Taking care of cats can be a challenging responsibility. But there are certain rules that should be obvious to everyone. Feed them, keep them clean, and make sure their litter box is always fresh. Beyond these rules, there are certain things that you should never do to your cat that you might not even realize.
So take a walk on the feline side and check out this list of the 30 things you should never do to your cat.
1. Don’t punish your cat
Even the most intelligent cats don’t learn lessons the same ways that humans do. So when you punish a cat, you aren’t teaching them to avoid certain behaviors, you can often make them more aggressive or withdrawn. Instead, try positive reinforcement for good behaviors or ignore them when they’re being naughty.
2. Never keep your cat from enjoying the outdoors
We don’t mean you should let your cats wander outside, because that’s not a great idea. But keep your window blinds open or make small cracks for fresh air. This keeps your cats entertained and gives them important sources of fresh air and sunlight throughout the day.
3. Never let your cats share the same litter box
We know litterboxes can be messy, but avoid the urge to have your cats share the same litter box. Cats are very private creatures so having to share the same litter can lead to undue stress and possible arguments between your kitties. This also guarantees that every cat has its own private space which leads to healthier cats. It also makes it easier to tell which cat is sick if you notice something wrong.
4. Never declaw your cat
Cat scratches can damage furniture, clothes, and other items around your home. But declawing your cat does more than preserve your things. Did you know that declawing removes an actual part of your cat’s toes? Try using cat sprays, scratching tape, or scratching posts to give your cats something to scratch that won’t hurt them or your things.
5. Never avoid washing the water bowl
Avoid the mistake of thinking throwing out the old water is all you have to do. Water left standing is a huge source of molds and potentially harmful microorganisms that your cat shouldn’t be drinking. Rinse and wash your cat’s water dish every day for the best clean.
6. Never back your cat into a corner
Cat’s may be domesticated animals, but they still have plenty of natural instincts to keep them safe. When you back a cat into a corner you are giving them the feeling that they are in danger. This makes cats either extra aggressive and defensive or particularly shy and scared and neither is good for your cat’s feelings.
7. Never let your cats wander alone
Your indoor pets should never be let outdoors on their own. This can lead to your cat getting injured by vehicles, other animals, and even humans who may not understand the needs of your pet. If you want to take your cat outdoors, consider keeping them in your arms or in a purse and make sure they have IDs and chips.
8. Never avoid taking your cats to the vet
Regular vet visits are the best way to make sure your cats are in the best health. Even cats who seem to be acting normal might have problems that we miss without a skilled vet’s examination. At the very least, your vet can spot problems before they start and give you the tools and medicine you need to make sure they are fine.
9. Never push your cats off the counter
We know that curious kittens can get annoying, especially if they are crawling and hopping where you cook your food. But pushing your cats off the counter can lead to injuries and emotional distress. If you need your cats removed from a situation, consider picking them up and placing them somewhere else, and shutting the door behind you. It’s safer for everyone!
10. Never stuff and overfeed your cats
Chunky and chonky cats may look cute, but this is incredibly unhealthy for nearly all breeds of cats. Not only can overfeeding lead to a host of harmful diseases and illnesses, but it can limit your cat’s mobility which can lead to unhappiness. If your cats are in good health, then follow recommended feeding guidelines. If they are a little on the big side, then ask your vet about quality diet programs.
11. Don’t throw your cats
Even if you’re absolutely sure that you are throwing your cats safely, it’s never a good idea. This can lead to your cat feeling scared or threatened which can lead to shyness, anxiety, or aggression. In the worst-case scenarios, you could be causing harm to your cats. If you have to move your cats, pick them up, and carefully move them.
12. Never leave your cats alone in the dark
Believe it or not, but most cats don’t like being left alone in the dark. Cats prefer having lots of indoor or natural lighting throughout the day, even in the later parts of the evening. If you do have to leave your pets alone, be sure to give them some sources of light for comfort, since total darkness can lead to feelings of abandonment.
13. Never forget to spay or neuter your cat
Unless you love having a lot of kittens around the house, make sure your cats are spayed or neutered before five months of age. Not only will this control the pet population and keep your home from being overrun, but it also reduces the amount of spraying cats do to mark their territory. It’s also a great safe habit to follow.
14. Do not ignore hairballs
Cat hairballs are actually not just a normal activity. It can be a sign of gastrointestinal problems. If you notice your cat is having frequent hairballs then get them to a vet or find some medicines to help reduce the problem.
15. Never neglect the litter box
Cats like to have clean restrooms just like humans do. Make sure you clean your cat’s litter box regularly. That means scooping daily and replacing old litter no less than once a week. This keeps your litter boxes neat and your cats healthy.
16. Never stop giving love to your cats
Cats are a lot more affectionate than you might guess. They need love, affection, and attention like any other pet and even most people. Make time to give your pets love and attention and you’ll see happier and healthier cats.
17. Don’t dress up your cats
This might seem like a cute idea, but it can actually be bad for your cats. Not only does it affect their ability to socialize with other cats and pets, costumes can also be restrictive which can lead to harm or upset. If you want to spruce up your cats, then stick to baths and good pet care habits.
18. Don’t tease your cats with a laser pointer
This might seem like a lot of fun, but having your cats chase something they can never catch can lead to frustration. This frustration has been known to cause some cats to be more destructive around the house. If you want to play with your cat, stick with toys that they can touch or toys that have treats that they can earn.
19. Please don’t scare your cats on purpose
Scaring your pets isn’t as much fun as you think. Not only will you send your poor cat into a panic, but this can lead to feelings of isolation, frustration, and aggression. Your cats will be less friendly and may cause more harm to you, your guests, and your stuff around the home.
20. Always microchip your pets
If your cat gets out of the house or slips away from your home, you want to give them the best possible chance of being returned. Not only can a microchip make it easier for shelters to return your pets to you, it’s also a strong defense against thefts. Do yourself and your cat a favor and give them the chip.
21. Don’t hold your cat while you’re driving
We love holding our cats too, but driving isn’t the right time to do it. Not only can unruly or slippery cats distract you from the dangers of the road, they also make it harder to notice threats and react in time. Cats might also accidentally jump out of windows into open traffic which can lead to tragedy. If you have to drive with your cat, use a cat carrier for their safety.
22. Please don’t pull your cat’s tail
Cat tails are more than just cute things that swish side to side. They also help your cat maintain balance and move gracefully across your home. When you pull on a cat’s tail, even if you think you’re being gentle, you can affect their ability to move. This can also cause cats a lot of harm.
23. Pay attention to your cat’s body language
Your cat tells you how it’s feeling through its body language. The small motions and expressions it gives you will tell you if its upset, sick, or in need. Ignoring these motions and expressions can lead to your pet feeling frustrated and upset.
24. Be gentle when you play with your pets
While cats do enjoy physical play, if you toss them around you may end up hurting them. Learn to play with your pet without causing them harm. Even bigger cats are no match for a full-grown adult human and that can lead to expensive accidents.
25. Don’t overmedicate your cats
When your pets are upset, don’t feel so fast in giving them medication. Even if many vets and pharmacists recommend them, sometimes your pets just need a little love and attention. So you don’t have to really
26. Keep your cat’s nails trimmed
Trim your cat’s nails from time to time. This will not only keep your cat feeling healthy and safe, but it will leave them less likely to damage your furniture if they scratch it inappropriately. Just make sure you talk to a vet about the best tools and practices for nail trimming.
27. Never skip your cat’s treatments
Make sure you treat your cat for heartworms, fleas, and ticks. You don’t want those pests to get into your home and you don’t want them causing any hurt or harm to your cat. The treatments last a long time if you apply them regularly.
28. Never leave your windows open
Cats are curious about the outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you should give them an exit point. Make sure your windows are closed. If you have to open your windows then check your screens to make sure they will keep your cat inside. Loose cats can get hurt in traffic, by other animals, and by other humans.
29. Pay attention to your cat’s bathroom habits
Your cat is a creature of habits and that includes his bathroom habits. If you notice that he’s doing strange things like not using the litter box or acting strangely when he goes to the restroom, then something may be up.
30. Never assume that your cat is just fine
Cats are surprisingly good at hiding when things are wrong. Some cats are downright stubborn about not admitting when they are sad or in pain. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to your cat and notice when its habits are a little odd or different. If you see some sign that things may be wrong, then act on it.
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