Do you have a cat?
Or maybe you’re considering adding a cat to your family?
Either way- bringing home a feline friend is a major decision…
Even though cats have earned a reputation for being more independent than their canine counterparts, they still require a great deal of time, effort, and money to care for.
Being a cat owner comes with responsibilities that you need to take seriously to ensure a happy and healthy feline!
Here are some things that all cat owners (new and old) should know:
-As a cat owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your pet is spayed or neutered and do your part to help address the cat overpopulation issue. Spaying or neutering will help prevent issues such as aggressive behavior in your male cat or yowling in female cats when they’re in heat—but most importantly, it will eliminate the risk of ending up with a surprise litter of unwanted kittens that will be costly and time-consuming to care for and adopt out. Spaying or neutering your cat also helps protect them from numerous health issues, ranging from cancerous tumors to bacterial infections!
-When you bring in your cat to be spayed or neutered, your veterinarian may ask if you’d like to declaw your cat at the same time. While there are still veterinarians who consider this surgery a routine art of cat ownership, many consider it inhumane and unnecessary, and it is even banned in many countries and U.S. states such as New York. As a cat owner, be sure to do your research to determine where you stand and make an informed decision, as cat declawing requires the surgical amputation of the end bones in your cat’s toes and not just a trim of its nails.
-As long as you keep your cat’s litter box clean most cats are more than happy to consistently use their litter box. Maintenance will include scooping, scrubbing, and litter replacement. There are also a bunch of different litter box maintenance products that can help make cleaning your cats litter box less of a chore! Your cat’s litter box habits can also alert you to any potential health problems; cats that suddenly start urinating outside of their litter box, for example, can be a clue that they may be dealing with a urinary tract issue and need an immediate visit to the vet.
-Its important as a cat owner to understand basic cat behavior. Sometimes new cat owners will expect their new four-legged friend to greet them at the door or snuggle with them just like a dog would, but as many of us seasoned cat owners know, this isn’t always the case. It’s easy to become frustrated by typical feline behaviors that humans don’t always fully understand, such as their penchant for seeking out high or enclosed places to observe you instead of curling in your lap on the couch but it’s important that we stay patient and try and learn from our cat. It may take time for them to warm up to you and adjust to your lifestyle, as well as for you to adapt to their unique personalities and behaviors. A cat can offer years of love and companionship, but only if you’re willing to put in the time and effort into building a relationship with them on their terms and understand when your cat is just being a cat.
-There’s a common misconception that cats don’t need to go to the vet as often as dogs, or that they don’t need to be vaccinated because many cats rarely leave the confines of their house. However, cats must receive the same care as dogs; some vaccines are necessary for all cats, regardless of whether they are indoor or outdoor cats. And it’s just as important that they have access to annual examinations to help catch any problems that could result in more serious health issues. Be sure to research veterinarians in your area, ask lots of questions, and find the right vet to partner with to help ensure your kitty lives a long, healthy life.