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What would your cat tell you if they could? As a veterinarian and advocate for cats, I think they would have a lot to say about how we treat them and take care of them.
Here are some things your cat might say to help them stay healthy and happy.
Things Your Cat Won ‘t Tell You…But Would Like to
1. Don ‘t rush me when I go to the bathroom. I hate it when you stand there watching me with a scoop in your hand. It makes me nervous.
2. Don ‘t clean the litter box every time I go – I like to smell a little of my own scent when I use it.
3. On the other hand, don ‘t let the litter box get so full I have to stand on my own urine or feces. The most waste a box should have it is 3 or 4 piles between scooping.
4. Don ‘t use strong cleaners on the litter box. The smell of the chemicals bothers me so much that I might need to find other places to urinate.
5. I don ‘t like it when you spray a bunch of chemicals to cover up the litter box smell. Just clean the box more often.
6. Please totally replace my litter box once a year. The bottom gets rough from the urine eating away at it and the plastic traps odors I don ‘t like.
7. Don ‘t put the litter box next to the furnace, laundry room and other places where loud, scary notices may bother me. A quiet bathroom, closet or guest room work great.
8. Don ‘t put a hood on my litter box. I like to be able to see around me and the hood traps odors.
9. If I have a lot of roommates, I need lots of litter boxes. We need one per cat plus one or one per floor – whatever is the bigger number.
10. I like clear litter boxes where I can see around me when I ‘m in my vulnerable “going to the bathroom” posture. My favorite litter box is a clear plastic storage container that you can get at any department store. Cut a wedge in it as my door and I ‘m ready to go.
11. Don ‘t buy me scented litter. The perfumes are for you, not for me, and they can bother my sense of smell. Depending on the scent, it may make me find other locations to urinate.
12. When I start moving my tail quickly, quit petting me. I mean it!
13. Feed me a little bit of canned food twice a day. The extra water is good for me and I love the taste. Also, this helps you know if I don ‘t feel good.
14. Microchip me, even if I don ‘t usually go outside. You never know when accidents can happen.
15. I like high perches where I can feel safe and monitor the environment around me. If I ‘m climbing in something, try giving me an appropriate place to perch.
16. I like scratching posts even if I don ‘t have claws. They ‘re a good source of exercise and I like the routine. The scent material in my feet “marks” things when I scratch which makes me feel safe and happy.
17. I love it when you play laser pointer with me!
18. If I ‘m bored, “marinate” my cat toys in catnip and rotate them out with some old favorites. They feel like they are new!
19. Buy me a good quality food. You can ask my vet for recommendations.
20. Don ‘t change my food just because something is on sale. Some foods don ‘t agree with me and a sudden change can cause me to have vomiting and or diarrhea.
21. I don ‘t like to be brushed all that much but I like having hairballs less. Brush me, please, and help me stay comfortable.
22. Watch me around the door – I can ‘t help myself and want to explore. I could get lost or injured if I get out.
23. If I keep licking in one spot, check it. There is probably a problem. Either I have a wound or parasites or something hurts.
24. Keep me updated on my vaccines. Even though I might not go out much or interact with very many other cats, I could get sick from or bitten by another animal that could threaten my life.
25. Please make sure the screens are secure when you open a window. I like to lean on it and they can fall out if you are not careful.
26. Heartworm disease is deadly-really. Please protect me and keep me on preventatives.
27. I love treats, but if I ‘m getting so fat I can ‘t lick my bottom, cut back for my own good.
28. I need your help if you think I ‘m getting fat. You feed me – I rely on you to choose my entire diet. My weight is your responsibility.
29. On that note, I am happier and more playful when I ‘m fit! Keep me active and don ‘t let me get too fat.
30. When you give me pills, try to hide them in something good so I can ‘t taste it. I might like peanut butter, cheese, lunchmeat, cream cheese or pill pockets.
31. Watch me after you give me a pill to make sure I swallow it– sometimes I like to spit it out. Products like little pill “guns” can help make it easier to give it to me. If my vet wants me to take it I probably really need it.
32. I may love string and ribbons but they aren ‘t good for me. If I swallow them they can get caught in my intestine.
33. Speaking of ribbons, if I ever eat a ribbon and you see it hanging from my bottom, don ‘t pull on it. Call my vet instead.
34. I hear you even though I may act like I don ‘t. I have selective hearing.
35. I sometimes get on the counters and table when you aren ‘t home – I just can ‘t help myself!
36. Even though I don ‘t like the flea control medication, I do appreciate it. I can deal with that way better than getting fleas.
37. Please get my flea medication from my vet. Some medications at the pet store are unsafe and can kill me.
38. Check Petplace.com for new food recalls periodically. Some foods are recalled and can be very dangerous to me.
39. I love those little furry mice. Sometimes I like to take off their tails during playtime. After I do, just toss out the mouse and get me a new one. No tail = no fun.
40. Looking out windows is one of my favorite things. Give me some windows with a view and I ‘ll be a happy cat. .
41. If you think I ‘m sick, please take me to the vet. I ‘m very good at hiding it when I don ‘t feel well but by the time I show you how I feel it could be even worse.
42. Wash my bowl at least weekly. A dirty bowl tastes really bad.
43. I like to eat and drink out of stainless steel and love it when you run it through the dishwasher periodically
44. I like low flat dishes, not deep bowls. I don ‘t like to get my whiskers messy when I eat.
45. I don ‘t generally drink enough water. If you top off my water bowl, add ice cubes, or add more bowls around the house I will drink more. I also like canned food that has high water content.
46. I appreciate fresh water like that from fountains for cats. If you get one, don ‘t forget to change the filter regularly.
47. Give me some great hiding spots so I can feel safe. The more private, the better.
48. There are some cats I like more than others, just like you don ‘t like every person out there.
49. Don ‘t expose me to dogs if you aren ‘t sure if they are friendly.
50. Don ‘t board me if possible. It ‘s very stressful on me and I ‘d feel better if you got a house sitter.
51. If you do have to board me, take my medication and food with me. I don ‘t like to get diarrhea from a food change while I ‘m not home.
52. I love gifts but also the packaging it comes in. Give me the box or bag and I ‘ll have a blast.
53. If you want to entertain me, put a Ping Pong ball in an empty bathtub. It will keep me busy for ages.
54. I love to chew on plants but they can make me sick,especially Easter lilies. Please be careful of what you bring in the house. They can cause kidney failure and I can die.
55. Don ‘t give me any medications without my vet ‘s OK. Some things such as over-the-counter drugs are very toxic to me; for example, a single Tylenol could kill me.
56. Never put dog flea medications on me unless my vet says it is okay. They can make me develop seizures and die.
57. I age faster than you would think. Take me to the vet for a check-up every year even if I look healthy.
58. Antifreeze is sweet and tastes good but can make my kidneys stop working and kill me. Please keep it away from me.
59. If I ‘m urinating in the house, something is wrong. Either I ‘m not happy or I ‘m sick. Take me to the vet and get me help.
60. Remember, I don ‘t like to show that I ‘m sick. It makes me look vulnerable to predators. If you suspect I am ill, please take me to the doctor.
61. If you load a fishhook with a worm, you can ‘t expect me to know it ‘s not a treat! Even after the worm s gone it smells good. Hooks can get caught in my skin, mouth or even swallowed to please keep them away from me.
62. I love to eat stuff I shouldn ‘t and get into open trashcans with disgusting things such as tampons, meat wrappers, and underwear just to name a few. Keep trashcans covered and things picked up.
63. If you wouldn ‘t eat it yourself, don ‘t feed it to me. Old or spoiled food can make me sick too.
64. My nose being wet or dry, hot or cold doesn ‘t indicate my body temperature. The only accurate way to know my temperature is to use a rectal thermometer.
65. I also hate tick bites and tapeworms; they make me feel sick. Check with my vet for ways to protect me.
66. Check my nails occasionally. It really hurts to walk when my nails are too long.
67. Brush my teeth. I can really help prevent dental disease. If you can ‘t brush my teeth, talk to my vet about Periosupport or other products that help prevent the tartar from sticking to my teeth.
68. If I scoot my bottom across the floor, something is wrong. Either I have something stuck to my fur or skin, I have tape worms, or my anal glands are impacted. Take me to the vet.
69. If I start vomiting, read Home Care for the Vomiting Cat.
70. If I have diarrhea, read Home Care for the Cat with Diarrhea.
71. Check Petplace.com for new food recalls periodically. Some foods are recalled and can be very dangerous to me.
72. Monitor me every day for changes in my food intake, energy, behavior, urination, and bowel movements. Remember, I ‘m very good at hiding when I ‘m sick.
73. It can be quite expensive to treat me if I need medical care. I know you want to do the best for me so please consider pet insurance.
74. I ‘m too good of a friend to you to let me suffer. If I ‘m sick and can ‘t get better, please consider humane euthanasia to stop my pain.
75. Even if I can ‘t talk, please know that I love you more than anything.