Its understandable that cats like to jump onto kitchen counters; our pets enjoy high places. And while not everybody minds it, some people dont like their pet jumping up on surfaces where food is prepared. But how can you stop it? The Animal Humane Society (animalhumanesociety.org) has some tips.
Your cat has the same risk for oral disease you do, and theres no reason to believe she doesnt feel the same pain of sore gums and toothache. Thats why you want to keep her teeth in good shape by brushing them. Every single day is ideal, but you can do it every other day if your cat will accept that interval better. Every three days isnt frequent enough because it takes two days for soft, sticky plaque that collects below the gum line to turn into hardened calculus. Once plaque hardens, no amount of brushing will remove it. It requires a scaling under anesthesia by your veterinarian.
It might seem ridiculous to put a collar with identification on a house cat who never goes out. After all, you already know who your cat is and who he belongs to. But you absolutely should put an identifying collar around his neck, because cats do manage to make their way past your door. The UPS man comes and delivers something. Someone house sits while you are away and forgets to keep the back door closed.
Its a perfect storm. Cats hide their illnesses very well; its often not clear that theyre sick until theyre at deaths door, which is why annual wellness exams are so critical. Through blood tests and other diagnostic workups, a veterinarian can detect problems even a very tuned-in owner might miss. Yet most cats do not like leaving the familiar environment of their home to be handled by a stranger, surrounded by cats and people theyve never met and will probably never see again. They become so stressed that their owners become overwhelmed with anxiety themselves. So owners skip the veterinary exams. My cat seems fine. Why put her through it? And that, of course, ratchets up the risk that a health issue wont be detected until its too late for effective treatment.
We sometimes get field mice in the basement, and my cat has a habit of killing them, then bringing them upstairs and laying them at my feet. Is she trying to show me the incredible booty she has gathered? She doesnt eat the mice - she just presents them, which makes it a little confusing.
An emergency doesnt need to be on a large scale to seriously impact you and your pets. In fact, the odds are higher that the average emergency will affect only you and your family. However, a problem that affects only you or other family members can have huge consequences for your cat. Good examples are an owners injury in a car accident with the cat left home alone or simply a decision to spend the night somewhere else due to dangerous driving conditions while your cat is home unattended for more than one night. Heres how to prepare for those situations.
Despite their reputation for liking only dry land, a surprising number of domesticated cats not only tolerate but love pawing water or even swimming. Some like to play in standing water; others are fascinated by running water and prefer to drink from a faucet rather than a cat dish.
Indoor-only cats do find ways to escape, so having a collar with current cat tags is critically important. For others, you can provide some outdoor fun by using a cat harness and leash.
One of the perks of being a cat lover is that you dont have to make sure youre home several times a day to walk your pet. Indeed, a feline can spend more than a day by herself and be none the worse for the solitude. Even cats who crave company would rather be left in a familiar environment than boarded at a facility. Theyll take the temporary loneliness over the stress of being put in a crate, brought out to the car, driven to the boarders, and having to contend with the sights, odors, and sounds of cats they dont know.
With dogs, one-year-equals-seven-human-years is not an unreasonable rule of thumb. But for a cat who lives to 20, that rule makes her age improbably Biblical.
How a kitten is - or isnt - nurtured tells a lot about the kind of adult cat she will grow into. For instance, a very young kitten who is picked up often and held for 15 to 45 minutes a day will probably end up a lot less fearful and skittish around people. And the more people who cuddle her, the more comfortable around human beings she will be.
If your cat all of a sudden seems gravely ill, dont automatically assume its the end. Sometimes something that seems quite dire may not be, says Catnip editor-in-chief John Berg, DVM. Even if a disease is not curable, it may be very treatable, and the cat can live a good quality of life for quite a while. Weve delivered that news to a great number of relieved owners.