12 Things You Should Never Do to Your Cat

We all have our dos’ and don’ts. Don’t we? Cats, too, have their dos’ and don’ts. As cat owners, understanding these boundaries is vital. Here, we’ll explore 12 actions that should never be done to your cat. From yelling to neglecting veterinary care, each action plays a crucial role in keeping our feline friends happy and healthy.

1. Yelling or Physical Punishment

Little kitten infront of a litter box looking bashful.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Yelling at or physically punishing your cat is counterproductive. Cats don’t associate punishment with their actions and may become fearful or aggressive. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement using treats or praise to encourage good behavior.

2. Forceful Hugging or Petting

Young woman hugs a ragdoll cat on a red background. Love to the animals.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats have different comfort levels with physical contact. Forcing hugs or aggressive petting can lead to stress and scratching. Allow your cat to approach you for affection, and respect their boundaries to build trust.

3. Ignoring Litter Box Hygiene

black cat leaving a teal litter box
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Neglecting the litter box’s cleanliness can upset your cat’s routine. Cats are clean animals, and an unclean litter box might lead them to be eliminated elsewhere. Regularly scoop waste and change litter to maintain a welcoming environment.

4. Feeding Them Inappropriate Foods

Adorable grey cat near litter box indoors. Pet care
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Some human foods are toxic to cats, such as chocolate and onions. Avoid feeding leftovers from your plate, and stick to a balanced diet formulated for cats. This prevents potential health issues and keeps your cat well-nourished.

5. Declawing Your Cat

Close up fluffy cat's paw in human hands. Pets care and friendship. Prohibition of cats declawing surgery concept. Stop cruelty to animals
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Declawing involves amputating the last bone of a cat’s toes and is a painful procedure that can lead to lasting physical and behavioral issues. Cats rely on their claws for defense, balance, and natural behaviors like scratching. Instead, provide appropriate scratching posts and regularly trim their claws to prevent damage.

6. Using Essential Oils Indiscriminately

Funny cute little striped Scottish fold Kitten cat lying on white
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Essential oils like tea tree, citrus, and peppermint can be toxic to cats when inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. Cats lack certain enzymes to metabolize these substances, leading to serious health risks. Before using essential oils, please consult your veterinarian to ensure they’re safe for felines.

7. Excessive Bathing

Newman Owned By Laura In Bathroom Sink
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Cats are skilled groomers and have natural oils that keep their coats healthy. Excessive bathing can strip these oils, causing dry skin and irritation. While some situations may warrant bathing, like dealing with a specific skin condition, it’s generally best to let cats manage their grooming routines.

8. Letting Them Roam Unsupervised

side view of tiny bengal kitten walking
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Allowing cats to roam freely outdoors exposes them to dangers like traffic accidents, predators, and exposure to diseases. Supervised outdoor time in a controlled environment or using enclosed catios can offer a safer compromise between indoor and outdoor life. It prevents potential harm and ensures their safety.

9. Giving Them Human Medications

tri colored kitten on a grey blanket
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Administering human medications to your cat without professional guidance can lead to severe health complications. Cats metabolize drugs differently than humans do, and many medications that are safe for us can be toxic to them. Always consult a veterinarian before giving your cat any medication, and never assume that over-the-counter drugs are suitable for felines.

10. Skipping Vet Visits

Ragdoll cat at veterinerian clinic
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Regular veterinary visits are vital for maintaining your cat’s health and catching potential issues early. Skipping these appointments can result in undiagnosed illnesses progressing to a critical stage before being detected. Make it a priority to schedule annual check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure your cat’s well-being.

11. Not Providing Enrichment

pretty kitten peeking out of sign
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Failing to offer mental and physical stimulation can lead to behavioral problems in cats. Cats may become bored, anxious, or engage in destructive behaviors without adequate enrichment. To meet their instincts, keep your cat engaged by providing interactive toys, puzzle feeders, climbing structures, and regular play sessions.

12. Ignoring Their Dental Care

blue lynx mitted ragdoll cat trigg chiggy laying at the top of the stairs on his side
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Neglecting your cat’s dental care can lead to painful dental diseases that affect their overall health. Dental problems can cause discomfort while eating and even lead to infections. To prevent this, regularly brush your cat’s teeth using veterinarian-approved toothpaste and dental tools. Additionally, as your vet recommends, offer dental treats or toys that support oral hygiene.

In conclusion, safeguarding your cat’s welfare demands vigilance and compassion. You nurture a harmonious bond by sidestepping harmful practices such as harsh discipline, neglecting health essentials, and disregarding their instincts. Prioritize their needs, honor their uniqueness, and foster an environment of trust. These principles ensure your cat’s contentment and a mutually gratifying companionship.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Carol Larocque says:

    I rescued a Maine Coon cat.She is 11yrs old but I can’t touch her on her stomach. She eats very well and I give her a pill for a Thyroid problem. I can’t pick her up either. When it is time to go to the vets, I put a dish of
    food in her carrier, and when she goes in to eat I close her in. I live alone and am elderly. I don’t know a thing about her past but I love her. After about a year, She will bump my hand meaning she wants a head rub, and a neck rub. Can’t touch her any where else. Lately she has been going under my bed for most of the day. She will hide there for most of the day and at night she lays beside me for a rub and then goes into another room. I hope she is happy.She loves to sit on my window sill for
    long periods of time. I don’t think she is in pain.

    1. Sounds like you are being very patient and loving with her, so hopefully in time, she will learn to trust even more.

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