6 Bad Habits Cat Owners Need to Quit
One of the biggest joys in life is having a pet. Our little furry friends give us so much love and joy essentially becoming members of our families. Debates between so-called dog and cat people are one thing both those groups had in common. That is love for their pets. As much is said about cats being lower maintenance than dogs, and how independent they are as opposed to dogs. It doesn’t mean you still don’t have to know how to take care of your cat properly. Cats may not need to be walked or have company all the time, but they have their specific personalities and needs you need to consider. Sometimes, even though they have good intentions, owners unknowingly do more damage than good for their cats. So today, we will explore some bad habits cat owners need to quit.
1. Giving cats milk
Cats love milk—that is absolutely true. You would be hard-pressed to find a kitten or an adult cat that will refuse a bowl of milk. But the main question. “Should you give milk to your cats?” The answer is no. Surprisingly milk is not good for your cats’ health. Most cat owners don’t know this, but cats are actually lactose intolerant. They don’t have the necessary enzymes to digest cows’ milk. Could cause painful gastrointestinal problems. Your cat might vomit, have diarrhea, or experience strong cramps. The confusion comes from the fact that cats really love milk, and their owners want to give them milk as a treat. Milk shouldn’t be a part of your cats’ diet, not even as a treat from time to time. If you really want to treat your cat, you can give them some lactose-free milk on rare occasions.
2. Allowing grazing
While cats are very independent and don’t need your help with a lot of things, they still need you to keep track of their feeding. Too often, cat owners fill up cat bowls to the brim with dry food and let them eat whenever they like, the whole day. This is a completely wrong approach, and it is harmful to your cats’ well-being. Cats don’t have great control when it comes to eating, and they need you to give them structure. Letting cats graze all day can lead to your cat becoming obese and developing diabetes. In addition to that, it can lead to kidney disease, which can be fatal for cats. You need to schedule your cats’ feeding times and leave the exact amount of food they should eat. It’s best to consult a veterinarian about how much food a cat should eat. It will obviously change as your cat grows and gets older.
3. Yelling at cats
This is a question for all cat owners. Have you ever found yourself packing an old and fragile piece of furniture for storage because you don’t want your cat to destroy it? While this is a great way to protect it, it is not the solution to your problem. Cats will, unfortunately often scratch furniture and curtains in your home. And it is natural that, as every responsible owner, you have the urge to discipline them. Unfortunately, cat owners usually do that in the worst way possible, and that is by yelling. While raising your tone to discipline your cat seems logical; it is actually a wrong approach. Cats don’t respond well to loud noises. It doesn’t discipline them; it makes them really scared and anxious. And you should never put your pet through so much stress. Focus on positive affirmation instead. When your cat does something well, like peeing in the litter box, reward her with a treat. Your cats are smart and will quickly learn the difference between right and wrong.
4. Forcing their cats to play with them
One point people who prefer dogs often make is that cats are cold and don’t give love to their owners as opposed to dogs who always want to cuddle. And while cats may seem that way, there is more to it than that. Cats don’t actually dislike the owners they just like to have their space and boundaries. But owners sometimes cross those boundaries and try and force their cats to play. This is never a good idea. Holding a cat against her will and trying to make her cuddle will only have the opposite effect. Cats don’t like being treated disrespectfully, and this will make them start disliking you. What you should do instead is let the cat come to you. Cats show affection by sitting in your lap, purring, or rubbing their heads against you. Just follow their lead, and it will be ok.
5. Avoiding the vet
One of the bad habits cat owners need to quit is avoiding taking their cats to the wet. According to statistics, dog owners take their pets to the vet almost twice as much as cat owners do. This is very irresponsible behavior. There is no excuse when it comes to neglecting your cat’s health. If you notice your cat showing signs of illness or general weakness, take it to a professional. Maybe it will be a false alarm, and your cat is completely fine, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Because in some cases, your cat is not okay, the illness won’t go away on its own, and it can turn into something much more fatal. Even if your cat isn’t showing any troubling symptoms, you should take her to a vet at least twice a year for a general check-up.
6. Giving them just dry food
When it comes to cat food, owners prefer giving their cats dry food. It’s much easier to store and doesn’t make a big mess. But keeping your cats on a dry food-only diet is not the right approach. Cats need enough water to be healthy and happy. And they get most of their water from wet food. Giving them only dry food will lead to cats being dehydrated and at risk of kidney and bladder problems. Make sure your cats have enough water in their diet and don’t rely only on dry food, even if it is more practical.
Having a pet requires effort and research. Hopefully, this article about some of the bad habits cat owners needs to quit was helpful and eye-opening. But if you are ever in a situation with your cat where you don’t know what the right to do, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.