Are Cats Low Maintenance Pets?Published May 14, 2012
Bret Glass, CatAWhack- with permission
I was recently asked about low maintenance pets. After doing some research, I was amazed to find that several “experts” describe cats as low-maintenance pets. Perhaps in some people’s minds, when comparing felines to canines, kitties fall into this category. As far as this writer is concerned, nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s possible their rationale could be based on the myth that Cats are "self-sufficient,” rarely needing grooming or exercise. According to their opinion, feeding a kitty requires hardly any effort. All a kitty guardian has to do is set down a plate of cat food on the floor twice a day, leave plenty of dry food available and provide a bowl of fresh clean water. Now that would mean cats were low maintenance pets.
Making cat ownership much easier is the wide assortment of automatic water and food dispensers and the advent of automatic litter box cleaners. The “nasty” task to few kitty guardians would call low maintenance, poop scooping, may soon be a thing of the past. So how can kitty’s output, (so to speak) be monitored? This is an essential part of feline care.
Since cats cannot “tell us” what’s wrong, under stressful conditions they may become “destructive,” behaving in ways kitty “pawrents” consider unacceptable. One of the biggest misconceptions about felines is that they are vindictive. In reality, cats are not devious. They are not retaliating. They are simply expressing their needs.
Cats are innately inquisitive, predatory creatures rather than low maintenance pets. If left alone for long periods of time cats will find ways to communicate that they are unhappy. Bored kitties will often entertain themselves with behavior that humans do not find amusing.
Since many feline guardians work, or are away from home for long periods of time, keeping cats stimulated and happy, and preventing a host of destructive behaviors, can easily be accomplished by providing them with an enriched and feline-friendly environment.
Cats are hunters. Challenge them by hiding favorite toys in strategic places. Set out cardboard boxes into which they can pounce and hide. Instead of leaving a bowl of grainless dry food in an easy-to-reach location, put pieces of kibble into small cardboard boxes with holes, or paper bags to ignite their hunting instincts.
Scratching is a quintessential part of being a feline. Cats scratch to scent mark, to stretch and to clean their nail sheaths. Scratching posts high enough to allow cats to stretch fully, covered with a textured material to which the cat is attracted, helps to prevent “destructive” clawing--a main reason why people who think cats are low maintenance pets often end up surrendering them to an animal shelter.
Cats also require a safe, private area to get away from it all!
Since cats are natural climbers, I can recommend the CatAWhack, a unique and beautiful unit is specifically designed so kitty can scratch to his or her content or curl up for a nap. When it is placed near a window, it not only offers kitties an opportunity to bird-watch; it also provides an enhanced sleeping place; the purrfect spot in which to retreat.
Made of all natural materials, every surface is a safe “claws on” scratch surface. The CatAWhack is an ideal outlet to direct normal, natural cat scratching behavior to the "right" surfaces. I highly recommend this magnificently crafted piece of cat furniture for all cats, big and small. I also recommend considering all of the above before taking on the responsibility of your own cat.
Watch the video uploaded to YouTube by CatAWhack, of Macy Grey, one of CatAWhack’s crew members enjoying a playful kicking back session.
Visit CatAWhack for contact information.
Do you consider cats low maintenance pets? Tell us about it in a comment.
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