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Common Mistakes Made by New Cat Parents

Quote from Beth Stern


4. Neglecting to Spay or Neuter Your Cat

Unless you live under a rock you know there are homeless pets everywhere and shelters are overcrowded. Animals are dying on a daily basis because there is no shelter space available. And, if the pet overpopulation issue doesn’t leave an effect on you then I hope this will: an unneutered male WILL urine-mark. A male cat who is ruled by his hormones will definitely follow his instinct to mark his territory. Your furniture will become the victims of male urine. If you think you can avoid that by making him an outdoor cat, you will doom him to being the victim of cat fights or inflicting injury on other cats. He will also continue to mate (contributing to over-population). For a female cat, if left unspayed, she will make every attempt to escape outdoors, vocalize and in general, be a cat on a mission. With both male and female cats, failure to spay or neuter may also increase their chances of certain cancers.

5. Allowing Your Cat to Roam

Whether to allow a cat outdoors at all is a controversial topic. My opinion is cats are safer indoors and you can create a stimulating environment inside that will provide all the entertainment, enrichment and fun a cat needs while keeping her safe. Letting your cat outdoors to roam the neighborhood puts her at risk for disease, injury, fighting, poisoning, abuse, parasites, getting lost, stolen or hit by a car. If you keep your cat indoors, you will also reduce the stress of other indoor cats in the neighborhood who may get upset when they see an unfamiliar cat wandering into their yards.

Photo: Pexels

6. No Identification on Your Cat

If you don’t have identification on your cat you stand a very low chance of ever getting her back if she gets lost. While the common form of identification is an ID tag on a collar, the safest method is to have your cat microchipped. This is a small chip injected under the skin that contains your contact information. Veterinary clinics and shelters have the handheld scanners used to read these chips. Microchipping can be done at your veterinary clinic. It’s a very quick process.

7. Not Taking the Time to Train Your Cat

If you’ve lived with cats in the past and you shudder to think of the memories of trying to get them to the veterinarian without getting scratched or bitten, then hopefully you now realize how important it is to start training your cat from the very beginning. Spend time getting your cat comfortable with being in a carrier, car travel, being handled, etc. It will be much easier when it comes time for the trip to the veterinarian’s office. Additionally, take the time now to train your cat regarding her environment. Is she allowed on the kitchen counter? If not, get started training her to where she can and can’t go. If you don’t train her and then just end up punishing her when she does something you don’t like it’s truly unfair to the cat. Be consistent and do appropriate, positive training from the very beginning.


  1. I love this post. I had a cat for eleven years and she was a joy to be around. I had tons of hanging toys for her to play with, scratch posts to scratch and balls to chase.

    She was shy around strangers but when they started shaking her toys she would be right there with all her love.

    I also knew her signs of “That’s enough mama time to relax.” The swishing tail, ears back or eyes narrowed.

    I received a lot of joy from my days with her and she was well looked after. When I found her the vet told me don’t expect a long time, two years at most but she out did them and made it 11 great healthy years with the proper care.

    When you get a cat you need the same attitude as getting a dog and understand there is work and training involved as you would a dog.

  2. Outdoor cats are also more than decimating our song birds.

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