Cats are precious pets that need to be cared for. As a pet owner, you must know what you should NEVER do to them. To get you on the right footing, here is a guide on things you must avoid doing to your feline friend.
Never ignore changes in behavior you notice in your cat.
It's a common conception that cats are independent and withdrawn creatures. However, they still need love and attention from their owners. Forcing attention on cats can be stressful and may result in behavioral problems such as hostility. Cats will give you attention when they want to. Owners should never force cats to cuddle, or receive belly rubs, et cetera when they are not in the mood.
Cat owners should value their pet's moods and preferences. Instead of forcing attention, learn the signs that your cat wants affection, such as purring or rubbing themselves against you. If a cat is not in the mood to be petted or held, it is best to leave them alone. By respecting a cat's boundaries, even in small things, owners can develop a solid bond without making them tense or uncomfortable.
Never bring plants into the home without knowing whether they are cat-safe.
It's imperative to check that whatever plants you're bringing home is safe for cats. It's similarly important to be familiar with the potential dangers certain plants pose to them.
The ASPCA website supplies a detailed checklist of toxic plants for cats. Familiarize yourself with this list to ensure that none of these plants are found in your home. If you believe your cat has consumed something poisonous, contact your vet quickly for advice on what to do. You can also read through this guide to learn about toxic plants. Taking these measures will ensure your pet's safety and well-being.
Never allow your cat to play with yarns or strings.
Cats enjoy playing, and absent-mindedly giving whatever you get your hands on can be appealing. But this is not a safe thing for cats to play with. Yarn and string can cause linear foreign bodies, which happens when intestines bunch up on themselves as they try (and fail) to pass the thread. This can cause necrosis (meaning death) of some tissues, needing surgery. To avoid this fatal danger, it is best to stick to toys certified as safe for cats. These are designed especially for cats and entertain them without posing a danger.
You can ask your vet for suggestions on what toys are safe for cats in case you are doubtful about what to get them. Your vet should be perfectly competent to guide you on what types of toys are safe and which ones you should avoid. Taking these precautions ensures your cat is safe while they play.
Never allow your cats to "hand play."
Playing with your cat can be a fantastic way to bond while giving them much-needed enrichment. However, owners should stop encouraging their cats to hand play, as this can result in potentially harmful behaviors both for humans and cats. Cats are hardwired to chase and hunt, so when owners teach cats that hands are to be hunted, it can cause aggressive behavior from the cat.
Toys like laser pointers are excellent ways for cats to bat at something that moves without endangering your hands. By steering clear of hand play, owners are assured of having safe playtime with their cats.
Never feed your cat exclusively with dry food.
Feeding your feline a well-balanced diet that includes wet food is essential. Cats have evolved to live in dry environments and get water from their food. It's the reason why cats do not drink water much. This means that it's important to provide your cat with dry and wet food to help keep them hydrated. Chronic dehydration can result in significant health problems such as tooth decay, bladder stones, and urinary tract infections.
There is a misguided belief that feeding felines canned food will result in weight problems due to the higher fat content. This is not always true; canned food keeps your cat healthy when fed in small amounts. When you stop feeding your cat exclusively with dry food, it will help keep them healthy and hydrated. Talk to your vet about what food best meets your cat's demands.
Never free-feed your cat.
Be mindful of how much food you give your cat. Free feeding, or allowing your cat to eat whenever they want, can lead to overeating. And overeating is linked to obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and joint pain, among many other health issues.
Never give your feline bones to eat or consume.
Cats should never be given animal bones to chew on or eat. Bones can splinter and get stuck in the throat, stomach, or intestines. Poultry bones are particularly harmful to cats because they are small and tend to break quickly.
In addition to not feeding your cat with bones, make sure that any fish or meat you give your cat is totally without bones. It's a wise habit to keep an eye on your pet when eating treats in case something unforeseen happens.
Do not shave your cat (unless your vet instructed you to do so).
Cats are naturally equipped with fur that serves an important function. The coat helps to control body temperature, keeping cats warm in winter and cool during summer. If you wish to groom your cat, bathing and brushing are better options than shaving. Shaving affects their capacity to regulate body temperatures, which can be detrimental for your cat.
There may be times, however, when you need to shave your cat's hair for clinical reasons. But it is harmful to cats to have closely cropped hair for aesthetic purposes.
Never give your cat human (or canine) medicine.
Never give your cat any medicine meant for humans or dogs. Cats have different metabolic rates than humans and dogs, so any medication that is safe for dogs can harm cats. Always contact your veterinarian before giving your feline any drug, whether prescription or nonprescription.
For example, acetaminophen, which can be found in many pain relievers for humans, is very toxic to felines. Even a small dosage can cause severe liver damage and death. Ibuprofen can be dangerous if given to cats without appropriate veterinary supervision. Avoid giving your cat any human or canine medicine unless a veterinarian instructs.
Do not leave your cat alone and unsupervised for more than 24 hours.
Cats are often seen as a good pet choice for people who don't have the time or energy to devote to a more demanding dog. They are independent and can generally care for themselves, but that does not mean you can leave them for long periods without supervision. If you are not home for more than a day, you must ensure your cat has someone to care for them.
You can arrange for a relative or a friend to come by and check on your cat while you're away, or you can work with a certified pet sitter who will care for your cat. It might seem like an unneeded expense, but it's worth it if it means keeping your cat safe while you're away.
Never ignore changes in behavior you notice in your cat.
Cats are very efficient in concealing pain, so it can be hard to tell when something is wrong. That's why owners should look closely at their cats' behavior and be aware of changes that may signal problems. Some common issues cats have are dental conditions and joint inflammation, which can be excruciating.
Don't ignore any changes in your cat's behavior! When cats are in pain, they might stop interacting, become reclusive, and even become hostile. Take action and get them checked if you suspect something isn't quite right. Routine checks with your vet are necessary to catch potential problems before they become out of hand.