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Four ways to respect your cat


Cats are one of the most popular pets. Thirty-seven percent of Canadian households own one or more cats—that's 8.1 million cats! They can effortlessly capture your heart with their soothing purrs and gradually make you respond to their every whim. But while enjoying good moments with your fluffy companion, you might also experience the sudden change in mood when they quickly turn into a tiny monster.


But before you get upset about these spoiled moments, remember that your furbaby’s brain may still be like a wild cat with minimal social skills, so take the time to learn their habits and preferences and what their behaviour means.


As Respect Your Cat Day on March 28 rolls around, consider these four ways to build an excellent relationship with your cat. It will be rewarding when your efforts pay off!


1. Love your cat but grant them freedom

Admit it: sometimes, you just can't get enough of petting or kissing your cat. But your queen or king feline may run away as fast as possible. Just like in human relationships, you need to give them freedom as well. When cats try to escape from your enthusiasm, it’s a sign for you to take a step back, and let your ruler have their space.

For new cat guardians, your cat is likely to hide because they are afraid of their new surroundings. They may even wait for an opportunity to escape. When this happens, instead of trying to forcefully drag them out, use food or treats to lure them out. But if they don't come out, take a break. Sometimes, you’ll just need to leave them alone until they come out on their own. Of course, if your cat is willing to stay in the same room with you without running away, that’s a great start!


2. Get inside your cat's mind

Humans communicate by talking, but cats send signals mostly in a silent way. They rely on body language, vocalization, and even smells. As puzzling as it sounds, you can figure out what they’re saying! For example, to tell if your cat likes you, they will purr, show their tummy, engage in kneading behavior around you, lick your hair or ears, nibble on you, or surprise you with a "gift." But know the opposite signs as well and give them space if you see them acting this way. Some signs include a low tail, walking away from you, hiding, biting, and hissing.


3. To trim or not to trim

Some cat lovers don’t trim their cat’s claws because they feel claws are essential tools for climbing and hunting. And others believe that trimming is beneficial for both cats and humans for safer play and better furniture maintenance. There’s no right or wrong answer, as long as the trimming fits your and your cat's situation and lifestyle. What truly matters is how much stress the nail clipping process causes your cat. If you do choose to trim their claws, begin trimming when your cat is a kitten, so they get used to it. If you’re starting with an adult cat, make sure your cat is as comfortable as possible before you start. To learn more, read these tips.


4. A good meal, not a big meal

You may think offering your cat a lot of food is a way to show love, but it can do more harm than good. Overfeeding leads to severe health problems, such as obesity, diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease. It’s essential to know how much to feed your cat. You can determine the amount from the cat food package or ask your vet. If your cat is overweight, get them to exercise. Regular activity, such as playing, contributes to their physical health and mental wellness. Cat toys are the best way to get your fluffy companion to move around. Visit our SurreyCats Online Store for a range of toys handmade just for your cat!

© 2021 Surrey Community Cat Foundation

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