Cats are sweet, loving, funny pets who are oft misunderstood by those who haven’t had the pleasure of owning — or, rather, being owned by — a cat. As a result, cat people often hear misguided comments about their life with their cats.

Here are seven things that you should never say to a cat person — unless you want to get swatted.

I like dogs better. They’re friendlier.

So, you’re basically saying that your cat-loving friend doesn’t like friendly creatures? That makes no sense. Why would anyone share a home with a little furry jerk? Just because cats might not bound over to you with goofy abandon the minute you walk in the door doesn’t mean they’re not friendly. Cats often take a little time to assess the situation and the people around them before they cozy up. Some are more outgoing than others, but plenty of cats are simply scoping out the landscape before selecting the most comfortable lap.

I can tell you have cats.

If you say this to someone who has cat fur stuck to her shoulder or derriere, you’ll probably get a smile. Most cat owners wear their fur with pride. If you say this when you’re walking into a cat owner’s home while wrinkling up your nose, you might as well just walk on out again. You’re not welcome there, even with your assurances that cats don’t really bother you, because I’m willing to bet that you and your bad manners bother everyone living there. Cats included.

You’re on your way to becoming a crazy cat lady!

I don’t think this is ever meant to be a compliment, even when said in jest. Besides, at what point does one become a "crazy cat lady," and what credentials do you possess to determine whether one becomes a crazy cat lady or not? Of the millions of cat owners out there, very few are deserving of that title. Many ladies may be crazy about cats, but most aren’t crazy cat ladies (or crazy cat guys, for that matter). Unless they give themselves the nickname, that is.

You should keep your cats off the counters.

You try telling the cats that. There’s really nothing else to say.

I could never have a cat. I’m allergic to them!  

Obviously allergies can be serious. But if you complain that cats cause an occasional achoo, you probably aren’t going to get much sympathy from cat lovers. In fact, ask around and you’ll find a surprising number of cat owners who are also allergic to cats. They adore their little felines, so they get creative and find ways to manage the issues.

Do cats ever do anything but lie around?

Cat owners know their cats are highly expressive, often hilarious creatures who do much more than eat, sleep and poop. For example, they have very active schedules — throughout the night when you’re trying to sleep. Have you ever watched a cat chase a cat toy? Zoom around the house? Swat trinkets off a shelf? Wrestle with a feline companion? Put a paw on your arm when you're feeling blue? Make no mistake; cats have all kinds of personalities, expressions and interests.

What are you going to do with the cat when the baby comes?

Some people don’t believe that cats and kids can coexist happily. That’s just not the case. True, if you have cats and bring a baby into the mix, there are some steps you need to take to ensure harmony, but it’s not an either/or situation. Plus, the old wives’ tales about cats “stealing” a baby’s breath or smothering a baby while he’s sleeping are unfounded. Regardless, babies and young children should never be left unsupervised with any pet, be it a dog, catguinea pig or hermit crab.

The bottom line: Think before you make comments about someone’s favorite feline family member. For those of you who have never shared a home with cats, don't be so quick to judge what life with cats is like. You have no idea what you’re missing!

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