Cat caretaking involves making decisions. There is a responsibility. Cat caretakers are in a position of trust and only the caretaker herself is making sure her decisions are good. There is no overseeing third party. Mistakes are made.
Of course, you have to be concerned and thoughtful about cat caretaking to be aware of a mistake you might have made.
You know the old adage: ignorance is bliss. Ignorant people can make all the mistakes in the world and be unmoved by them. They have no knowledge of them until perhaps a vet steps in.
The mistakes I have made were because of ignorance. They happened years ago. Looking back they seem silly, which proves the point that a lot of the problems with cat ownership could be rectified through education. I would really like to see something happen with respect to cat care education. I am just not sure what it might be. Caring for a cat is not all common sense. It is an acquired skill.
The first mistake some people make is not realising what it takes to be a good cat caretaker. It’s a mistake that is made before they even care for a cat.
One mistake I made haunts me – letting my cat Missie go out unsupervised. She died on a road. She was like a daughter. The year: 1994. Twenty years later it is like yesterday.
Another mistake I made was feeding my Binnie dry cat food for a long time on the advice of a vet. It was Hills c/d. At the time – at least ten years ago – I didn’t know better. As far as I am concerned, the food contributed to a urinary tract infection and cystitis. Thankfully, it was cured quite easily.
Sometimes it is difficult to know if you did the right thing or not. On the spur of the moment without any forethought I adopted my current cat, Charlie. I was already looking after an elderly cat, Binnie. Binnie accepted Charlie, just. She never really liked him. Charlie was more relaxed. I was pulled between two desires: to help Charlie who had lost his caretaker, my mother on her death, and to care for Binnie as best I could in her old age.
Do we learn from our cat caretaking mistakes?
Well, when I move home I select a new place on this basis (a) is it good for a cat? (b) is it good for me? – in that order.
I agree that cats should be allowed to go out but….the area should be safe and when at a new place close supervision of a cat outside is essential for her safety.
Wet cat food is best – raw cat food is better (at least potentially).
I learned that it is worthwhile trying out different veterinarians. Some are better than others and the nearest one might not be the best one. A good, honest, experienced vet is like an insurance policy. If and when your cat is seriously ill you need high quality help.
For the future
I am determined to find a supplier of good quality raw food supplement in the UK so that I can add a raw food element to my cat’s diet. I owe it to him to balance his diet with the real thing.