Common mistakes of new cat owners

While most cats are fairly independent creatures, it is a mistake to think that once you’ve brought them home, they don’t really need you. Your new pet will be frightened at first in the change of surroundings, and will need constant reassurance that everything is alright. They’ll need veterinary attention, proper food, a place to sleep, and things to play with, not to mention some quality time cuddled in your lap.

The first and most common mistake people make with their new cat (if they have never owned one before) is thinking that they can MAKE their kitty do anything it does not wish to do. For instance, while you are trying to litterbox train Fluffy, if Fluffy has no desire to use that litterbox, you can’t simply set him/her into it and hope for the best. Training a cat takes time, patience, love, and treats. In the same way you would give a dog a biscuit or bone for performing a trick, you should always reward your new kitty for doing something it is supposed to do. Over time, the cat will learn what it can and cannot get away with. (Note: this does not mean that your cat’s behavior will always be perfect-but they will at least understand what ‘no’ means.)

Another misconception is in regards to feeding. There is no one particular brand/type of food that is best for ALL cats. While some are higher quality than others, such as Iams or Purina, that doesn’t mean that they are the ONLY foods to feed your kitty. Case in point: I recently brought home my 3rd cat. I had always fed Iams to my other kitties, and they not only love it, but it agrees with them well (their coats are shinier, they are more energetic). My kitten cannot eat Iams of any type, it makes her sick. I’ve had to experiment to find what she can be fed, and have discovered that my local grocery store’s brand is best for her. Also, cats are picky eaters! Some cats eat everything they can get their little paws on, including popcorn, peanuts, table scraps, butter, or breads (I had a cat once that was partial to glazed donuts). Most cats, however, tend to have more distinguished tastes, so don’t be offended if your pet merely picks at a piece of meat that YOU thought tasted divine.

Cats are fickle. Bringing home that cute little kitten thinking that it will love only you and be as loyal as a dog is another mistake people often make. If you live alone, it may work as you want-but if there is someone else in the house, don’t be surprised if you find the little traitor curled up in their lap,

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