HEALTH & LIFESTYLE

If thinking of adopting a cat, read this article and then decide

Cats are adorable pets and can make great companions just like dogs in your life. In today’s society, the debate rages on between being a dog person or a cat person.

When it comes to cats, you can be in for some great times with your furry feline as they give you a rewarding experience as pets. The plus point is that they can remain indoors unlike dogs who love the outdoors more.

Additionally, being low-maintenance pets, they clean up after themselves are always house-trained when in their kitten stage, and always want a leg or knee to curl up on and sleep. When trying to get their message across, they use a variety of meows for their parents to understand their needs and wants.

Says Dr Umesh Kallahalli on keeping a cat as a pet,

More and more people are opting for cats in India, and in many countries, they have outnumbered dogs as a choice of pet because of how low maintenance they are. With people’s busy lifestyles, it is easier for them to take care of cats because they are self-sufficient, and they take care of themselves even when left alone. It is estimated that there are between 40 recognised breeds of cats which include Abyssinian, British Blue Shorthair, Burmese, Chinchilla, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Havana Russian Blue among others. In India, Siamese and Persian and domestic shorthair cats are most popular.

Advantages and Disadvantages of having cats as pets at home

Let’s look at some plus and minus points of owning a cat as a pet at home.

Cats are the best low-maintenance pets

You will not need to look much after your cat if you make sure to keep their litter box clean, feed them regularly, and keep them hydrated. Give them a little attention, not too much because cats want independence and aren’t fond of continuous monitoring. They also make sure they don’t overfeed, can clean themselves up, find ways to entertain themselves and don’t feel separation anxiety a lot, unlike dogs.

No need to create a lot of space for them

When we have cats as pets, we will generally observe that they are quite content with small spaces and don’t want anything elaborate done for them. In today’s societies, cats enjoy living in apartments and small houses, provided that they have a window from where they can look at the activities of daily life. As they happily live indoors, ensure that the spaces that you allot them are comfortable and suitable for their needs. Cats also enjoy human contact and mental stimulation, but when under stress require the comfort of their small spaces to ease themselves out.

They take time to open up to humans and other animals

Cats are usually solo pets and take a bit of time to get into the world of their humans. They possess traits such as boldness, intelligence, and playfulness, which is why they are comfortable being alone rather than in big packs. When in their kitten stage, they must be taught all social skills by us. They take their time to socialize and accept other animals into their life. So, ensure you have a quiet house when bringing the cat for the first time. However, if you do have other pets, make sure you keep them away from your cat for a few hours at least. When your cat feels comfortable at its ‘home turf’, you can slowly bring in your other pets and introduce them to the cat.

Cats can display behavioral issues

When you don’t take proper care of your cat, it can lead to some very bad behavior from your feline friend. A cat wants proper nutrition and hygiene from your side. Your cat will frequently display the urge to hunt even if they aren’t hungry. If kept under stressful environments, they display behaviors such as urine-spraying, soiling indoors, and territorial aggression. If you don’t want your furniture damaged, ensure you have scratch posts installed at important points in your home. Ensure that you keep your cats neutered so that they don’t display reproductive urges that can cause you and your family quite a nuisance, especially during mating season.

Concludes Dr Umesh on this issue,

While cats are very independent, the responsibility of their health and physical wellbeing ultimately lies with you. Cats are carnivores and rely on nutrients found only in animal products, you can opt for products like Whiskas wet and dry food to meet their nutrient requirements. You can give them non-toxic toys to play with and learn and comb them regularly to prevent shedding. Finally, and most importantly ensure all dangerous items like poisonous plants and cleaning chemicals are removed, and they are properly vaccinated and dewormed for a healthy life.

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