Biggest Mistakes Cat Owners Make
By Dr. Marty Becker
Photo by bloominheck.tumblr.com
We all want what’s best for our pets, don’t we? As a veteran veterinarian (more than three decades in practice), I’ve looked across the exam room table at enough pet owners to know that the overwhelming majority truly are trying their best. Even when they don’t take our recommendations - especially when they want to, but can’t usually because they can’t afford it.
But what if I told you that I can set your cat on the road to getting healthy and staying healthy with just a few simple don’t-do-this tips? And what if I told you they were basically free?
5 Things to Stop Doing, Right Now
I have your attention now, right? So let’s take a look at my top five recommendations for things cat lovers should never, ever do.
1. Let your cat roam freely. Yes, I’m going to jump right in with the most controversial recommendation of them all. I know that in the United States, most feline behavior experts and veterinarians are strong advocates for keeping cats indoors. And I know, further, that a rather large proportion of cat lovers let their cats roam free. (Interesting fact: In the United Kingdom, it’s considered downright odd to keep cats from roaming, and some would go so far as to say it’s abusive.) And I know my advice may seem contradictory, considering that the only cats at our Almost Heaven Ranch are the barn cats. But as a veterinarian, I’ve seen enough cats hit by cars, attacked by dogs or coyotes, or poisoned - accidentally and intentionally - to know that when you let your cat roam, you’re likely shortening his life. The quality of an indoor cat’s life can be brought to parity with his free-roaming cohort by adding trees, toys and catios to his indoor space, or by allowing him into areas secured with cat fencing - while you keep an eye out for predators.