The internet loves cats. Why else would there be a festival dedicated to them if there wasn’t serious love?

But cats have far more to offer than being the objects of hours and hours of entertainment. I believe that they’re the secret to understanding your audience.

1. Cats call their own shots.

Anyone who has ever tried to “discipline” his or her cat knows that it’s pretty much impossible. They don’t like to be told what to do. Your audience also doesn’t like to be told what to do. Informed of a great opportunity? Yes. Receive something that’s beneficial to them? Yes. Be guilt tripped into doing something in which they’re not at all interested? Not a chance. Your audience has chosen to listen to you. Don’t take that for granted.

2. Cats are unpredictable.

My cat chooses a new favorite napping spot weekly. What worked for him one week doesn’t the next. And what works for engaging your audience at one point in time might not work a few months down the road. Having an engaged audience is all about relationship building. Your audience’s feedback is critical to how you move forward in the future, and it’s extremely valuable in decision making.

3. Cats are protectors.

I often look out on my back porch and see my cat guarding my garden. If anything moves in the direction of my precious plants he attacks it with passion. My cat knows that I’ve got his back and have his best interest at heart. If your audience feels that way about you, they’ll serve as great protectors of your brand. They’ll be quick to defend you if someone says something false that they know to be untrue.

Audience engagement can be tough. But sometimes it helps to break it down into what’s important. And if a cat can help that process, then so be it.