top of page

Lessons From My Cat – Five Ways Animals Can Highlight Our Need To Change

Written by: Mindy Schrager, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Mindy Schrager

Ever notice how many things animals have to teach us? I happened to catch my cat sitting, waiting, and hoping the food bowl programmed for our other cat would magically open for her.

 woman holding a white cat in her arms

At that moment, I wondered how many times people wait and hope for something that is not meant to be. If my cat is revealing this simple yet powerful insight, what other lessons might our animals teach us?

This is what I noticed:

1. Holding out hope  It’s amusing to watch our Torbie kitty stalk the automatic food bowl. She approaches it from the front and the side, and while it never opens for her, there are times when the other cat leaves her some crumbs.

How many times in your life have you held out hope for something you knew wasn’t in your best interest or had only the slimmest of likelihoods of happening? While reaching for a dream and stretching out of your comfort zone are important growth goals, we also need to know when it is time to let go.

2. Doing what is not good for us In the instance with our Torbie kitty, even if she were to get some of that food, it doesn’t agree with her sensitive stomach. The result is unpleasant for both her and us. While some people may say she’s just a cat, I still wonder why she hasn’t learned the lesson.

Think of situations in which you did something that was counter to your best interests. Setting a long-term goal for saving money while over-extending yourself with an impulse buy. Indulging in sweet treats which undermined a health goal. Holding onto relationships that are unhealthy because it is difficult to set a boundary. Do any of those examples of self-sabotage resonate with you? 

3. Mirroring what we need to look at  There have been several times when I have seen patterns I needed to look at mirrored in my cat’s behaviors. I have also seen it when doing family constellations where animals are present. Those include a dog bringing its toy into the constellation, highlighting the need for play, another acting as a protector, and cats who highlighted elements in a constellation to pay attention to.

If you were to look at your animal as a mirror for your need to change, what might you learn?

4. Range of emotions  I always find it amusing when I’m petting my cat and she suddenly turns around and hisses. It reminds me of a young child example shared during my Integrative Coaching training. One minute, a baby is cooing happily, and the next, crying loudly. Or consider the story of rescue animals who were abused by hurtful owners and make amazing transformations when shown love and compassion.

Can you express the full range of emotions you did when you were younger, or are there emotions you have learned to suppress? Do you ever find those suppressed emotions bubbling over, and take them out on someone else? How would it feel to honestly express what you are feeling in any given moment? 

5. Unconditional love – This message is the most positive of all – the reminder that we are deserving of unconditional love. When I had a challenging day at school, I’d cry into my dog’s fur, and now that I own cats, they always seem to know when I need their presence. Petting animals can create a sense of calmness, their presence can break a feeling of loneliness, and caring for them can give you a sense of purpose.

Can you receive the love that an animal gives you and return that love to them? 

What other messages have you noticed from your animals? Where else in your life are the lessons you need to look at mirrored in other people or situations? Animals can shine the light on hidden patterns that keep us from revealing our best selves.

If you feel something might be hidden in the shadows, consider signing up for Meeting the Shadow, a fantastic transformational program, or design your own personalized pathway to finding your true and integrated self and a happier life.

© 2024, Systems of Change, LLC

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Mindy Schrager Brainz Magazine

Mindy Schrager, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mindy Schrager is an ICF PCC credentialed coach, Systemic Facilitator, Aura-Soma practitioner and founder of Systems of Change, LLC. Mindy’s focus on and passion for transformational work is built on years of experience creating strong, well-balanced teams, combined with a powerful personal discovery journey. Her experience and training have been focused on creating positive change in life and business experiences working with individuals and groups. Mindy loves to shine a light on hidden patterns and the root cause of dysfunction and then help create new pathways to growth.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page