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While cats are pretty low-maintenance pets, it’s important to remember that they still need some attention and care if they’re going to stay healthy and happy. If you’re a cat owner, here are 7 mistakes you might be making that could be hurting your cats and making life more difficult for both of you.
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Feeding your cat only wet food
One of the top mistakes cat owners make is serving their cats only wet food. While wet cat food certainly has its benefits, it’s also important to serve your kitty a little dry food every day. Dry food can help reduce plaque buildup on your cat’s teeth, which helps lower her risk of developing gum disease or losing teeth early. However, most cats refuse to eat dry food if they aren’t introduced to it at an early age—before four months of age.
Leaving them alone
While your cats may seem like they're totally fine going outside by themselves, it can be really dangerous for them. A cat's best defense is its ability to hide, and if your cat gets scared, there's nowhere for them to go. They'll likely get hit by a car or eat something poisonous because they don't have anyone around to protect them from things in their environment. Keep your cats inside and safe!
While social media can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, it’s also easy to become too dependent on it. If you start feeling a little lost when your favorite app isn’t nearby, consider taking some time off. Some studies have even shown that social media can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression in some users. So if you feel like things are getting a little out of hand, don’t be afraid to step away from the screen. It might do you some good (and your cats will thank you).
Providing them with human medicine
Giving the cat medicine that was prescribed for you or another pet is a big no-no. They metabolize drugs differently than humans and are susceptible to toxicity. As if that weren’t scary enough, most vets will tell you they’ve seen cats die after their owners gave them human drugs, with aspirin being a common culprit. If your cat is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, consult your veterinarian and follow her advice; do not attempt to self-diagnose and treat with medications from your medicine cabinet. If you wouldn’t take it yourself, don’t give it to your cart!
When they meow, I get them.
When your cat meows, it doesn’t mean it wants to be picked up. When you pick up a cat without being invited, you are rewarding him for bad behavior (screeching). If you must pick your cat up, make sure to reward him afterward with a treat or a brushing session. The Humane Society of America advises that if your cat is misbehaving, ignore his behavior and wait until he stops doing whatever it is he’s doing wrong before interacting with him. The less attention you give your kitten when he’s making noises, the less likely he is to do so in the future.
Being concerned about how much they shed
Whether you like it or not, shedding is just a fact of life for cats. There’s no magical solution to make your feline friend stop losing hair—she’s probably in her prime right now, and fur is just part of being a cat. Instead of stressing over how much they shed, owners should focus on making sure their cats are regularly groomed with tools like brushes and combs. The more time you spend grooming your cat, the less time she has to shed all over your furniture.
Allow them to sleep in your bed.
The National Capital Feline Rescue estimates that 50 percent of cats sleep in their owners’ beds. This is a problem because, unlike humans, felines don’t get cold and prefer to keep warm by snuggling with each other. If you allow your cat to sleep in your bed, not only are you risking catching an upper respiratory infection from them (which can be particularly hard on seniors), but also smothering them or feeling stressed out when they want to play at 3:00 a.m., for example. And don’t assume that letting your cat sleep with you doesn’t hurt him—it can make his spine curve as he gets older and lead to back pain and arthritis as well as weight gain due to lack of exercise.
If you're feeding your cat only wet food or leaving them alone, you're hurting them. Giving them human medicine prescribed for you or another pet is also a no-no. Too much reliance on social media can make you and your cat both feel stressed and anxious. If your cat is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, consult your veterinarian. There's no magical solution to make your feline friend stop shedding hair. Letting your cat sleep in your bed can cause back pain and arthritis as well as weight gain due to lack of exercise.