There is a lot more to being a cat owner than topping up their food bowl and capturing cute snaps of them snoozing. Whether you're already a proud cat owner or you're soon to become one, there are always extra tips and guidance available to help you offer your feline friend a happier and healthier life.
Once you've made sure that your home is cat-proof and that you have plenty of the best kitten food on hand, you'll also want to know the dos and don'ts of raising a cat. Similar to parenting a human, how you wish to look after your cat is up to you but it is useful to learn from an expert in feline behavior.
Amanda Campion CAB, a clinical animal behaviorist, who runs a cat advice TikTok account named Kittysittycatbehavior has shared with her online followers five things she would never do as a feline behaviorist. From advice on spaying your cat, to discipline, to when is safest to let your cat head outside, Campion reveals all you need to know in her helpful video.
You might have certain things that you don't feel quite right about doing to your cat or don't know how to make your parenting as enriching for your cat as possible. If you relate to this, keep reading to explore Campion's five things she wouldn't do as a cat behavior expert:
1. Neglecting to neuter or spay your cat
"Failing to spay or castrate your cat can leave them prone to getting in fights or, obviously for females, being heavily pregnant and then a population of cats that you don’t want," explains Campion.
2. Don't punish your cat
Cats can be very mischievous and cause havoc. However, Campion advises against ever punishing your cat. She says, "All they want is positive reinforcements so be kind to your cats." So this advice doesn't encourage scolding, scruffing or spraying your cat with water.
3. Let your cat outside before it turns one
Campion points out that this one is a bit of a controversial topic in the UK, where she is from, but has her reasons for why she advises against letting your cat explore outdoors before turning one.
"They’re just not road savvy and think about different ways of giving them an outdoor experience: butterfly cat jackets, take them for a walk on a harness, beautiful cat patios - these can be large or small depending on your garden but it keeps them safe and still allows them to have the enrichment that there is outside."
4. Fail to prepare for a new cat
This was a big no no in Campion's list of feline advice. "If you’re bringing a new kitten home think about a decompression zone where you can leave them there. If you’re introducing to other pets in the family, then prepare properly and do a proper introduction."
5. Leave them to entertain themselves
"Cats need lots of stimulation so think about different ways that you can bring that predatory instinct and play it back into their lives indoors", she explains. Buy your moggy a cat tree or, if you don't want to spend money on toys, make your own fun with your cat by stimulating it with some old shoe laces or a set of keys.
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With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.