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Cat Care Mistakes

August 3, 2023

Are you about to join the ranks of people owned by cats? If so, you’re in good company: about a quarter of American households include at least one feline family member. There’s a good reason for Fluffy’s popularity: these little furballs are not only super cute, they’re also clean, charming, and easy to care for. However, there are some definite don’ts to be aware of. Read on as a local Rockbridge, VA vet lists a few ‘faux paws’ of kitty ownership.

Negative Reinforcement

Many first-time cat owners become frustrated by behaviors they see as naughty, such as scratching improperly or jumping on counters. Granted, Fluffy has her bouts of cattitude. However, for the most part, these are instinctive behaviors. Never punish your pet for these things: she’s just doing what comes naturally. Instead, help shape her behavior by rewarding her for being good. For instance, offer a scratching post, and give her treats and praise for using it.

Forced Attention

This may very well be the golden rule of cat care. Never force attention on a kitty that isn’t feeling it! For one thing, that may just get you scratched. Plus, it could make Fluffy wary of you. Let your feline pal determine when it’s time to cuddle, and when it’s time to move on. Some cats only tolerate being held for a few minutes. That’s purrfectly fine. (Your furball may also want to snuggle or play while you’re in the middle of something, but that’s another topic.)

Letting Fluffy Roam

While it’s true that some areas are more dangerous than others, Fluffy is always better off staying indoors. As soon as your furry little friend sets her paws outside, she’s vulnerable to a slew of threats, such as cars, weather, other animals, and parasites. Keeping your cat inside also greatly reduces—or even eliminates—the risk of her being lost or stolen.

Lack Of Veterinary Care

Fluffy is quite hardy, but she still needs veterinary care. It’s both cheaper and easier to keep up with wellness care and preventative care than to treat infestations or disease. For most indoor kitties, your vet may recommend coming in every year or even every other year. However, appointment schedules and care needs vary from cat to cat. Ask your vet for more information

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Rockbridge, VA pet hospital, today!

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