Us cat owners do everything we can to make sure our fur babies are healthy and happy.
But sometimes we’ve been misinformed on what is and isn’t good for our cats.
Keep reading to discover 7 common mistakes many cat owners make and don’t know they’re making!
Myth #1: Milk Is Good For Cats
A cat lapping milk from a saucer is a classic picture. It’s in movies and cartoons!
But why would a cat drink a cow’s milk? It’s pretty silly when you think about it.
Cats are attracted to milk that comes straight from a cow because of it’s high fat content, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for them.
Also, the milk you buy from the supermarket does not come straight from cows.
It has been processed and pasteurized, leaving little fat that a cat would be attracted to anyway.
Like all baby animals, cats are born with enzymes that allow them to digest the sugar in milk (lactose).
But as they get older, those special gut enzymes that helped them digest milk as babies start to disappear.
This causes the milk to ferment in stomach, leaving your cat with an upset tummy and diarrhea.
RELATED: 8 Human Foods Poisonous to Cats
Myth #2: Yarn Is A Great Toy
Although string, yarn, and rubber bands are endlessly entertaining for cats, they are potentially deadly.
Cats have a tendency to chew on yarn and attempt to eat it.
The yarn catches on the barbs of a cat’s tongue, making it very difficult for them to spit it out.
If the yarn or string is ingested, it will move through the intestine and cause them to fold like an accordion.
This is a life threatening condition that requires surgery to fix.
Oftentimes, you don’t know the yarn or string was ingested before it’s too late.
Keep yarn, string, and rubber bands out of our cat’s reach unless the diameter of the object is wider than 1 inch.
Myth #3: Cats Don’t Deed To Brush Their Teeth
This is a very dangerous myth. Failing to take care of your cat’s teeth can cause periodontal disease.
It starts with plaque and tartar buildup on a cat’s gums which later causes the gums to become inflamed.
This weakens the teeth and causes a tremendous amount of pain for the cat. It’s the most common cause of tooth loss in cats.
Periodontal disease is a serious and chronic condition. The bacteria from the gums spread to the heart, kidney, and liver if left untreated.
In humans, periodontal disease has been correlated with a shorter lifespan. It is possible that this also true for cats.
Luckily, periodontal disease can be easily prevented.
Simply brush your cat’s teeth everyday with a small and soft child’s toothbrush, sponge, or finger brush.
Use pet toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste – it is harsh and harmful to cats.
There are also special treats that help reduce the plaque on a cat’s gums.
This is probably the easiest way to take steps toward preventing dental disease.
At minimum, you should be incorporating veterinarian grade dental treats into their diet.
These C.E.T enzymatic oral treats are a great option because they are big enough for cats to break apart and chew.
This gives their teeth more exposure to the cleaning agents in the treats while they chew.
Myth #4: Cats Can’t Be Trained
Cats are just as capable of learning as dogs are, meaning they can be trained too.
It’s less common to hear about a cat being trained, but every once in a while you’ll see footage of a cat trained to use a human toilet or perform a trick.
The difference between cats and dogs being trained is not how good they are at learning but what motivates them to learn.
Training animals requires rewards, and cats and dogs have different expectations for a reward.
Dogs find human attention rewarding on its own, and food is just the cherry on top.
Human attention alone won’t cut it for cats – they need a guarantee that they will be rewarded with food.
Training cats also requires more patience because cats will walk away when they get bored and be reluctant to continue if you drag them back.
Because of this, cat training sessions should be short.
Now that you know this, try researching how to train your cat.
Whether you want to teach them tricks or train them not to scratch the furniture, it’s all possible!
Myth #5: Cats Don’t Need Regular Checkups
Cats don’t have nine lives – they have ONE.
And in order to make sure that one life is long and healthy, they need to attend regular checkups at the vet.
Humans shouldn’t go years without visiting the doctor or dentist. Similarly, cats shouldn’t either.
REMEMBER: cats can’t talk. They can’t tell you why they’re feeling bad. All they can do is meow and hope you figure it out.
Veterinarians have the knowledge and skills to detect something wrong with your cat before you do.
It’s important to establish a good relationship with your vet and schedule regular checkups.
Myth #6: It’s Okay To Give My Cat Scraps
Just because your cat reaches for your food does not mean it’s safe for them to eat.
Human food has chemicals and preservatives that is not healthy for cats.
Even chicken or fish scraps might have spices or ingredients that are not safe for your cat to ingest.
Feeding your cat table scraps isn’t the same as rewarding them with the occasional shrimp or tuna.
Moderation is key – save these tasty treats for special occasions.
Just make sure the food is unseasoned, cooked, and doesn’t have any tiny bones your kitty could choke on.
Cats aren’t like us when it comes to food. They don’t get “bored” with eating the same thing every day.
Cats are creatures of routine – they are the healthiest when they eat the same, well balanced diet consistently.
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Stick to feeding your cat high quality, nutritious foods from well known brands that you would find at any pet store or supermarket.
These well known brands can be trusted because they have highly specialized teams of veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists to research and develop safe food products.
Make sure you look at the label and calculate how much food your cat should be eating every day.
RELATED: What’s The Best Diet For Your Cat?
Myth #7: Cat’s Don’t Need Exercise
Cats need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
This is especially true for indoor cats – they don’t have as many opportunities to exercise.
Scheduling playtime with your cat is good way to ensure they reach their daily exercise goal.
For example, having your cat chase the little red dot from the laser pointer is great exercise.
Don’t let your cat get bored. Leave toys for it to stalk, pounce, and chase. Toys don’t have to be expensive!
Cats seem to be very content with play mice, hair ties, and paper wads.
Now if you’ve made some of these mistakes, don’t be so hard on yourself.
Learning about these common mistakes is the best way to prevent them from happening in the future.
Cat parents are always trying to improve themselves!
SUMMARY: 7 Mistakes Almost All Cat Owners Make
- Giving your cat milk
- Giving your cat yarn and string
- Neglecting your cat’s dental hygiene
- Not taking your cat to regular vet checkups
- Not giving your cat enough exercise
- Giving your cat human food
- Not training your cat
QUESTION: How do you keep your cat healthy and active? Leave your answer in the comments below!