I think there are very few souls who would deny that cats are incredibly interesting critters. Mysterious, reclusive, yet sometimes sweet and affectionate, it can also be said there are some real misconceptions and misunderstandings about felines. The thing new cat owners need to understand (and some things we will try to stress across this article) is that not all cats do the same things and react the same way to things. Much of how your cat behaves will not come down to the fact that it is a cat, but the fact of what kind of breed it is. Here are ten most common mistakes new cat owners make.
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Assume Their Cat Is Fiercely Independent
This is one of the more common mistakes new cat owners make. You have a cat, so you naturally assume it will be independent and not really need you that much. Yes, while it can be said that a cat is very different than a dog, their level of dependence will come down to what breed you have. In other words, if you have a loving lap cat that you think doesn’t need you so you ignore it, you are in the wrong and misinformed.
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Lack Of Parasite Control
It is a cat, so again, some new owners thinks this makes them less maintenance than a dog. The fact of the matter is, your cat will be prone to parasites, ticks, hookworms, and so on, just like a dog. Talk to your vet early about potential parasitic control for your cat by telling them the breed, the cat’s habits, and whether it is indoor or outdoor. These factors will help quite a bit in protecting your cat.
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Think All Cats and Dogs Hate Each Other
Again, it comes down to breed. There may be some breeds of cat and dog that are not likely to get along (prey drive can factor is, as cats are often smaller). But to think that in general is wrong. Look at the above pic, and the millions like them on the web. Just do some research on your breed and how it reacts to other animals. But don’t naturally assume that your cat will hate any other animal. There are breeds that love attention and affection, no matter where they can get it. Plus, who doesn’t want a friend?
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While it can and should be noted that tiny, new born kittens are pretty fragile, cats are incredibly powerful, strong, and adaptive creatures. While it is okay to treat your cat with a protective nature, it is also important that you let a cat be a cat. This means, don’t panic when they do some exploring, or climb a book shelf here or there. Just make sure the things around the house the cat may be attracted to play with are secure and can hold or support the cat. Remember, they always land on their feet.
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Ignore the Litter Box
This is a very common mistake new cats owners make. Perhaps they are not used to having to change the litter yet. Or maybe they understand it is a smelly and at times, unpleasant, job. But cats are VERY clean creatures. They do not want to be around something that smells, either. If you respect yourself, your cat, and any potential house guests, you will refresh the litter daily. Clumping litter is great for this, and makes it easier. Your cat will respect more in the end, too.
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Feeding Dry Food
We understand it may be cheaper, and we also understand how hard it is to struggle this modern day and age with finances. But let it be known, right here, right now, that giving a cat kibble is the worst thing you can do for your cat’s health, food wise. They often lack the nutrients and nourishment needed for a cat. It is a simple enough mistake, and we are sorry you have to feel it in the wallet. But that would like if someone was making you eat instant mashed potatoes for dinner, every night. In the long run, it does no good.
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Not Brushing Their Teeth
We know, we know. You didn’t know brushing your cat’s teeth was a part of having a cat. Well guess what? A great many dog owners don’t know their dogs require this, too. Your cats will be eating food (sometimes treats), and it cleans itself with its mouth. So do you think a dirty mouth is a good thing for a cat to have? You don’t have to do it daily, but trust us. Cats end up getting dental issues that have the potential to be a lot more costly and upsetting than just a brush a few times a week. You feel me?
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They Groom Themselves
This is sort of a companion piece to the above mentioned issue. Yes, cats groom themselves. But guess what? Cats will sometimes make a mess. Get into something they shouldn’t. Or God forbid, spray. While they prefer taking care of themselves, you will need to give your cat baths and such. even if they like it or not. One of the more common mistakes new cat owners make, they realize how off they are about this one pretty quickly. By the way, a slow introduction to water and grooming over time will make the process way easier.
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They Need To Be Out Doors
There are people who feel guilty about keeping their cats inside, as they are cats. Cats in the wild live a wild life. So they get a cat in an apt in a city, and they feel bad for it all the time. This is counter productive to your life, and to the energy the cat wants around it. Some cats are perfectly fine just sitting in a warm lap while the person they love most watches TV and has tea. Do some breed research and find out what breed fits what you are looking for best. But don’t walk around being a sad sack or feeling bad for your cat. Fact is, some domesticated cats don’t ever want to go outside.
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No Need to Train
This is another huge misconception some cat owners have. Cats are smart in independent (which they are) so they don’t require any training (which is false). While it is true they would not require the level of training a dog may need early on, you should train your cats about certain things. Cats are curious, and if you don’t lay some boundaries down and let them know you are the alpha and they need to follow some rules, there will be no rules. In the long run, that can be tougher on both of you. So do a little training early on. It can make all the difference.
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