Fur-get kitties’ funny quirks! Pussycat parents may unwittingly be rubbing their own feline friends the wrong way. How? Consider the following:
Taking them on car rides: As opposed to their canine counterparts, cats do NOT enjoy spontaneous rides in the car. Being highly territorial and passionate about routine, they dislike abrupt changes in their environment. They’re also prone to motion sickness, and coupled with anxiety, the results can be rather unpleasant. Cars should be reserved for vet visits or meticulously prepared road trips.
Bringing them on play dates: Unlike dogs and their dog parks, felines, unless especially friendly, prefer to remain in their own cozy realms rather than visit unfamiliar felines in unfamiliar surroundings. Cats don’t enjoy meeting new cats or smelling strange cats’ scents. Nor do they like seeing themselves in mirrors.
Giving them baths: Most cats are superb at self-grooming, and accomplish with their tongues what we humans accomplish with soap and water. On the rare occasion that a bath is absolutely necessary, wary cats should be approached with caution, patience and a plan.
Neglecting their litter boxes: Although kitties always cover up their urine and feces, their litter boxes should be cleaned at least once a day. Their sense of smell is 14 times stronger than ours is, and if they begin eliminating OUTSIDE the box instead of in it, their message is more than clear!
Petting them too much: Cats can become over-stimulated very easily and with very little warning, shifting from purring contentedly one minute to hissing or scratching the next. To avoid over-stimulating your kitty, study her personality, learn her likes and dislikes, and respect her limitations.
Making too much noise: Whether it’s door bells or roaring traffic, slamming doors or thunderstorms, many cats are very sensitive to and scared of loud sounds. Because of this, conscientious cat owners are conscious of their own tone of voice, the volume on their TV and stereo, and all other sources of potentially frightening noise.
Serving stale or cold food: Leaving wet food out not only allows it to get stale, but allows dangerous bacteria to grow, often within the space of a single day. To prevent this, mete out smaller, more frequent portions. And because some cats dislike cold food, allow any refrigerated, canned leftovers to “thaw” to room temperature before serving it.
Ignoring them: While felines fend well for themselves, they don’t appreciate being alone or ignored. The solution is to create regularly scheduled play times with them every day particularly before bedtime to burn off their pent-up energy and strengthen the bonds of love and trust between you.