Mistakes Cat Owners Make

Recently someone asked me, "What are the most common mistakes that cat owners make?"

I had to think about it for a few minutes, but 5 major things came to mind. Today, I would like to share them with you.

So, here are five common mistakes that you should avoid making.

1. Missing yearly examinations. Yearly exams are extremely important because they can find health problems early on, when many of these conditions are more treatable.

2. Not having a current ID tag or microchip. Many cats don't have a current ID tag or microchip. Dog owners do a much better job at keeping their dogs safely identified than cat owners do. Remember, even indoor cats occasionally get out, and when they do they are extremely vulnerable. An ID tag or microchip is the BEST way a lost cat can be returned to you. At the clinics, we often see pets that are brought in without a tag or microchip, and they end up at Rabies Control or the Humane Society. Without identification, many of these pets are never reunited with their owners.

3. Skimping on nutrition. A good quality food is important to cats. Skimping on nutrition can be a problem. Cats need a high quality balanced diet that is formulated to meet their specific life-stage needs. There are several good options on the market today (and many bad ones as well). Ask your veterinarian for advice.

4. Not monitoring your cats. Cats are so good at hiding their illnesses that often, by the time we notice, the disease may be quite advanced. For this reason, it is important to look for early signs of problems. Monitor your cat's urinations, defecations, attitude and appetite every day. Don't make the mistake of keeping dry food available at all times, because you won't be able to tell if your cat is eating. Offer a little canned food twice a day to ensure your cat is eager to eat.

5. Not taking precautions with toxins. Many pet owners don't pay attention to toxins, medications and other dangers that cats can get in to. Maybe it comes down to cat-proofing your home to ensure your cat can't get into common toxins, such as rat poison, antifreeze, medications (feline and human) or the trash. Cats are especially fond of thread and other liner objects such as yarn and ribbon. Keep those items picked-up and out of your cat's reach.

Whatever you do, keep your cat safe. Make sure that he has a good collar with an ID tag, feed him a good quality cat food, check that he is eating well and keep your home "cat-friendly".