Cats are very affectionate animals. Their adorability, ease of care, cleanliness, and many more favourable traits make them awesome pets. Although they’re quite easy to care for, it is important that you know the common mistakes with caring for cats. So if you own a cat, or are interested in owning one, here are 7 common mistakes cat owners make that you might want to avoid:
1. Likening Cats to Dogs
If you are seeking an especially loyal, obedient, or loving animal, then cat is not that animal, because unlike dogs, cats are generally much more independent and solitary. Only when they want them do cats seek human companionship and affection.
2. Not Deworming or Vaccinating the Cat
Another common mistake when caring for cats is to not deworm them. It is recommended to deworm internally every three months and apply an anti-flea product monthly, mainly during summer.
On vaccination, many cat owners make the mistake of not providing the cats with vet attention by thinking that because they don’t leave the home, they can’t contract any diseases or have parasites. There are protocols of specific vaccines for cats that live in the house and the ones that have access to the outside as the risk level is not the same. Visit a vet and identify a vaccine schedule that works for your pet’s lifestyle and characteristics.
3. Adopting Cats When They're Too Young
This is one of the most common mistakes some people make. You should never adopt a cat when it’s less than one month old. Reason being that it takes four to six weeks to wean a kitten, with most kittens completely weaned between eight and ten weeks. Since cats are naturally more socially awkward animals, the idea here is to allow them learn all the typical behaviours of their species while socialising with their mother and siblings.
Even though you’ll provide them all the necessary care and nutrition, it is always better for the animals to be with their mother throughout their lactation period.
Dogs are generally much easier to train than cats. To educate a cat, what you should do is first gain their trust. Another vital tip is playing regularly with them, while clearly correcting them when they have done something wrong without any form of force or violence.
5. Not Avoiding Hairballs
One of few mistakes made in relation to cats’ feeding is not using specific products to avoid the formation of hairballs in the cat’s stomach.
Hairballs in cats are unpleasant - they can cause intestinal blockages, which can be a serious health problem for your cat. Cats are extremely clean animals, which are frequently groomed and can mouth large amounts of hair, forming hairballs which can cause diarrhea, lack of appetite, constipation, lethargy, and vomiting.
Thankfully, there are specific feeds to avoid problems caused by hairballs. There are also products available in specialised stores and veterinary centres which are very useful in preventing this problem.
6. Not Sterilising: For about a week during spring and summer, cats are in heat. In this period, many males try to escape when they perceive that there is a female cat in heat nearby and can even be aggressive with other males. While some studies insist that Castration is unlikely to calm an overactive cat or decrease aggression toward people, other studies have shown castration decreases their aggressive behaviour and its associated risks.
Breeding seasons -which is practically year-round; typically starts in February and lasts as late as December- for cats can bring some behaviors that may seem uncomfortable for humans in addition to some dangers to a kitten’s health. Cats that have outdoor access must be spayed, otherwise, it is very likely that in no time they will have numerous and most likely unwanted offspring.
7. Overweight in Spayed Cats
Another huge mistake cat owners make is not controlling their weight, largely in neutered animals. Due to hormonal issues, castrated cats have a likelihood to gain more weight. It is therefore recommended to feed them with a low calorie diet.
It is however essential that you give the cat the amount recommended by your vet as it is very possible that a cat taking low calorie food but still eating uncontrollably, will keep putting on weight, even if they are fed light food.