Top Tips to Protect Cats from Harm
If you are a cat lover, you could not possibly imagine causing harm to your own pet or to any other cat. And yet, there are pet owners who would still cause harm without a second thought.
Please be careful to ensure that you are never guilty of such thoughtless actions and of course teaching your own children, friends and others to be careful too.
- Shouting. Feline ears are especially sensitive to loud noises so if you start shouting at them, they could be more terrified than you could imagine. It should be avoided at all costs.
- Taking no notice of their pain or discomfort. Your cat will be unlikely to let you know if they are suffering in any way. Be aware if they repeatedly chew at a sore spot somewhere on their body or keep scratching their ears. Another sign is if your cat goes off and hides away for hours at a time. Any different behaviour to their normal habits is should be a cause for concern and investigation.
- Turning off the lights. You might not think it is important but always be careful not to leave your cat alone at home without any lights on. They can feel abandoned and alone. So before you go out, just switch on a lamp or two for their benefit.
- Keeping the litter box clean. Cats are very clean and fastidious animals. Please make sure that their litter box is kept clean and cleared out regularly just as in the same way, your own toilet is kept clean and sanitary.
- No teasing! This is one where you have to keep an eye on young children who might be tempted to tease a cat. Actions like pulling their tail, blowing in their face, disturbing them when they are sleeping or anything which causes discomfort should be discouraged at all costs.
- Keeping an eye on your cat's grooming habits. Depending on the thickness or length of your cat's fur, they can really benefit from regular grooming and brushing. It can help prevent the discomfort of hairballs too. Take care to check your cat's ears for mites - a sign could be constantly scratching or shaking their head repeatedly. Look out for any problems with chewing which could be a sign of gum or tooth trouble. Of course, if you are concerned with any aspect of your cat's health and wellbeing, a trip to the vet is advisable. Remember that cats can absorb toxic substances through their skin.
- Punishment. This should never be necessary. A pet is never going to be able to understand nor equate a punishment with anything they have done. Let it go. For example, if you get upset about a cat catching wildlife, this post might help.
- Neglect. Sometimes, you wonder why people even bother to have a pet. They need companionship and attention in the same way as we do. Your cat will become very confused and lonely if you never give them any love, attention, conversation or interaction. Think about what they need and provide for that. For example, learn how to keep your pets cool in hot weather.
- Providing clean water and a clean dish. Cats are of course quite self-sufficient but even they are not able to provide their own drinking water and clean dish that is the right size for them to you use. That is your responsibility and in the same way to provide them with a nutritious and regular source of food.
- Hurting pets. This is a complete "no go" area and of course something to keep an eye on if young children are around. Hurting cats is guaranteed to inflect fear and can easily and quickly break their spirit. Whether physical or emotional, pain will teach cats to fear people and even to lash out in defence.
Take care of your pets and they will reward you with love and devotion.
Nancy Huggins, Laurel, MD.Humane Society of the United States: “Outdoor Cats: Frequently Asked Questions.”
ASPCA: “Your Cat – Indoors or Out.”
Chris Miller; DVM, co-owner, Atlas District Veterinary Hospital, Washington DC.
Ariel Mosenco DVM, DACVIM, associate professor of internal medicine, University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School of Medicine.