysis. Discover Ten Ways to Suck Up to Your Cat, including #2: leave affectionate Post-its in her kitty litter.

In the tradition of All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat (1.7 million copies in print), Kliban’s Cat (985,000 copies in print), and even New York Timesbestseller Bad Cat (487,000 copies in print), Your Cat's Just Not That Into You is utterly loopy and yet dead-on wise—this is, after all, from the author of the classic Dieter’s Guide to Weight Loss During Sex. It’s filled with insights into the interior life of the world’s most maddeningly mysterious animal, and into the damaged psyches of cat lovers who are so often given to wonder: Am I my cat’s punk?

Editorial Reviews

It's happened to all of us. You meet a hottie American Bobcat or a Persian you can't resist; you snuggle a few times; then he kicks you to the curb; treats you like one giant hairball. Desperate, you try everything: tabby treats; paw toys; even Alaskan salmon in his food bowl; but it's all futile; nothing makes him purr. He remains haughty, moody, imperious. According to cat relationship counselor Richard Smith, the problem isn't him; it's you. This "wake up and sniff the catnip" book won't help you win him back, but it will make you realize that cats only pretend to be codependent.

Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.24(w) x 8.24(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt


If She Pretends You Don’t Exist

Actually, she knows you exist; it’s just that she has other things on her mind. Why is a cat so incapable of acknowledging, at least occasionally, her loving, doting owner? Hasn’t she just a moment to walk over and lick your face, or to make the effort to turn her head and say“ Hi?” Many owners make excuses for their cat by citing their insanely busy lives. Of course she has no time for me, she’s lying in the sun, or she’s making the rounds of the house. Other owners rationalize their behavior as a defensive reaction to a pre-ASPCA era when cats were used as everything from beasts of burden (pulling little milk carts in Germany) to the Fighting Cats of Rome who, in their wee gladiatorial outfits, were forced to amuse Caligula’s in-laws. Who’s correct? I hope reading the following pages will help you decide.


Dear Richard:
My Numkins is the best—the most beautiful, warmest, furriest, fuzziest, lovable cat in the whole wide world—and we often experience amazing chemistry. The only problem is that she’s never completely “there” for me. A few examples:
When I:

§ Sought comfort after breaking up with my ex
§ Was distraught and tried to “end it all” by jumping into the paper shredder
§ Had the flu
§ Needed consolation when I got the audit notice from that meanie IRS
§ Asked her, after being abducted by aliens, to,“ Hold me tight, I just need some closeness”
§ Needed protection from a mime

She simply went about her business, walking over to me and rubbing against my leg only when she felt like it and making limited eye contact when I needed her most. I’m sure she’s really into me, but I suspect that most of the time, her attention is focused on deep cat thoughts. Am I deluding myself?

Dear Starved for Support:
Don’t be fooled. I say, trade in that self-centered cat and make space in your life for the glorious things you deserve, like cable TV, the Lord, a new car, a lover who is totally into you, or, if you discover you’re feeling like crap without feline companionship, at least one of those new, sympathetic kitties who are also trained grief counselors.

Oh sure, your cat is busy. Not a moment in her insanely busy schedule to lick your face, rub your leg, or even cough up one measly tribute-to-my-owner hair ball. That’s nonsense. No cat is that busy. If she can’t take a break from her day—perhaps cutting her yoga lesson short—to sit before you and sing, “Achy Breaky Heart,” consider finding a cat who will.


Dear Richard:
I can’t tell whether my cat is just not into me or playing hard to get. When she vanishes to some secret part of the house, I can spend hours calling,“ Here kitty kitty, here kitty kitty”—but she only appears when she hears “Her” can being opened. I’m her owner! Tell me she’s only playing hard to get. I’m insecure.

Dear Muriel:
Kindly apply a cold compress to your forehead. Holding it there? Good. It’ll help relieve the psychic pain experienced by so many owners when they’re dissed by their cat. You see, honey, the right side of your cat’s brain does hear you, but the left side of its brain is usually focused on a dozing termite or a piece of fallen chicken; during these moments, it couldn’t care less whom it is owned by.
Note: In rare cases, an empathetic cat will spare its owner’s feelings of rejection and abandonment by a) leaving a poop the size of a burrito on the couch or b) shedding all over the baby.

Love these wonderful creatures, dote on them, care for them, take them sailing, but remember: They are haughty, disdainful, arrogant, withholding, standoffish, moody, petulant . . . okay, enough adjectives. Cats are their own person and not into you. Even when the great Renaissance artist Raphael painted Mittens Adoring a Flounder, he couldn’t get the cat to gaze with proper adoration upon the fish. Raphael had to fake Mittens’ expression. Are you more talented than Raphael?


You deserve an affectionate, demonstrative cat. One who showers you with unconditional love. A cat who is always happy to see you. A cat with a heart of gold who’ll comfort you when you’re ailing and who, when you come home, joyfully wags her tail instead of angrily flicking it over some perceived slight—you yawned in her face or you failed to use the good china when presenting her saucer of milk. If you find a cat exactly like this, let me know.


Dear Richard:
Okay, okay, let me lay it out for you. I get home, go into the kitchen, and as I start to put away the groceries, I realize I’d like some company. Fine. The parakeet’s asleep and the hamster has a fever, but I know my faithful cat, Gilgamesh, is somewhere in the house. Our conversation goes something like this:
“Gilgamesh, where are you?”
“Gilgamesh, sweetie, don’t you hear me?”
“Gilgamesh, I have a surprise for you.” (I bought her this stupid little bear at Wal-Mart; the clerk swore it made her cat her slave.)
“Okay, Gilly, where are you hiding?”
She finally makes her grand entrance, strolling in as though she has all the time in the world. And then what does she do? She simply looks around, makes a pass at the leg of the dining table with her vibrissa, then saunters over to the exact spot on the floor where the sun is streaming through the window and collapses in a heap of drowsy fur. I think she has Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. I’ve a good mind to spike her food with Ritalin.

Dear In Dire Need of a Plan B:
I want you to kneel and clasp your hands. Now say Kattish, the prayer for all the poor cat owners who cling to the pathetic hope that their cat is even remotely into them. It goes something like this:
O Great Kitty Father in the Sky, grant me the power to accept that, of all the things that are really important to my cat, my cat is most important to my cat. Furthermore, grant me the power to believe that I m a catch and deserve to be with a creature who cares, who can't wait to see me and be with me, a significant other such as a devoted and loving boyfriend or, if he's also one of those withholding, emotionally stingy jerks, a big Saint Bernard who slobbers all over me and joyfully barks the moment I walk in the door.
Finished? Good, you may get up now. It’s time to feed the cat.

Advisory to Wilma
I share your frustration, but it’s really so simple.Your dog is obedient and does pretty much what you tell him because dogs are, essentially, a body affixed to a tail. Doggy exists to a) please his master, b) sniff other doggies, and c) scare off strangers selling aluminum siding. Cats, on the other hand, are unpredictable because they have so many moving parts, permitting them a full range of independence—from warm, loving fur ball, to tailflicking curmudgeon, to psychotic drama queen in a matter of moments. Now take a sheet of paper and write the following:
1. Obedient dog.
2. Obedient cat.
Guess which is the oxymoron.


Isn't Life More Fulfilling When You're Humiliated?
Let this hidden gem take advantage of you. Exploitive but lovable Scottish Fold, on the lam and traveling under an assumed name (Trigger). Had to run away from owner too insecure to be dominated, now seeks weak, docile mistress who likes to beg, bow, and do my bidding. Reply in confidence to Starfire, Box 444.


1. Her birthday? Surprise her with a bouquet of flowers and a certificate to a cat spa.
2. Leave affectionate Post-its by her kitty litter.
Three suggestions:
a. “Guess who loves you the most.”
b. “Who’s the best kitty in the whole wide world?”
c. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
3. In the morning, get out of bed extra gently so you don’t wake Miss Sleepyhead.
4. Give her a back tickle even if she didn’t ask for one.
5. Play “I’m in the Mood for Love” the moment she enters the room.
6. Praise her in front of her friends.
7. Appearance counts. She’s always grinning? Apply whitening strips to her teeth.
8. Let her sit in your lap when you do the stationary bike.
9. Pet her while you make sultry tiger noises. Hope she gets it.
10. Name your truck after her.
How effective are these measures? What part of “meow”don’t you understand?

Meet the Author

Richard Smith weighs even less than he did in 1978 when he wrote the original, bestselling Dieter's Guide to Weight Loss During Sex. And he has not given up carbohydrates.

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