7 Cat Ownership Obstacles
Cat Ownership Obstacles7 You are interested in getting a cat, or else you wouldn’t be reading this right now. However, there is something that is preventing you from making the commitment. Perhaps you’re concerned that your sensitivity to cats will cause you to cough and hack up mucus. It’s possible that you’re concerned that your cat may destroy your furniture by clawing on it. It’s possible that someone in your household is adamantly opposed to the idea of adding a cat to the mix.
Whatever the cause may be, there are answers available. We have compiled a list of some of the most frequent challenges that come with owning a cat, along with some advice on how to overcome each one.
You may reduce the severity of allergy symptoms with a little bit of effort, even though the best way to treat allergies is to avoid the things to which you are allergic. However, the first thing you should do is arrange an appointment with an allergist to confirm that you do, in fact, suffer from cat allergies. Once you have determined that cats are the cause of your problems, you should look into the matter further.
People who are allergic to cats, for instance, are not allergic to the hair of cats; rather, they are sensitive to proteins that may be found in cat saliva, urine, and dander. Knowing this might be helpful. However, increasing the frequency with which the cat is bathed is not necessarily the solution. The impact of washing a cat may temporarily lower your exposure to a certain protein; however, the reduction in exposure is only temporary, and excessive bathing of cats might hurt their sensitive skin.
If you make the following adjustments, it will make life easier for both of you:
Keep your feline friend out of the bedroom. Because this is where you spend the majority of your time, you should be sure to keep this area free of cats if you want to have less allergy symptoms. If you additionally make the move to specialised bedding that is meant to be less permeable to allergens, you may find that your wheezing is greatly reduced when you first wake up in the morning.
Demolish dander. An increase in the frequency of cleaning tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping can help prevent the accumulation of pet dander (where much of that allergy-inducing protein attaches). Reduce the number of heavy curtains, rugs, and upholstered items in your home to make the work of cleaning them simpler on yourself.
Do the dishes. The simple act of washing your hands and face on a regular basis will help limit your exposure to dander by a substantial amount.
Air should be filtered. Air filters in the home should be replaced on a regular basis, and consideration should be given to purchasing an air purifier that uses HEPA filters.
Take some medicine. It is possible to get relief from allergy symptoms by using both over-the-counter allergy drugs and allergy injections. Getting allergy injections regularly over time can also help minimise the symptoms of an allergy to cats.
Shedding Like a Cat
It is natural for cats to shed their fur, just as it is normal for people to lose their hair. As the temperature rises in the spring, cats typically experience increased levels of hair loss. However, cats may also shed as a result of medical conditions such as anxiety, an unhealthy diet, allergies, medicines, an illness, or sunburn. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends the following steps to help reduce the amount of natural hair loss that occurs in cats:
Provide a food that is both healthful and well-balanced for your cat.
Maintain a regular grooming routine for your cat.
While you are brushing your cat, keep an eye out for any unusual signs of illness, such as unusual hair loss, redness, lumps, wounds, fleas, ticks, or other types of parasites. Make an appointment with a veterinarian if you observe symptoms of any of these conditions or if you just aren’t sure why your cat is shedding so much fur.
Cat Litter Box Issues
You are not the only one who avoids owning a cat because of the unpleasant odours associated with the litter box. However, if the litter box is cleaned out on a daily basis, the smell may be easily managed. In addition, making sure that the litter box is always clean is another way to encourage your cat to use it. You can attempt the following measures to help reduce litter box smells and increase the likelihood that your cat will use the litter box on a regular basis:
The research indicates that cats appear to prefer fine-grained litter, thus it is recommended that you choose scoopable (clumping) litter or small-grained clay litter. The litter box has to be cleaned every day, and around once a month you should empty it completely and start over with fresh litter. This is standard procedure for any type of litter.
Make sure you have adequate litter boxes if you’re going to have more than one cat in the house after you bring home a new kitten. In an ideal world, you’d have one litter box for each cat, plus one extra. For those who have three cats, for instance, they should have four litter boxes available. It is possible for a cat to start defecating outside of the litter box if they are unable to use it because it is too crowded with other cats or because it is regularly unclean.
If you want to reduce the number of times you have to clean the litter box, don’t overfill it. If you have numerous cats who use the same litter box, you may need to clean it up to twice each day. Aim to have between one and two inches of litter in each box.
There are some cats who like having a cover on the litter box, but the majority of cats do not. Boxes with lids have a propensity to capture and amplify scents, which means they require more frequent cleaning. There is a possibility that large cats will struggle to move around in them. The response is… Find out which type of box, covered or uncovered, your cat prefers before deciding which one to purchase for him or her.
If a cat has a habit of defecating in places other than its litter box, there may be something wrong with its health. Always consult your veterinarian before making the assumption that the problem cannot be solved. It’s possible that it’s something that can be fixed quickly and at a low cost.
One of the Roommates Opposes Having Cats
There is no simple answer to this problem because it is much too complex. But in the event that you and the other person in your household do not wish to have a cat, you have two options available to you:
Let’s hash it out. Find out the reasons why your roommate or spouse does not want a cat. It’s possible that they favour dogs. Or it’s possible that they have no interest in having a pet right now, but in the future they might change their mind. Discuss the benefits of owning a cat, such as love, purpose, and fulfilment, as well as the much more desirable benefit of health. According to a number of studies, owning a pet can have a number of health benefits, including a lowering of a person’s blood pressure, a reduction in anxiety, and even a lessening of symptoms
Offer solutions. Discuss potential solutions with your roommate or spouse if they are against you getting a cat because of difficulties that are under your control, such as excessive shedding or unpleasant odours. Another possibility is that the issue is one of quantity: you would want more than one cat, but they can only manage one. Check to see whether there is room for negotiation. Maybe they haven’t made up their minds about whether or not they want a pet yet. If this is the case, then taking in a stray cat can be a good way to test the waters.
The most important step is to initiate the conversation. In the end, if your spouse or roommate is still opposed acquiring a cat, you may at least satisfy part of your yearning for cats by volunteering at an animal shelter or humane society.
Aggression shown by Cats
Cats fight with one another and with humans for a variety of mental and physical causes. Among the most prevalent types of hostility are territorial aggression, inter-male violence, and maternal aggression. And of course, there are instances when it’s just extremely rowdy play on their part. Despite the fact that the answers vary on the reason, here are some things to think about:
Consult with your animal doctor. It is essential to rule out a physical basis for a cat’s aggressive behaviour, as major illnesses can make cats hostile toward humans and other animals.
Activate play that is appropriate. When cats act hostile toward a human, it’s typically for one of two reasons: either they’re scared of the person, or they’re trying to play with them. Never use your hands or feet as playthings for a cat, as this will encourage the animal to play roughly. Provide your cat with a variety of toys, and spend some time playing with them together. You might also think about getting your cat a new playmate by getting another cat or creating a more interesting environment for them by getting them an outside enclosure.
Think about being spayed or neutered. Males that have had their testicles removed are more likely to exhibit violent tendencies, and the behaviour of even a single intact cat can influence the behaviour of other cats. Therefore, it is imperative that all of a household’s cats be spayed or neutered.
Reduce the level of competitiveness among the cats. If you have more than one cat, you may minimise rivalry between them by giving them each their own litter box and supplying various food and water dishes. Additionally, you should place one box in a separate area of the home for each cat.
Make available pheromones as well as perches. Provide hiding places as well as perches all throughout the house for the cats in a family that has more than one cat to encourage them to spread out. You may also acquire synthetic pheromones that imitate a natural cat’s scent but are imperceptible to people; these can assist cats in maintaining their composure.
Make use of medicines for a limited time. These items, which should be prescribed to you by your veterinarian in order to assist you cope with cat aggressiveness, Unless specifically instructed to do so by your veterinarian, you should never give your pet any over-the-counter drugs, especially those designed for people. There are medications that are risk-free for human consumption but can be lethal for cats.
Restrict, but do not penalise the individual. If you smack your cat because it is being aggressive, it will simply make it more aggressive and it will also make it afraid. However, you shouldn’t ignore the aggressive behaviour of your cat either. Make a lot of noise, splash the cats with water, or toss anything soft at them to break up a fight between them if it’s already in progress. Do not attempt to separate two cats that are fighting.
It will take some time to resolve the antagonism issues between the cats. It may be simpler to enlist the assistance of a family veterinarian, a board-certified veterinary behaviourist (ACVB), or a certified applied animal behaviourist (CAAB). All of these professionals specialise in animal behaviour.
What Does It Cost to Take Care of a Cat?
If you are afraid that the cost of cat health care is too high, it is comforting to know that cats often have healthy lives and don’t require a great deal of expensive treatment most of the time. Having said that, they still require routine checkups as well as vaccines. Additionally, much like human healthcare, veterinary treatment may be rather pricey. Fortunately, there are choices available to assist in cost control, including the following:
Pet insurance. It will cost you money, but there is a possibility that it will end up saving you money in the long run. There is a wide variety of choice accessible. There are a number of national pet store chains that are linked with certain types of pet insurance, and individual veterinarians also provide other types of pet insurance. You may get a sense of the different alternatives and what they cover by speaking with other people who own pets or conducting research online.
Obtaining financial assistance through a neighbourhood animal shelter or a regional branch of the Humane Society (HSUS). If you are having difficulties affording the cost of your cat’s medical care, they may provide discounted medical care or know of local charities that do.
discount programmes for veterinary schools In rare cases, the general public might receive discounted services from veterinary colleges. Your local veterinarian or the website of the American Veterinary Medical Association can provide you with information on veterinary schools in the area.
Scratching and Other Problems Caused by a Cat’s Behavior
Scratching is something that comes naturally to a cat. They do this to keep their claws in good condition, to mark their territory, to burn off excess energy, and to have fun. But if you provide your cat with other things to do, you won’t have to choose between having a cat and having lovely furnishings. Try trying these potential solutions:
The use of scratching posts Give your cat access to a number of scratching posts crafted from sisal, cardboard, or wood. Sprinkle some catnip on the posts in order to pique your feline companion’s attention.
Claws on top. These little vinyl sleeves, which are sometimes known as “nail caps,” may be slipped over a cat’s claws in a painless manner to prevent the cat from doing injury when it attempts to scratch. They may be purchased in veterinary clinics, pet supply stores, and on the internet.
Manicure and pedicure. It is not difficult to clip the claws of a cat, especially if you begin the process when your four-legged pal is still young. On the websites of the ASPCA and HSUS, you may get information and instructions on how to properly clip a cat’s claws.
Declawing. Because this is a contentious method, you need to give great consideration to both the benefits and the drawbacks of the practise. Because the claws of a cat sprout from the bones of their digits, permanently removing a claw requires amputating the final joint of each digit. This can only be done by amputation. The Humane Society proposes a more empathetic method for those who are considering the adoption of a kitten: Immediately expose your kitten to scratching poles and other suitable surfaces to fulfil their urge to scratch. These will help prevent your cat from injuring itself.
Have a conversation with your veterinarian, a veterinary behaviour specialist, or the CAAB. In the event that you bring a cat into your life and discover that you are unable to get a handle on one of their behavioural concerns, you should always consult a veterinarian to rule out the possibility of health problems. Even very minor health problems, such as an infection of the urinary tract, might prompt a cat to vocalise, stop using the litter box, or even become violent. So may hypothyroidism. Before concluding that your cat is incapable of being reformed or saved, it is important to rule out potential causes like these. If the problem is due to the animal’s behaviour, a CAAB or a veterinary behaviour expert may be able to assist you. Many of them are able to provide consultations over the internet and can collaborate closely with your regular veterinarian.
The purring of cats, their goofy antics, and the abundance of love they provide can completely transform a house. However, prior to adopting a cat, you should ensure that you are prepared to make a commitment that will last the cat’s whole lifespan.
Do you still have doubts? Have a conversation with your neighbourhood veterinarian about the possibility of fostering a cat or a kitten for a short period of time, or make an offer to “cat-sit” for a friend. In any case, you will experience some of the joys — as well as some of the challenges — of sharing your home with a feline friend.