HomeHuman to cat relationshipcat welfareWhat Mistakes Have You Made with Your Cats That You Regret?

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What Mistakes Have You Made with Your Cats That You Regret? — 4 Comments

  1. During the last 21 years that I’ve been keeping and caring for cats, I cannot think of a serious mistake I’ve made that I can’t blame on a lack of available knowledge – most importantly: nutrition / good food. I’d like to offer an URL to a consumer organization that finally came to our rescue and has helped me in this respect http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com. I also subscribe to the affiliated petsumer report to actually find good food and avoid the worst (see Special Pages). Whether the foods tested are sold in the UK I don’t know, but I believe a large number of PoC followers are here in the U.S.

  2. I’ve had several cats over the years, during my working years, and now that I’m retired. I feel fortunate that none of the cats were ever seriously ill, except for one who got cancer at 12 years, and I euthanized. If I’d know about CBD then, I would have tried that. There have been many successes in treating animals with cannabis. I’ve helped someone with a cat that wasn’t eating by giving little bits of canna butter, which stimulated her appetite.

    My biggest mistake overall was not educating myself about cat care. I never thought about it. That may be due to having healthy cats. All my cats were indoor/outdoor, but always kept in at night.

    When I had to transport my cats from Hawaii to California, I never investigated the dangers of airline cargo shipping. Maybe it’s better that I didn’t, since I had no other option!

    Overall, the most important mistake I made was giving them cheap food, canned and dry. Of course, they probably supplemented with live prey that could be easily found on 5 acres in Hawaii. (They left body part clues in the house.)

    Now that I’m retired and am home most of the time, I keep a close watch on my cat, who I rescued from a feral life. Since taking her in 7 years ago, I came across Susan Thixton’s website on TruthAboutPetFood, and took a serious look at giving Mitzy a higher quality food. Since then, even those have had recalls.

    Mitzy has had more health issues than any of my previous cats. Some of these have been constipation, ear infection, urinary tract infection, and serious drug reactions. In addition there was a recent insect bite in her ear that I treated with cortisone cream for the itching, and Neosporin for healing. It was resolved in less than a week.

    Because of my negative experience with the vet over constipation issues, I decided to do some serious research. Since intestinal problems are usually associated with diet, I began to look into raw foods as a solution, in addition to regular de-shedding sessions since I could see fur in her small hard stools. For some mysterious reason, she’d also stopped drinking water though I had several bowls and even a fountain. Since the fountain was plastic, I’m thinking that may have been the reason she didn’t like it. Now, she’s drinking from all of the various ceramic and metal bowls.

    From the first day of raw feeding, her stools improved. I knew I was on the right track. Constipation can be life threatening. The vet had told me that she’d have to take Lactulose for the rest of her life! She hasn’t had that since she started eating raw.

    Another mistake I made was getting regular vaccinations, and using spot on flea treatments. I had no idea of the potential health problems. Fortunately, none of my cats reacted. Mitzy doesn’t get regular annual Rabies vaccinations even thought they are required by law, in our city. I have a way to get around it. The odds of a bat coming in to my house is pretty low.

    Now, that I’ve learned not to automatically trust vets, I prefer to use home remedies, and will continue unless it’s something I really can’t treat, like a broken bone.

    Mitzy is my roommate and cuddle partner. She never was much of a lap cat, until this last year. I’m not sure what caused that, except for her health issues which led to an increase in holding and comforting her.

    My intention of educating cat guardians has given new energy and purpose to my life. I get calls and emails from people who’ve heard that I’m a Cat Advocate. I don’t promote my Facebook page, but it’s getting more views. There are many places to go for cat information, but I’m doing my part. I hand out my business cards for Cat Advocate, though it’s not really a money making endeavor. I also promote POC, and other cat sites. It’s a labor of love, and I’m grateful that Mitzy has inspired it.

    • Superb comment Sandy. You cover some nice points. At the root of cat caretaking mistakes is a lack of knowledge and we learn as we go along. Sometimes that can be too late. As we become more sophisticated in our knowledge about caring for cats we avoid hazards and our cat is in the best place possible in terms of welfare that can be had.

      My biggest mistake was letting my cat outside. She died as a result and it hurts a lot to this day. It happened 22 years ago. I still let my cat outside but I have ensured the location is as safe as it can be. That was a lesson I learned too late and it cost me a lot of anguish and the life of my cat. I was careless. I am much more careful and thoughtful these days.

      • Me too, Michael. We lost the best cat who ever lived to traffic in 1987. Her name was Tippy. It was so very early in the morning and no one saw her get hit, but we think the onwer/operator of a semi tractor trailer who lived down the road from us probably went by in the early morning hours and Tippy avoided the front wheels of the tractor but didn’t realize where the trailer wheels would be. I’m so much more careful with Monty, keeping him in his enclosure. I live in a city now and would have to be careful anyway, but it just shows that even if you live on a quiet street (it used to be) any road is a risk to a cat. If I had it to do over again I would have only let Tippy out when we were out with her, instead of letting her out alone to hunt in the early morning hours. But hindsight is 20/20. I also would have taken her to the vet when she had ear mites instead of trying to treat that condition with home remedies that were not working, as my parents were doing. Maybe she had stopped to scratch her ear and didn’t see the trailer wheels. But there is nothing to be done for it now except to look out for Monty’s safety and say that Tippy was quite a remarkable, wonderful cat. She should have been feral. We took her from Grandma’s barn at well past the age I found Monty. She walked right up to us. All the other cats were wild and fearful. Tippy wanted to be with us. She chose us.

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