What is something people do with their cats that they should absolutely not be doing?

Things you should not do to your cat
How could you not treat them in the kindest most thoughtful way? Photo in public domain
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What is something people do with their cats that they should absolutely not be doing? There is more than one thing and therefore, in order of importance, I would highlight the following things which should not be done to domestic cats.

The first and most important point is going to upset millions of Americans I’m afraid. I don’t want to upset anybody but this is so important that it has to be a top priority. Anybody with a reasonable point of view about cat welfare must absolutely reject the declawing of domestic cats. It’s something that should never happen. In fact the procedure shouldn’t exist in the first place. It simply cruel, illegal in many countries and there are alternatives which are far more sensible, decent and humane.

Not treating your cat as a cat. This is about respecting the cat and not treating your domestic cat companion as a small, furry friend of the human variety. We shouldn’t treat our cats like little people but should understand them as cats, get involved with feline behaviour and deliver to them what pleases them and what allows them to express their natural innate desires.

A failure to spay and neuter your cat nowadays is pretty well unforgivable because it is an automatic operation that all domestic cats should go through. This may upset a small minority of people because they believe that female cats should have a litter before they are spayed. However this is wrong thinking. There is no need for a female cat have a litter in order to be fully developed and normal. There are too many domestic cats in the world and every effort should be made to prevent more unwanted cats because far too many are still euthanised despite being healthy.

Punishment is also a complete no-no in the world of cat caretaking or guardianship. It doesn’t work and punishment is designed for people not for domestic animals. They don’t understand it and all that you’ll achieve is to make your cat anxious and in the worst case scenario alienate your cat from yourself. People online still search for information about cat punishment but people are becoming more enlightened. The well-known alternative is positive reinforcement training or to simply accept your cat’s behavior.

Another current problem with cat ownership which should be avoided at all costs is to overfeed your cat by providing too many treats which can make your cat obese and at a risk of developing diabetes. Some veterinarians describe “an epidemic of feline diabetes” in countries such as America and possibly in the UK. Just as for humans, obesity carries a lot of health risks.

While on the question of food. It’s important to provide the best quality food possible and a substantial portion of cat food should be of the wet variety for the reason that dry cat food is unnatural and can dehydrate cats as they do not compensate sufficiently by drinking water. Some veterinarians argue that dry cat food can leave a domestic cat vulnerable to diabetes as well urinary tract diseases such as cystitis.

There are some contentious issues which will result in different opinions about whether they should be avoided or allowed such as not taking cats to the vet promptly, allowing cats to roam outside, feeding a commercially prepared non-meat (vegan) diet and not providing a sufficiently enriched environment. The last point is not actually that contentious especially if the cat goes outside when there’s less of a pressing need for this. There is a big debate about commercially prepared vegan diets. I subscribe to the view that these diets are okay provided they contain sufficient quantities of the required specific nutrients to satisfy a domestic cat’s requirements.

No doubt there are other points but I believe the major issues that need to be raised are mentioned above. Also I have presumed that readers care for their cat to an adequate standard and don’t neglect their cat.

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