Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You vs. Your Pet: The Battle For Bathroom Privacy

Warning:  While not getting into biological specifics, I'm talking about the bathroom.  Deal with it.

Anyone who has children or pets knows that there is NO SUCH THING as privacy.  Now I knew this in a very general sense long before I ever got my cat, yet it never fails to surprise me exactly how much of my privacy I have given up.

For those of you who can't relate, let me outline a typical scenario.

You've just spent the last 45 minutes on public transit and stumble into your apartment with one thought on your mind.


You practically kill yourself ripping off your coat and shoes while almost tripping over your pet who is thrilled that you are home but unsympathetic to your plight.  You dash into the bathroom and sit down.


Now everything is fine until you realize that your pet has followed you into the bathroom, and in the case of my cat, currently trying to climb into my lap.  Or better yet, has curled up in my pants.
Really dude?  I know you're happy to see me and have been alone all day but I'm not really in a position to cuddle you or provide chin scritches. 

Now this is a universal pet thing.  I've had friends tell me that their dog follows them to the bathroom all the time.  I've even been at a friends house and had their dog attempt to bond with me while I peed.  And God knows that cats don't care what you're doing....if they want attention, it is guaranteed to be at the most inopportune time EVER. 

I've been told the same thing about children.  There is no such thing as privacy or a closed door when it comes to children or pets.  Someone I know was complaining that she misses taking a nice relaxing bath.  That since she had kids, she just never gets the opportunity anymore.  Now me, being the single person that I am was like, "just run the bath while you're putting them in bed and by the time you're done the bath will be ready."  She honestly looked at me as if I was delusional and said that it was obvious I didn't have children under the age of 5. 

But children and pets aren't that different in respect to privacy.
Cat vs. Bathtub - The Aftermath

The fun thing about pets?  My cat doesn't care what I'm doing in the bathroom.  If I'm trying to pee, he's sitting in my pants.  If I'm brushing my teeth, he's sitting on top of my toilet tank watching me.  Taking a shower?  He's trying to launch himself through the shower curtain to attack what he doesn't realize is me on  the other side.  And bath time?  Well he used to sit on the ledge of the tub and play with the bubbles.  Key words, used to.  That was before the dumbass fell into the tub with me.  

Why is it that we put up with so much from our pets and children?  God knows if an adult tried to sit on my lap while I went pee we'd have a problem.  But kids and pets seem to be immune to all of our regular boundaries.  Although we may be temporarily caught off guard by what they're doing, I'm sure there's not a pet owner out there that wouldn't give their cat a good scratch behind the ear before removing them from their lap.  How can you be mad when all they want is some attention from their favourite person? 

Side Note:  Being the dork that I am, I actually googled this popular pet behavior and here are some of my favourite reasons why your pets may like to follow you into the bathroom:

1) It's a great opportunity for attention because you are pretty much a captive audience at that point.
2) They're trying to figure out why you're not using a litter box
3) You're their pack alpha and they are therefore interested in everything you do
4) Because you try to close the door behind you, they presume you MUST be doing something interesting

Honestly I think all of them are possible but the most likely, at least for cats, is that they want attention when you aren't necessarily in a position to give it to them, contrary little buggers that they are.




  1. In the case of our cats, the male is simply thristy and waiting for the flush of a fresh bowl and the female likes nothing more to lap the water up after a shower. I don't get it...they each have water bowls.

    And yes, both cats like to have their chins stratched as soon as you sit down.

    As for kids, yeah, there's been some awkward moments over the years. Closed doors don't mean anything so you need to keep a cover close by. I remember one time our middle one (she was around 6) walked into our room while we will doing things that 6 year olds should not see, climbed into bed, and promptly fell asleep. We were more traumatized then she was...

  2. That's hilarious. I can imagine that it was a million times more traumatic for you. Luckily enough at 6 and half asleep she probably didn't even pick up on the fact that something was going on.

    Jasper jumps in my lap every single time and likes to try and attack my legs though the shower curtain liner. It's like he can see me but can't get past the plastic force field.