Cats like their alone time. And they like to be social. Cats don’t like to be bored. Let’s face it, people still think cats are mysterious, aloof and not affectionate. People also think living with a cat is easier than living with a dog…
But cat pet parents know differently. Your cat will let you know when (and if) she wants to play, socialize or just wants her alone time. It’s about the quality of life you share with your kitty.
Yet, there are challenges in parenting a cat. “Easy” is a relative term when it comes to living with your cat.
A short list of cat parenting reminders include:
Cats need to play. Exercise and mental stimulation will keep you cat happy. Veterinarians recommend 15 minutes of play time each day.
Feather chasing, tracking a string, or jumping to catch bubbles will make her a happy and healthy cat.
Cats need regular grooming. Regular brushing keeps down shedding and helps to prevent hairballs. An added bonus is that brushing keeps your cat cool. In a hot climate, it’s more important to groom your kitty.
Your cat will appreciate a professional grooming during the hot summer months.
Cats get bored. As social animals, cats enjoy human companionship.
If you work long hours, think about a cat buddy for your furry pet. A cat duo can stimulate each other with play time and interactive toys. Cat trees are important to socialize and energize your cat.
Outdoor cats are always in danger. Always. Many people think a happy cat is an outdoor cat. Dr. Pet Mom supports whatever decision pet parents make about their cats’ live.
Pet reality check: Living indoors will increase your cat’s life by avoiding exposure to parasites, diseases, traffic, predators, injuries and worse.
If you let your cat outdoors, be sure to bring her inside before dark. Be creative and train your cat with a leash. Build a catio or some outdoor enclosure for safety.
Be aware of toxic plants in your home. Greening your home is wonderful. But kittens and cats love to chew things. Many common plants are toxic to cats.
Keep your veterinarian’s number on hand for any emergency. Before you green your home, visit the ASPCA database of toxic and non-toxic plants for pets.
Safe and pet-friendly plants include:
- Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
- Staghorn fern (Platycerium)
- Button fern (Pellaea rotundifolia)
- Spider plant
- African violet
Clean the litter box every day. Cats love to be clean in every way. If you change the litter box once or twice a day, it’s not that bad.
Regular cleaning helps you monitor your cat’s bathroom habits and track any health issues.
Cats hide their illness and injuries. Cats are survivors. Any sign of weakness puts them at great risk for a predator attack.
At home, it’s frustrating not knowing what’s wrong with your cat. Your job as a cat parent: Observe your cat. Watch his daily habits, activity level or how he walks. And schedule regular vet visits.
Cat parenting is not cheap. As with any family member, you will have expenses for your cat.
Toys, veterinary bills, food, litter, and grooming costs should be part of your budget. When you adopt a cat, your spay or neutering costs will be covered.
Many people have allergies. Cat hair can trigger allergies (runny nose, itchy eyes).
Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Vacuuming and an air purifier can help. Remember that children who grow up with cats are less likely to have asthma or allergies as adults.
Learn to brush your cat’s teeth. If you can start this habit when your pet is a kitten, she will be more comfortable as an adult.
Regardless of age, you can learn to brush your cat’s teeth. Ask your vet about brushing your cat’s teeth.
Brush the outside surfaces of your cat’s teeth and follow up with a reward. Try a cat toothbrush or a clear finger cat toothbrush.
Thanks for reading,
Dr. Pet Mom
“You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.“