Things No One Should Ever Be Doing To Their Cat
Because we love our cats we want what’s bestfor them, but you might not actually knowwhat’s best for your cat, because there aresome pretty weird and benign-seeming thingsin our homes that can be dangerous for ourfeline friends. Here are some things that no one should everbe doing to their cat. If cats were still living in the wild, they’duse their claws to climb trees, dispatch prey,and attack the ankles of bears or something. They wouldn’t last long as a species, butthat’s probably what they would do. The common domesticated cat has not evolvedmuch since that time. They love to bat things around on the floor,and they have to scratch things. In other words:”Is your cat making too much noise all thetime?Is your cat constantly stomping around, drivingyou crazy?”If so, declawing your cat is not the solution. In the past, humans responded to the destructionof chairs and couches by declawing the offenders,but most experts today agree that declawingis unnecessarily cruel. The declawing procedure doesn’t just removethe claw, it also removes the last bone oneach toe. A declawed cat may develop permanent painand/or complications such as nerve damageand bone spurs. Cats can also develop behavioral problems,and without claws, cats may turn to bitingas a form of self-defense. Cats were born to stalk, pounce, and attackthings, so it does seem kind of cruel to keepthem locked up in a house, where they do nothingbut sleep in sunbeams all day. Some people still persist in believing thatfor a cat’s life to be truly complete, thecat must be either exclusively an outdoorcat or an indoor/outdoor cat. Outdoor cats may be living like their ancestors,but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Cats aren’t tigers. Let’s put it this way: If you traded yourcomfy jeans for animal skins and moved intoa cave, you’d be living like your ancestors,too, but would you feel more fulfilled?Well…”These cats live tragically short lives. They suffer from disease, they get hit bycars, and they get attacked by animals, includingother cats. “Outdoor cats are more susceptible to pickingup viruses and parasites, too. Maybe an outdoor cat has the unique opportunityto sit and stare at a gopher hole for hours,but that doesn’t make all the mortal perilworthwhile. Your cat probably becomes affectionate inthe presence of cheese or bacon. Your cat probably isn’t cunning enough tostick around after the cheese or bacon isgone, though. Since food-related affection is the only sortyou’re likely to get from your indifferentroommate, you may be tempted to offer up allsorts of human treats as a form of affectionbribery, but you shouldn’t. “Once again, my life has been saved by themiracle of lasagna. “Don’t believe Garfield. Cats aren’t meant to eat human food, and certainfoods can lead to vomiting, or worse, seriousillness and even death. You probably already know that chocolate andonions are bad for dogs, but those foods arealso bad for cats. So just to be on the safe side, don’t leavehalf eaten slices of chocolate cake lyingaround, and the same goes for bowls of alcoholicpunch, grapes and raisins, or guacamole. Those foods can all be toxic to cats. When your cat surprises you by teleportingdirectly into the bowl of chili you were eating,you might be tempted to give him or her alittle push off the edge of the table. Cats always land on their feet, so what’sthe big deal?Well, cats often do a very good job of landingon their feet, but they’re not birds. Cats can’t fly, and falling from an elevatedsurface is still pretty dangerous for them. Plus, pushing your cat from that elevatedsurface also doesn’t really address the problem. Your cat probably won’t even connect the actof jumping on the counter with the act ofbeing pushed off of it, so it’s fairly uselessas a form of punishment. Instead, you should discourage your cat fromjumping up there in the first place. Don’t ever offer food on those elevated surfaces,because then your cat will think that thecounter is a cat-friendly smorgasbord. Dogs love cars. They hang their heads out the window, tonguesflapping like flags, drool splattering allover the guy who’s tailgating you. So if dogs love cars, should cats love themtoo?Some people, evidently, think “yes. “It’s actually pretty unclear why anyone wouldturn a cat loose in a car. Perhaps if you enjoy wearing a cat as a fashionableheadpiece while you’re driving down the freewayand you don’t especially care if you get intoan accident then maybe you can skip gettingyourself a cat carrier. But from a common sense perspective, lettingyour cat roam free in a moving vehicle isa really terrible idea. In some states it’s actually legal to drivea car with your pet in your lap, notably California,where pretty much everything is illegal exceptdriving a car with your pet in your lap. That doesn’t mean you should totally do it,though. A cat who freaks out and lands in the footwellcan interfere with your ability to use thebrakes or the gas. And if there’s an accident, your cat doesn’tstand a chance. It’s totally not worth saving a few buckson a carrier, or whatever other inconceivablereason you had for doing this. “See, I told you he could drive!””Toonces, look out!Aaaah!”Okay, let’s just get this out there rightup front. Wet cat food is gross, and there’s no gettingaround that fact. Most cats love wet food, but even that’s notalways enough to convince weak-stomached catowners to hold their noses and dish the stuffout every morning. So here’s a little extra incentive, in caseyou’re one of those people who would ratherjust avoid the mess and stick with the drykibble. There are health reasons why you need to makesure your cat has wet food in addition tothe dry stuff. Most cats don’t drink a lot of water, so theyneed to get moisture from the things theyeat. Cats are vulnerable to urinary tract infections,and the risk is compounded by a diet thatis high in dry kibble and low in wet food. Cats are carnivores. Dogs, on the other hand, lean omnivores, sowe worry about what they’re eating a littlemore than we worry about what our cats areeating. Cats don’t tend to enjoy the same sorts offoods dogs enjoy, or bother with much besidesmeat. Still, you should be aware that cats do occasionallyeat plants. Grass eating in particular is kind of a catpastime, and a cat that doesn’t spend timeoutdoors may turn to houseplants to satisfythat odd desire to consume something green. So you do need to be careful about the typeof plant life that you bring into your home. If it’s one of the more than 400 species listedin the ASPCA’s database of toxic plants, anexperimental bite from your cat could provefatal. So before you buy a new house plant it’s importantto double check to make sure it isn’t somethingtoxic. Pothos, tulips, azaleas, and holiday plantslike poinsettias, mistletoe, and Easter liliesare all on the list, but that’s only a fewof them. Make sure you do your research before yougo to the nursery. Keeping your cat outside is not a great idea,but that doesn’t mean you need to restricttheir time spent gazing longingly outside. You may think that a lip-licking cat sittingon a windowsill while birds cavort on thefeeder just inches away is a sad sight, butrest assured that your cat is not sufferingduring that experience. Sure, getting to pounce on all those birdsand bugs is probably pretty high on your cat’sbucket list, but let’s face it, it’s not reallyin the best interests of the cat or the birds. It might help if you think of windows as moviescreens for your cat. A cat watching the world go by is going tobe a happier cat than a cat left in the darkwith no visual stimulation. Of course it is also your duty as a pet parentto make sure your cat has plenty of thingsto do inside, like chasing catnip mice andother objects that will not suffer grave injuryor death because of the interaction. Cats and yarn go together like dogs and butt-sniffing. Cats love to play with yarn, and that’s notjust a dumb stereotype. Give a cat a ball of yarn and it’s great entertainmentfor both of you. Would you believe, though, that yarn can actuallybe dangerous for your cat?The sandpaper tongue that cats use to groomthemselves can be hazardous when paired witha piece of yarn because the barbs on a cat’stongue make it impossible for a cat to spitout a bit of string once it gets caught. At that point, the only alternative is toswallow the string. That’s not just unpleasant for your cat, it’salso dangerous. The string can get caught in the intestinescausing intestinal tissue to bunch up. That, in turn, can restrict blood flow, whichcan lead to tissue death. Sometimes the yarn might even cause the tissueto tear, which can lead to systemic poisoning. Surgical removal of the yarn may be the onlyway to save your pet’s life, and it’s expensive. You can let your cat play with that ball ofyarn while you’re watching, but don’t leaveyour cat alone with it. And take care that there are no strings, rubberbands, hair ties, or similar objects layingaround your house that your cat might getinto, those things are just as dangerous. Collars can be life saving for your pet. An indoor-only cat who goes out into the worldcan be quickly returned home with the helpof a tagged collar. Microchipping can do the same thing, but onlyif the animal is picked up by a shelter orother organization that has the ability toread a microchip. For a fast return home, a collar is reallyyour best bet. There are problems with collars, though. The wrong kind of collar can cause injury,it can get caught up on a branch or otherobject and cause entrapment and even strangulation. Sometimes, cats can get their front legs underthe collar, which might lead to bone-breakageor laceration or other kinds of grave injuriesto both the neck and the leg. So if you are going to put a collar on yourpet, make sure it’s the right kind of collar. Breakaway collars are designed to come offin dangerous situations. The drawback is that a cat who loses his orher breakaway collar won’t be easy to identify,so you should always have a microchip in placeas a backup. And remember, it’s better to have a lost catwho at least has some potential to returnhome than an injured cat who may be lost forever. Perhaps and you’re tired of having to smellthat stinky cat food every morning. Or maybe the smell of the litter box is gettingto be too much for you, so you bought yourselfan essential oil diffuser to help return asense of not-stinky to your home. Well, there’s mounting evidence that essentialoil diffusers are really, really dangerousfor cats. Essential oils are especially toxic to catsbecause they can be absorbed internally andexternally, through the skin. The oils are metabolized in the liver, andcats lack the enzyme required to process andeliminate them. An affected cat may drool, vomit, or havedifficulty breathing. If the liver fails, the cat will die. Even if the cat doesn’t come into physicalcontact with the stuff, just inhaling it cancause respiratory distress. Your best bet for removing the stink?Febreze, which contrary to rumor is not actuallytoxic to cats unless you spray it directlyon their fur. Check out one of our newest videos right here!Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favoritestuff are coming soon. 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