by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Perhaps you’re adopting a cat to satisfy your child or you’re marrying someone with a cat. However this new feline enters your world, if you’ve never been owned by cat, you may feel a little intimidated. But their care isn’t as complicated as you’d think.
Avoid comparing cats with dogs. Many new cat people make that mistake because they’ve only cared for dogs before and want to associate one pet with another. Your professional pet sitter can help you with further education on this matter. Although a cat sitting peacefully for a petting session may seem like another pet, variations exist even within the same species, say nothing of comparing two different species. It’s like comparing the proverbial apples and oranges. But, for the sake of argument, here goes: cats generally aren’t as high maintenance as dogs. Although some breeds and individuals represent exceptions (Burmese and Maine coons are known to behave more dog-like), cats tend to need less emotionally and physically.
Unlike dogs, cats thoroughly bathe themselves unless an illness or accident makes it impossible to clean their fur. A clean, maintained litter pan takes care of their elimination needs and an annual vet visit keeps shots up-to-date. Most cats need grooming and appreciate daily or at least weekly brushing. Clean bowls of water and high-quality cat food, fed according to the animal’s age and size, meets the cat’s other basic needs.
That being said, cats do need some attention, but it’s on their terms. If you must leave your cat for more than a day, you likely need a pet sitter since cats do not like going to kennels and cannot understand why you have “abandoned” them there. Some more sensitive kitties may need a cat sitter to drop by during the day if you work long hours. It may also help to provide a cat tree with views of outdoors and cat toys to entertain themselves while you’re gone (avoid toys that have small parts they can break off).
Don’t worry about buying a cat bed. Cats usually reject a stiff, store-bought cushion plopped onto the floor in the busy living room. They prefer a cozy basket of towels, clean from the dryer because they can nestle into it better, it’s warm, and the basket’s sides offer concealment and a view of potential danger. Instinct plays a role in many kitty quirks, such as shaking food to make sure it’s dead (even though the cat is eating processed, dry kibble). In their minds, cats are still in the jungle in many ways. Welcome to their jungle!