A lack of understanding or ignorance of a cat’s nature and needs can lead owners to make harmful mistakes that should be avoided so that these animals are healthy and happy. Otherwise, the cat will get sick. “They may develop chronic stress, anxiety, cystitis, obesity, aggression or behavioral problems, such as improper use of the sandbox,” explains Susana García, certified veterinarian with the Spanish Association of Small Animal Veterinary Professionals (AVEPA) and scientific director of VerPartners. .
Cats are predators, and one of the classic mistakes they often make has to do with using the home space in which they live. “Cats need an environment where they can develop their hunting instincts, such as hiding places or high places to control their territory, so it is recommended that they have easy access to these places, such as shelves high on the wall or play areas.” Target them specifically,” advises Garcia. The expert emphasizes the everyday nature of cats and how much they dislike unforeseen changes: “They get stressed out by frequent new things in the home because they feel calm and do not like the predictable. They feel comfortable with things, so they don’t like situations such as moving. Or living in a stranger’s home. When several cats live together, the home must be adapted to specific circumstances. “Each individual must be independently provided with its own resources, such as a waterer, feeder, sandbox or resting place. ” He also stressed that we must avoid “poisonous plants such as oleanders or lilies, as well as scolding them, beating them or feeding them low-quality food.”
Nine mistakes to avoid when raising a cat
A range of mistakes that cats commonly make that put their health at risk have to do with issues ranging from food to play to hydration, says Tania Bay, director of the Neko Felina Clinic and a member of the Feline Society. Those errors mentioned by Tania Velasco. Group of Feline Medicine Specialists (GEMFE) Scientific Committee:
- Felines eating an inadequate diet that does not adequately meet their nutritional needs, such as a vegetarian diet (they are strict carnivores) or using dog food, may lead to health problems such as retinal atrophy or cardiomyopathy. Certain foods may cause digestive problems or poisoning, such as chocolate, garlic, onions, avocados, or broccoli.
- Lack of proper hydration, as they are animals from a desert environment, so their urine is highly concentrated, which makes them susceptible to dehydration. They need readily available fresh water and canned wet food just for them. This type of diet is less fattening than dry food and therefore prevents cats from becoming obese, which can lead to conditions such as feline diabetes.
- Standardize and encourage a sedentary lifestyle. Cats need physical activity to stimulate their hunting instincts through play and to avoid behavioral problems and stress. It is recommended to enrich their environment with play accessories (such as fishing rods or dusters), scratching posts, and elevated seating areas (platforms for climbing or cat towers).
- Treat vomiting as normal. It may indicate food intolerance, digestive tumors or intestinal inflammation, so consultation with a specialist is recommended. It is not recommended to attribute all gastrointestinal symptoms to hairballs, as healthy shorthair cats should not vomit frequently.
- Avoid rough play, such as using your hands, to prevent aggressive behavior and injury. This practice can stimulate the cat to believe that its hands or feet are prey, so the use of specific feline toys is recommended.
- Cats that don’t go outside lack vaccinations and deworming. Even if a feline cannot be exposed to the outside world, it can be infected with internal parasites that can also affect humans, which is why these veterinary treatments are recommended.
- Avoid taking your cat to the vet as it can cause stress. This is dangerous to the animal’s health because it can lead to a delay in diagnosis. There are ways to reduce this tension, such as using relaxing olfactory pheromones.
- Neglecting weight control. Rapid detection of weight loss or gain is key to treating the disease that causes these physical changes, so it is recommended to weigh your cat regularly and record the results.
- Confusing coughing with passing hairballs. In fact, it could be bronchitis or a heart problem that should be treated by a specialist as soon as possible.