No-one ever adopts, purchases, or rescues a cat with the thought that that cat will someday destroy furniture and mess up your house. The moment you become a cat owner and enter a new relationship with a feline friend, your expectations are to share wonderful and amazing experiences with them. Lots of cuddles with a purring cat sat cozily in your lap.
So, where do things go wrong for some owners? More often than not, we are always the ones ruining the experience. We tend to always blame the cat when we are actually the ones not holding up our part of the bargain.
Cats love companionship. So many people claim cats are ‘solitary’ and anti-social animals, when the truth could not be more different. Cats hunt for prey alone because they go after small animals but the rest of the time, they actually benefit from spending time with other animals and people.
Understanding how cats tick involves considering the territorial nature of the cat amongst other things; but if you take care and do it right, you may just be a wonderful cat parent and find an amazing companion for many years to come.
So, here are eight important reminders to keep in mind as a cat owner, and help you get that loving, trusting relationship you dreamed of.
- Turn Grooming Sessions Into Bonding Time
Always endeavor to make your cat’s essential grooming sessions fun for the both of you, so ensure they are scheduled when your cat is relaxed. You want to be sure your cat thinks about grooming in a positive way and not as something it dreads. Keep your first grooming sessions short (about 5 to 10 minutes) then gradually increase the time you spend on this task until you are sure you cat is now used to the routine. Your routine might involve brushing, checking their ears and clipping nails with cat clippers. If you know your cat is stressed out, make the session short or try when you feel he or she is calmer.
- Build an Appealing Litter Box Set-up
Be very observant of the common needs of your cat when it comes to setting up a proper litter box. Don’t just consider what is convenient for you, it should be about what your cat finds comfortable and convenient too. Always keep your cat’s litter tray somewhere private and away from their food bowls. They will not like to poop near to the place they eat.
- Scratching is Absolutely Normal
You should keep in mind that cats have a natural tendency to scratch and this characteristic behaviour is actually a beneficial one; both physically and emotionally. Some people assume that when a cat scratches it is just sharpening its claws; but it is more than that. There are all sorts of behavioural reasons for scratching. You can help your cat by providing them with a tall and solid scratching post with a rough texture and in doing so, you’re training your kitty to scratch in the right places.
- Improve Environmental Enrichment
One of the best ways to avoid common behavioural problems with cats is to enrich the environment your cat lives with sensory stimulation. You’ll soon realise common behavioural problems can be avoided this way. Cats really do have amazing senses; they are natural hunters and they thrive on stimulation in their environment.
Environmental enrichment means providing opportunities for your cat to be able to engage in solo playtime, interactive playtime, feeling secure, territoriality, and comfort. Encouraging your cat to sleep all day, and only get off the bed or sofa to go to the kitchen for food isn’t going to provide the proper environmental enrichment and stimulation your cat needs to stay happy and healthy.
- Every Behavior Serves a Purpose
Regardless of whether you are comfortable with a particular behavior that your cat displays or not, every single thing your cat does has a particular meaning to it, or your cat wouldn’t keep doing it.
Cats don’t willingly misbehave because they want to, or because they are angry or stupid. And they certainly don’t sit and think about ways to annoy you. If there is a particular behavior you see your cat displaying and you don’t like it, make efforts to figure out why your cat has the urge to display such behavior and see if you can provide a better alternative you are more comfortable with. View this common behavior from a positive perspective and gently tackle the issue so as to provide a better option for you and your cat. This specific method of providing solutions will even create a tighter bond between you and your cat and will even help you understand the situation better and know the best solution to provide.
- Provide Veterinary Care
Every single cat, whether it was picked off the street or purchased from a breeder for top dollar require veterinary care from a certified veterinarian. You shouldn’t just assume a particular behavior is “normal” without checking first with a veterinarian. Many behavioral displays are actually symptoms of a particular medical issue. Whether your cat has stepped a paw outside or not, it should be taken to veterinary exams.
- Never Allow Your Cat To Get Fat
Did you know that if a cat gains just a few pounds, it is the equivalent of almost 40 pounds on a human? You probably have the mindset that cats know how to regulate their food consumption on their own but when we consider the cases of cat obesity, most cat experts have pointed out that such a belief is false. Your veterinarian can help you chart out the right amount of food your cat should be consuming on a daily basis based on health, body type, age and how active your cat is.
You should also always adhere to the instructions on your cat’s food labels. When a cat becomes obese, it can lead to heart trouble, arthritis, and even diabetes so it’s important to get this right.
Consistency is a very important thing for cats. Don’t send mixed signals when training your kitty and ensure people who stay with your cat are on the same page as you. Show your cat love and enjoy your playtime together every day, tailoring your play sessions to your cat’s physical limitations and abilities. And this way, you will have a happy, healthy cat and a home that isn’t destroyed!