You know how skeptical I am when I see stories involving cat advice on the internet. Usually, it’s some half-baked ideas from a writer who really doesn’t understand us kitties. So I was surprised, and really charmed by the story this week in the Mercury News called “10 Things You Should Never Do to Your Cat.” The writer, Jack Hagerman, is on staff at the Pasadena Humane Society, and he clearly get us cats. So I thought I would share some of his advice, and offer up how I’m different (or not) from regular cats.
First on his list was You should not force attention on cats. How come people are so rarely told this in plain language? It’s true! Forcing yourself on most cats already gets your relationship off to a bad start. Cats will get to know you in their own time, not yours.
Me? Yep, I’m different, and I have to be in my role of a therapy cat. I mean, I would much rather not have people be grabby, and my human is there to make sure they don’t go overboard. But I don’t hold it against people who can’t hold back, either. Since I’m already predisposed to being friendly, it’s not a big deal to me.
The writer also tells you not to bring plants into your home before making sure they are safe for cats. My human really knows this one! She can’t bring any plant into the house without me chewing on it, guaranteed. So we don’t have any plants here. And when I’m outside on my leash, she actually doesn’t let me examine most plants too closely. Except for catnip, of course.
Another important point he makes is Don’t teach your cat to ‘hand play.’ I was specifically trained that hands are not toys from the start. And when I was young, if my human tried petting me and I was going crazy, she would either stop, or calmly tell me to be gentle. She would also give me a kicker toy to get out my energy. This is how you humans keep your hands from turning into bloody stumps down the line.
He also points out you should never punish a cat. I’ve gone into this many times. Cats just don’t react well to punishment, and will see the punisher as someone who is a threat to their wellbeing. You don’t want your cat to look at you that way, do you? So figure out positive reinforcement and distraction as ways to keep cats behaving.
Another good one is never leave your cat alone for more than 24 hours. The writer reminds you that cats are not “self-sufficient loners.” We need human interaction… or in Boodie’s case, when she was much younger and still very shy, she still needed someone to show up. Even if the sitter didn’t see her, Boodie knew she’d been there, and she would eventually come out. Also, cats bored at home might get in trouble, and you don’t want to leave them in potential danger. So you really need a pet sitter, or at the very least a highly trusted friend, to come by and look after your cat when you are away.
If you’d like to see more of what this writer has to say — and it’s all good! — you can read the article here.
Other posts you’ll enjoy:
- How to Make Me Like You… And How to Make a Regular Cat Like You
- Is Your Cat Nervous or Stressed Out? Tips to Make Sure YOU’RE Not the Problem!
- 10 Handy Cat Tips for Humans