10 Common Mistakes Cat Owners Make
By Dr. Karen Becker -Proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian
Note from The Catnip Times: I personally take exception to #7 below. I feed my cats both wet and dry food. I choose organic, grain-free brands of food that are human-grade. I do believe the dry food has to be top quality, grain free and organic for optimum health. I have heard that some vets encourage wet food if a cat isn’t well hydrated, but otherwise, there is a long-standing debate over wet vs. dry food. Dry food is also good for the teeth and preventing tartar build-up. Ultimately, you should consult your veterinarian.
Cats require specialized care, which is a fact even many cat lovers don’t realize.
Ten common mistakes people owned by cats make:
1. Using products intended for dogs on their cat. Under certain circumstances, this can prove to be a fatal mistake. Never assume any product designed for dogs is safe for cats as well. Use only products that clearly state they are safe for kitties.
2. Giving human medications. This, too, can prove fatal. Always consult your veterinarian before medicating your kitty.
3. Allowing Fluffy to grow obese. Over half the domesticated cats in the U.S. are overfed and under-exercised.
4. Inattention to the litter box. Cats are extremely clean creatures. They don’t like dirty, smelly litter. They also have individual preferences when it comes to types of litter and litter boxes.
5. Taking a hands-off approach to your cat. It’s true kitties are independent and self-sufficient by nature, but your furry feline still needs your help with brushing or combing, nail trims, dental hygiene and even the occasional bath.
6. Not taking Garfield to the vet for regular wellness checkups. Just because kitty doesn’t like to visit the vet (or even leave the house) doesn’t mean he shouldn’t. Housecats are much less likely to see a vet regularly than their canine counterparts, to the detriment of their good health.
7. Feeding dry food. Dry kibble is hands-down the worst thing you can feed your precious kitty. Most brands are devoid of exactly the kind of nourishment your cat needs to be healthy all her life. If you’re feeding your cat dry food, I recommend you start today to make gradual improvements in her diet.
8. Misinterpreting behavior changes in your kitty. Cats are stoic creatures. As a result, it can be challenging to know when your favorite feline isn’t feeling well. One thing to look for is any change in his behavior, and in particular his litter box habits. Never assume a kitty that suddenly starts eliminating outside his box is misbehaving just to misbehave. Something about his health or his environment is causing the change, and he’s depending on you to help him sort it out.
9. Assuming it’s normal for your cat to throw up. It’s not. While it’s true too many cats vomit too often, throwing up is a sign of an underlying problem that requires attention. There are reasons kitties throw up. Hairballs are just one of them.
10. Not brushing those tiny teeth. Dental disease is one of the most common reasons cats visit the vet, and also one of the most costly. Dental disease isn’t always confined to the mouth, either. It can lead to a host of other health problems for your furry feline.