Guest Blogger: see Jessica Brody –http://www.ourbestfriends.pet. Jessica enjoys writing about cats and dogs. See her blog for additional photos and posts).
A cat is a great pet who can be just as loving a companion as a dog. It’s important to know, however, that cats are not dogs. They react differently to situations, learn and “train” differently, and require differing approaches to care. Here are some tips for being a great cat owner.
Know how to properly feed your cat
Cats are carnivores, plain and simple. You can’t feed your cat a vegan diet and expect it to stay healthy.
“Money saved by buying cheap cat food will be spent hundreds of times over on veterinary care. Cats are obligate carnivores and need a good source of meat protein. They do not need large amounts of grain fillers, especially corn, which is a cheap source of protein used by many cat food manufacturer,” notes The Spruce.com.
Check your cat’s stool. If it appears too dry, you might want to switch to a wet food diet for a while or at least alternate between wet and dry food throughout the week.
And remember – don’t feed your cat milk, despite what all of the cartoons say. It can be harmful to them in many cases.
Make sure your cat gets enough exercise
It’s a myth that cats don’t need exercise. Sure, they don’t need as much as a dog – but cats that don’t exercise can develop a bevy of health problems, including heart disease and obesity.
… How do you ensure that your cat is getting enough exercise? The best way is to simply play with them for 15-30 minutes. If you have a fenced-in backyard, let them run around for a while. Make use of laser pointers. Your cat really will chase them for a long time. If your cat is suffering from obesity…talk to your vet about this more extreme exercise plan.
Give them a place to scratch
Cats will scratch. Like death and taxes, it’s a certainty of life. Make sure your cat has plenty of scratching posts to utilize. Never ever consider declawing a cat, even if they live indoors 100% of the time. It’s inhumane.
Ensure pet family cohesiveness
One of the biggest challenges cat owners face is making sure the cat gets along with the other household pets – usually a dog. It’s important to remember that dogs and cats socialize in different ways, so “training” your cat the same way you trained your dog is not likely to have an effect on their behavior.
What you need to do is be mindful of the energy of the animals in your household. “It’s your responsibility to keep the family balanced by keeping the dog at the highest level of calm-submissive behavior, allowing the cats to become calm-assertive in front of him,” notes famed trainer Cesar Millan.
If your cats are showing aggression toward each other, it’s a different story with a different set of solutions. First, you should never let cats work through their issues with fighting. It just doesn’t work like that for them.
“Never let the cats ‘fight it out.’ Cats don’t resolve their issues through fighting, and the fighting usually just gets worse. Interrupt aggression with a loud clap of your hands or spray from a water gun,” says the ASPCA.
Once you separate your cats just leave them alone. Don’t try to soothe them the way you might try to calm a dog. You can also try to separate your cats’ resources – food, water, and toys.
Do your research on proper cat care. There are a lot of myths out there about cats, and some of them can be harmful.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
(Editor’s Note: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by guest bloggers on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of MyThreeCats.com or its staff.)
Here’s Jane Marcus, of the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society, pictured with a new shelter cat! Can you tell Jane likes cats?
This little guy, whose name is Furlington, has beautiful black fur that was badly matted when he arrived. The kind shelter folks shaved him so his fur would grow back and transform him into his natural, handsome self. Furlington is available for adoption now!
It’s National Cat Day!
Celebrate October 29th in a number of great ways.
Here’s a video we thought you might like. Enjoy!
What types of environmental enhancements do you offer your cat?
Caring for cats properly involves much more than simply furnishing food, water and a litter box. Environmental enrichment, such as toys, food puzzles, perches, and even hiding places, can really change the quality of life for almost any cat.
The Winn Feline Foundation recently took a look at this issue in a group of shelter cats on their blog. Environmental enrichment in shelter cats is an excerpt from a study which provided a food puzzle to a stable group of shelter cats and examined their reaction to the puzzle and their interactions surrounding the object. The study concluded:
“a stimulating item that can be shared by all individuals in a stable group, such as a puzzle feeder of appropriate size, can play an important role in promoting positive social interactions among cats and improving their welfare.”
Certainly, in shelter cats, this is an important study. It underlines the need for more than just basic care in the lives of these animals and the fact that this enrichment is easily achievable. After all, the ultimate goal is to give these cats the best chance for adoption. Cats that are comfortable in their environment and confident will show it in their behavior. And confident behavior is much more “adoptable” than a cat that is hiding in his cage or, worse yet, acting in aggressive manner out of fear.
However, this study also can be extended to those of us who keep multi-cat households. I have three cats and frequently see two or more of my cats interacting with the toys and puzzles at once. In fact, it seems as though if one cat shows interest, it generates interest in the other cats as well.
Many environmental enhancement toys, cat furniture and other items can be found at www.MyThreeCats.com, the experts in optimum care care and well being.