With a cat or two around the house, even the most dedicated pet parent may slack off and take Kitty’s presence for granted. Even the simplest oversight may have big consequences on your cat’s well-being and quality of life. Here are things you should NEVER do to your fave feline.
Hold Your Cat On Your Lap While Driving
Most cats dislike traveling and resent being cooped up in their carriers, but a free-range cat in a moving vehicle can become a terrified, furry missile. An unconfined cat is distracting to the driver, and vulnerable to injury or escape. With your cat on the loose, ping-ponging around the car, your final destination is the disaster. Buckle your cat’s carrier in place for a safe road trip.
Put Off Vet Visits
Your cat seems healthy. She eats well, looks good, and hasn’t changed her activity level. But cats, like the rest of us, can experience subtle health shifts, from poor vision to kidney dysfunction. Felines are masters at concealing their ills and compensating for problems. An annual vet exam can pinpoint the start of any health concerns and treat minor issues before they become major issues.
“At the very least, you’ll have a baseline for comparison if any problems crop up,” said Dr. Brad LeVora of Little Seneca Animal Hospital in Germantown, MD. “With the cat’s health history documented, there should be fewer surprises.”
Leave Windows Open
Loosely screened windows can pose a hazard to curious cats. Excitement over a robin’s fly-by may cause your mellow tabby to accidentally dislodge that screen and plummet to the ground. If you’re at work when the incident happens, hours could pass before you realize your cat is hurt or missing. Ensure that your window screens are sturdy and limit window openings to an inch or two when you’re not around to keep Kitty safely indoors.
Put Your Cat Outdoors Unsupervised
Think your cat longs to explore all of the springtime’s splendors on her own? Hey, she knows where she lives and she’d never wander off, right? Wrong. Your indoor kitty’s reaction to the great outdoors might be curiosity, confusion, or fright. She may dart away into traffic or cower under a bush when a strange dog approaches. Keep Kitty safely harnessed, leashed, and reassured by your presence when outdoors, for her peace of mind and yours.
Skip-Flea or Heartworm Treatment
Your cat stays indoors and rarely comes in contact with other animals. Why bother with a flea and heartworm preventive for an indoor cat? Believe it or not, fleas and the mosquitos that carry heartworms can easily enter your home and cause big problems for cats. You may walk fleas into your home after visiting a friend with a dog or cat, and mosquitos can zip through a door or window that is left open for just a few seconds. With plenty of products available, keeping your cat free of fleas and heartworms has never been easier. (Not-so-fun-fact: There is no good way to get rid of heartworms in cats, and infections can be fatal.)