9 Common Cat Owner Mistakes to Avoid

Two kittens cuddling

A big choice is making a new feline buddy your house. Despite having a reputation for being more independent than dogs, cats nonetheless need a significant investment in terms of time, money, and effort. Here are some things prospective cat owners should know in order to prevent the typical mistakes new cat owners frequently make before they rush to their neighborhood pet store and bring home the first cute kitten they see (no matter how tempting it is).

  • 01 of 09

    Kitten climbing up a cage.

    Impulsive purchases of new clothes are one thing, but there is no simple return policy when it comes to animals if they don't fit. You must carefully weigh all of your alternatives before deciding whether to adopt a new feline buddy into your house to become a member of your family.

    Make sure to conduct your research about cat breeds, behavior, and the fundamentals of cat care. Additionally, you should check out other shelters and make sure to ask as many questions as possible. Try to learn as much as you can about the distinct personality and past of your new cat because cats are such particular creatures.

  • 02 of 09


    Bringing home a new four-legged family member is just like having children, which is not only expensive but also a life-changing and long-term commitment. Responsible shelters will thoroughly vet any prospective adopters to make sure that their environment and way of life are suitable for cat ownership and that they have the resources to provide everything their new cat will need to live a happy, healthy life, from necessities like food to the cash to take care of health issues that may develop as your pet ages. Remember that pet insurance exists to assist make owning a cat more affordable.

  • 03 of 09


    It is your duty as a cat owner to see to it that your pet is and to do your part to help reduce the problem of cat overpopulation. Most significantly, spaying or neutering will reduce the possibility of having an unexpected litter of unwanted kittens that would be expensive and time-consuming to care for and adopt out. These difficulties include aggressive behavior in your male cat or yowling in female cats when they are in heat. Additionally, having your cat helps safeguard it from a variety of health problems, such as bacterial infections and malignant tumors.

  • 04 of 09


    Your veterinarian may inquire whether you'd want to at the same time as you bring your cat in for spaying or neutering. Despite the fact that some vets still view this procedure as a standard part of cat ownership, many others believe it to be unnecessary and barbaric. Many nations and US states have even outlawed it. Declawing as an elective surgery is discouraged by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, which advocates non-surgical options. Do your study as a cat owner to understand your options and make an educated choice, as cat declawing necessitates surgically amputating your cat's toes' end bones rather than merely trimming their claws.

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  • 05 of 09


    It's a popular fallacy that cats don't require as many visits to the veterinarian as dogs do, or that they don't require vaccinations because many cats seldom ever leave their homes. However, cats require the same care as dogs, and whether they live indoors or outdoors, all cats must have certain vaccinations. Additionally, it's critical that kids have access to yearly checkups in order to identify any concerns that might develop into more significant health problems. And although though it should go without saying, if your cat is sick or hurt, you should always take it to the vet. To ensure your cat has a long, healthy life, do your homework on local vets, ask lots of questions, and choose the best doctor to work with.

  • 06 of 09


    Most cats are more than glad to constantly use their litter box as long as you maintain it tidy and use a litter that doesn't annoy them (avoid the scented litter, for example). Scooping, cleaning, and litter replacement are all part of maintenance. The way your cat uses the litter box may also help you spot any possible health issues; for instance, cats that suddenly start peeing outside of the box may be showing signs of urinary tract problems and need to see the doctor right away.

  • 07 of 09


    When it comes to feeding their cat, pet owners have a wide range of alternatives and pricing points. But you should be sure to provide your cat food that satisfies their nutritional requirements, such as diets that are a good source of animal protein and don't contain a lot of grain fillers like corn, which are frequently present in certain lower-quality (and more affordable) cat foods. Consult your veterinarian to find out the best meals for your cat to eat in terms of both cost and nutritional value. Remember that feeding your cat better-quality food over time can result in fewer trips to the vet and more money in your pocket. All pet diets with an AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee are regarded as being balanced and complete in terms of nutrition.

  • 08 of 09

    Know Where Your Cat Is


    You can't just let your cat wander free outside, whether you decide to provide it an indoor or outdoor (or both) lifestyle. The terrible truth is that there are many outside risks, from assaults by wild animals (or your neighbor's dog) to getting struck by a car, so letting your cat wander free is not the best option, even if many cat owners believe their cat deserves the freedom and fresh air. Cats that are permitted outside are also the biggest threat humans have ever posed to birds. They kill billions of native animals every year, and some bird species have even gone extinct as a result. Because even well-fed cats still search for prey, even one indoor/outdoor cat in a community can have a significant impact on the surrounding fauna.

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  • 09 of 09


    New cat owners may mistakenly believe that their feline companion will welcome them at the door or cuddle up to them like a dog. They may also become irritated by common feline habits that people often find difficult to comprehend, such their propensity to look for high or enclosed areas to watch you rather than cuddling up in your lap on the couch. But as a new cat owner, you must realize that cats are independent beings with powerful impulses. They could take some time to warm up to you and become used to your way of life, just as it might take some time for you to get used to their particular personalities and mannerisms. If you're ready to invest the time and energy necessary to establish a connection with them on their terms and recognize when your cat is simply acting like a cat, a cat may provide years of love and company.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.


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