Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Leaving cats home alone

I can't get over the mentality of people who think it's acceptable to leave cats on their own for days on end while they go away ! For example, today on Yahoo Answers someone asked how to go about finding a reliable pet sitter for his 2 cats as he was going away for 3 days. This person and rightly so, wanted to make sure his cats were OK, more so because one of them is a sensitive cresture and when she gets stressed, she is sick.
So, what did quite a few 'advise' ? Only to leave the cats at home alone !!! One mentioned leaving plenty food and water, one mentioned they might need an extra litter tray, but all agreed they'd be fine for 3 days on their own.
Thankfully a few sensible people had been on too, one especially sensible suggestion was that he asked his vet to recommend someone trustworthy to cat sit. I could only add to that to suggest the sitter came to meet the cats before he went away, so he could see what he/she was like and if they interacted with the cats well.
Cats can get ill very quickly, have an accident, someone could break into the house and hurt the cats or they could get out of a broken window, maybe cutting themselves as they do.
Apart from that, if none of those things happen, the water left for the cats could be spilled, the food go off,the litter trays overflowing.
Cats deserve better than being left alone for more than a day !

Monday, 15 June 2009

Confining pets in small spaces

Yesterday I saw a question on Yahoo Answers from a girl who was getting a kitten. She said her dad HATES cats but as she's his 'lil girl' he said OK as long as the kitten stayed in a cage until she grew up. She went on to say that of course she'd let the kitten out for a while when she was home from school but it would have to go back in overnight.Was that OK ? I was astonished to see some answers saying yes that was acceptable !
That kitten would be shut in a cage for at least 18 hours out of the 24 hours in a day and with no companionship.Poor little soul, leaving her mother and siblings and condemned to that life.I pointed that out and that kittens need regular feeding and interaction with people and fun and games, they did not need shutting away alone in a house ruled by someone who hates cats.
What is it with these 'kitty cages ' and 'dog crates' I can't understand why people get pets and then lock them away for hours on end. Here in England our pets have the freedom of the house and the garden at the very least ! Pets are not possessions to be taken out of cages or crates when it suits.It's not compulsory to have a pet, so why why why do some people take them and possibly deprive them of a loving happy home where they'd be one of the family ?

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Punishing cats is wrong !

Every day people ask questions about how they should punish their kitten. The kitten is usually called 'bad' 'aggressive' or 'mean'
There is always a spate of answers advising 'yelling loud' 'rattling coins in a can' 'squirting water or some other liquid at the kitten' 'hitting the kitten on it's butt' 'blowing in its face' 'locking it away for time out' 'bopping it on the nose' and other variations on the same theme.
Why do these people not realise that kittens are babies,just like human babies and they surely wouldn't punish a human baby .....would they ??
I always reply, the best way to train a kitten is by distraction, they simply need lots of catnip toys around to throw or put gently by the kittens mouth when they go to bite or scratch someone or scratch a surface they shouldn't. Some of these kittens have no toys and no scratching post ! People play with them with bare hands when they are tiny and then wonder why they grow up thinking it's acceptable to bite their hands.
I also recommend that they don't speak when they gently redirect the kitten but when the kitten is good, to praise him, using his name a lot. The kitten soon learns it's a good feeling to please !
A kickable sized catnip toy is a good thing to buy or make, it's very easy to make one with an old soft towel.You just cut the shape of a fish or whatever,sew the edges securely and stuff it with the rest of the towel with catnip sprinkled in.
You can't put an old head on young shoulders is a very appropriate saying and kittens have to learn about the world, just like children do. I wish people would understand this and realise that the kitten will soon grow up anyway and in comparison to ours, their lives are very short.
Their lives should be made as happy as possible, enjoying being kittens and then cats.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Tenants can not be forced to declaw their cats

Sometimes a question comes up from someone upset and asking what they can do because their landlord has told them that to continue their tenancy, their cat must be declawed. This is wrong ! Declawing cats is animal abuse and the links below are very informative about tenants rights and how to explain to your landlord that a declawed cat is a far greater risk to their property than a cat with claws: