The Cat Owner’s Guide: Drawing The Line With Your Wild Feline

Keeping your cat happy

Cats are beautiful and fascinating creatures. They have minds of their own, and, whilst this is one of the many exciting and intriguing things about them, it does mean that cats have a tendency to wander off into the outdoor world without warning. Of course, this wild attitude is fine outdoors, but there have to be rules at home. You can’t let their untamed behavior go unnoticed indoors. Dragging in dead animals, scratching, and generally making a mess are all things which you can’t let slide. Here’s the cat owner’s guide to drawing the line with your wild feline at home.

House-train your cat.
It is possible to house-train your cat, no matter what the myths may say about cats being independent and free spirits who bow to no owner. First of all, cats can go to the toilet. You don’t have to just accept that they’re going to urinate everywhere; train them to understand the rules of the house. Think of a place that suits you; a litter box or perhaps the outside the world. Then, the next time your cat needs the toilet, take them to that place to go.

Make sure you praise your cat for doing a good job, as they’ll associate this affection with going to the toilet in the right place. Obviously, reinforcing good behavior goes for all forms of house training, such as getting them come home every time you call them from your garden or front porch. It’s all about your cat making mental associations to reinforce their good habits and diminish their bad ones.

Regular visits to the vet.
Your feline friend likely has mixed thoughts about the vet, but it’s important that you put your foot down and manage to get your cat to the vet regularly for check-ups on their health; they may like to venture off into the outdoor world to freely explore and do their own thing, but that’s all the more reason to get them checked out for infections, illnesses, and injuries. You’ll want to look out for cat worming because this is a pretty nasty intestinal parasite. Of course, even the small cuts and scratches, which are wounds your cat will pick up a lot in its outdoor excursions, are things you should check out; you don’t want a small cut to become infected and make your furry buddy sick.

Simple toys for cats

Keep them entertained.
Cats are wonderful pets when it comes to entertainment. A simple ball of string or a toy mouse can keep them happy for hours, but it is important that you give them toys. Animals are like humans; they become restless when they’re bored. A restless cat is sure to make you restless and cause a fuss around the house, so giving them forms of entertainment is a great way to ensure that they’re not going out of their mind and they’re not making you go out of your mind either. A happy household leads to a happy cat.

Calling And Hygiene Training Techniques For Domesticating Your Cat

Sphynx Cat Domestic Animal Cat Feline Animal

Perhaps you’ve just come home with the new arrival, or your feline friend has grown from a cute, cuddly kitten to a full sized adult with claws and teeth. Training a cat is sometimes seen as a fool’s errand because unlike dogs, cats by their very nature are independent animals. They like to be alone, and just like their larger cousins lions, like to patrol their territory quite avidly and routinely so. It can be quite the challenge trying to domesticate a cat that you’ve recently bought because integration for cats takes longer than pack animals who are social creatures, like dogs. However, with a few simple steps, you can teach you cat to be obedient and comfortable in all situations that may have previously been stressful.

Training your cat to come to you 

Getting your cat to come to you is the first part of training your cat to know that you are the ruler of the roost. Cats unlike dogs, don’t always work to please their owner for the sake of it, and in fact, need an incentive in the form of something beneficial to them in order to cooperate. The first action should be to instill within the cat to align positivity with the sound of calling them. Food is the great reward and incentivises the cat to engage in the activity. It will take experimentation but find their favorite treat which they enjoy the most. If treats don’t work then use a toy or something used to pet them with like a cat brush

  • Establish a call, that will be word or sound used to bring your cat to you. Decide on something and stick to it, and don’t change it.
  • Stand a few feet apart from your cat and call it. It may not respond at all, but don’t lose hope. Keep calling until it looks directly at you.
  • You may find that making noise by tapping your leg or rustling the bag of treats will get his or her attention quite regularly.
  • As soon as the cat acknowledges your call and comes to you, immediately give the cat a treat, with gentle petting.
  • Stand up and walk away after a few seconds, and the repeat the process. This is to establish the call and treat with a positive reaction the cat expresses by coming to you wherever you are. Above all else, remember to be patient and be persistent.

Eventually, you should slowly wean your cat off the treats and instead reward with affectionate petting and confirming each other’s bond. It’s important to establish such a connection with your cat because one day the simple act of calling it might save its life. When your cat recognizes your call it may stop them from running out into the road, or perhaps stop a fight with another animal, preventing injury.

japanese-litter-box-in-use

Cats are able to be house trained to also go outside to toilet

Cats must be house trained just like dogs to avoid bad smells and general poor hygiene. If you live in a safe area and your cat is outdoors then training to also go to the toilet outside may make sense. Of course, the alternative is to buy a litter box, but having you still have a chore to clean it and refill the box; it may not eliminate bad smells either. It takes time to educate your cat and training him or her to be respectful of the home will be a lengthy training process with a learning curve that requires patience.

Decide on the specific area where you cat will go to the toilet. The could be a specific area is most likely going to be the garden. However, if you cat feels vulnerable out in the open, move the litter box into the bathroom near the toilet. You’ll need a variety of supplies to train your cat to go to the toilet in a sensible manner that transitions them from the litter box to outside in the garden.

  • When you think your cat needs to go to the toilet next time, gently pick them up and take them outside.
  • They may want to go back inside to go in the litterbox, so bring the box outside and place it in a secure spot, out of view of the majority of the garden.
  • Allow them to go in the litter box while you give them praise. After the cat has finished, gently pet them.
  • Start playing with toys in an attempt to reward them. The best reward is catnip as their senses go wild and the brain releases substantial amounts of pleasurable chemicals.
  • The best catnip for cats will improve their responses to your commands because catnip can be put into toys and used as a reward.
  • Use the catnip toys to encourage your cat outside and slowly transition him or her off the reliance of a litter box.
  • Eventually after multiple times, take the litter box away completely and allow the cat to walk around getting comfortable. Reassure it with gentle petting and give it treats and toys to play with. Naturally, your cat will have to go to the toilet, and it will be excreting or urinating on the grass or soil of the garden.
  • The cat will try to bury their waste by putting grass blades or soil over it because cats are very concerned about cleanliness. This obsessive compulsive disorder stems from their ancient need to mark territory using their pheromones only.

cat-in-the-garden

When your cat is learning to be domesticated, it will often feel nervous and very tense. As the owner, try to be understanding and provide care and give your pet confidence by not making sudden moves or loud noises. Be as patient as you can because what you’re training the cat to do is sometimes against their instinct and building up trust is one key factor in maintaining a healthy relationship. The use of toys and treats cannot be overstated as your calls and affection won’t be enough because as mentioned before cats are often seen as solitary animals and may find it hard to do as you ask them. It’s a challenge to try and balance the normal behavior the cat possesses with fully house trained practices, but much like a dog, the cat will get used to willfully going outside if it connects doing so with a positive experience.

The prevention education of vet school that no one tells you about

Jenni Falconer and her dog Alfie

Something that many people do not realise is that vet school is not all about treating diseases or cool surgeries to put animals back together again. A lot of it is about learning how to stop animals getting sick in the first place. This training involves both infectious diseases as well as parasitic diseases – in fact vets are often better trained in this area than human doctors.

It is often said than an ounce of prevention is better than cure, and in the case where it is so simple to do there is little reason not to. However, a survey of 1056 dog owners carried out in February 2017 shows that whilst some people know what dog parasites exist, they do not know the risks.

Over a third of these dog owners said they never think about the parasites their dog may be hosting even though they sleep in the same bed, sit on the sofa together or even lick their face. In fact one in four people didn’t realise that their pet could have parasites without them even being visible.

One of the reasons that so much effort goes into prevention is that sometimes parasites and diseases can affect both animals and humans as a zoonosis. So helping to protect a pet against these parasites in turn also helps protects you and your family especially for those with children. So let’s take a quick look at some of the types of parasites out there, what people think, and what really is true…

Most dog owners are worried about lungworm with 82% of people knowing that it could be fatal to their pet. However 43% also believed it was a big risk for humans, this is not true as it is actually harmless to humans.

Ticks were second on the list with 36% saying they were worried about them, however less than half realised that ticks could cause death because of the diseases they can transmit. Just 28% realised that ticks could also be harmful to humans as they can transmit Lyme disease.

The most dangerous parasite came bottom of the list with just 15% worrying about roundworms and only 7% believing they could be harmful to human health. Roundworms of the Toxocara variety can cause big problems in humans if their eggs are swallowed such as blindness or neurological disease with children at most risk.

Prevention for these parasites has become easier with palatable oral chews available as well as spot-on medications so you can still interact as your dog as normal after the treatment. With so much at risk it was a surprise that the Pet Parasite Action survey found 1 in 6 hadn’t treated their dogs for parasites in the past year.

Your vet is trained to support you in helping to keep your pet healthy, and there are many options of different treatments. Their expert guidance and support can really prove priceless.

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