R-E-S-P-E-C-T the Cat for Respect Your Cat Day
So it’s another one of those human invented days on behalf of kitties. Respect Your Cat Day. Not to point out the obvious, but if you’re reading this blog, I know you already love and respect your cat(s), all day, every day. But why not have some fun with it and go to a deeper level. How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?
R. Read. As in read those ingredients when you buy food to feed your cat. Cats are obligate carnivores and the ideal diet for your cat is a raw food diet or a high-quality canned food diet where protein is listed as the first ingredient on the label, with the meat/poultry fit for human consumption, and grain-free. In other words, not all foods are created equal, so please do your homework when you do your shopping.
E. Engineering. To help your cat satisfy his natural urges for territorial ownership, provide him with vertical space options to jump up to (especially in a multi-cat household where access to vertical space is a necessity to peaceful cohabitation). If your cat prefers to hang out on lower levels, provide him an assortment of baskets, boxes, mats, and beds to nap in that are placed on the floor or other low areas.
S. Sunlight. Cats love nothing more than a delicious cat nap wherever they can find a sliver of sun. A cat’s normal body temperature can range from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees, which is higher than our human average of 98.6 degrees and so they tend to gravitate toward warmth. Try to place cat bedding and furniture in spots that make it nice and easy for kitty to catch a ray or two.
P. Plants. Some common plants can be dangerous to cats and it’s important to know what they are. Live holiday plants such as mistletoe, poinsettia, holly berries, hibiscus, and amaryllis blooms can be toxic to one degree or another if ingested by your cat. Lilies (including traditional Easter lilies) are also problematic—many varieties, including Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Stargazer and the Casa Blanca can cause kidney failure. If you have any questions on what other household items are poisonous to cats, please visit the Pet Poison Helpline or call 1-855-764-7661.
E. Exercise. Playing is extremely important to the health and well-being of your cat. Not only does playing help to keep her physically and mentally fit, but it will help to relieve any stresses she might have by allowing her to exert energy, and permit her to act like the skilled hunter she was born to be. Interactive toys, such as wand feather toys are a great way to exercise your cat, while also honing the bond you have with one another.
C. Claws. Cats are born with claws for a reason, so please, don’t declaw your cat. Declawing is a procedure that involves the amputation of each of the ten front toes of the cat’s paws (something that would be equivalent to us losing the entire tip of every finger at the first knuckle) and it can cause serious, lifelong changes to a cat. As an alternative, keep your cat’s claws trimmed. Not only will it protect you, it will also protect furniture and household items from being damaged. And unlike a drastic alternative such as declawing that can adversely affect your cat’s health, well-being, personality, and behavior, it’s safe and humane.
T. Time. In the scheme of our human lifespan, our beloved kitties are only with us for a fraction of our lives. Enjoy whatever time together you are blessed to have and remember that our cats have to rely on us for everything. Healthy and nutritious foods, trips to the vet, toys, clean litter, fresh water, safe housing, comfortable and cozy bedding, cat condos, grooming, and more. When we bring a cat into our lives, it’s a lifetime commitment of respecting that responsibility and relationship.
Enjoy the day and give your cat extra love and kisses (if he or she will let you – some cats aren’t fans of the mushy stuff!). And if you find cat behavior and the relationship we share with our cats as fascinating as I do, I hope you’ll consider adding my most recent book, Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them to your reading list. It’s chock full of ideas, tips, practical advice and solutions to help your cat live an optimally happy and healthy life befitting his true feline nature. For ordering information, please visit makinbiscuitsbook.com.