Cats are so rewarding to have in your family, and they take a lot of work, despite the common misconception that cats are completely independent.
So aside from getting a cat on impulse, people who have just brought home their first cat often make many other common mistakes.
Here are 7 common mistakes of first-time cat people:
1. My Indoor Cat Doesn’t Need a Checkup
The truth? They should be checked so the vet can evaluate their coat, ears, teeth, eyes, skin, blood work, weight and many other concerns.
Allowing hidden illnesses to go unnoticed will only increase your pet’s problems — and your expenses.
2. My Cat Will Never Get Lost
Outdoor cats’ nearby proximity is not guaranteed. They may get distracted by something and venture farther than they realize. Finding their way back depends on the distance traveled and their instincts.
Don’t chance it — always have a collar and tag on your cat for easy identification.
Another option is microchipping, which is inexpensive and ensures your pet’s return if they are lost and scanned.
3. Pet Meds Are Good for Any Pet
No, they’re not. Many medications and treatments for dogs and humans can be deadly to cats. Even the wrong type or dosage of flea medications or collars can kill a cat.
Always read the label before giving anything to your cats to ensure it is specifically made for them.
4. She’s Just Acting Funny
Notice a change in attitude or appetite — or is your cat missing the litter box?
Some of these symptoms can be signs of bigger problems.
Check to see if you’ve made any recent changes in food, litter or furniture, or other household changes and additions that might have thrown your cat off track. If nothing stands out, prepare to make a vet trip to get the kitty checked out.
5. Cats Always Vomit
Cats shouldn’t vomit hairballs all the time. Additional grooming attention from you can help curb the frequency of hairballs.
If your cat is vomiting regularly, there could be a more serious problem with the digestive system. Have the veterinarian check out the stomach and intestinal track.
6. Training Is Unnecessary
Cats and dogs mostly learn best from positive reinforcement. Getting rewarded for a behavior makes them want to repeat the desired behavior, so try training your cat to, say, not scratch up the furniture.
7. All Cats Are Affectionate
Sure, certain cat breeds can be very friendly, but genetic predispositions won’t determine every personality.
If you’re getting a cat just to have a snuggle buddy, be realistic and patient — or get a stuffed teddy bear instead.