If you own a cat then it's likely they put a smile on your face most days. You will of course want to do the same for them. You can shower them with the best cat toys and treats but sometimes it's the simplest of acts from you that will boost their mood and quality of life.
This applies to old and new cat parents. If you're looking to welcome a brand new or rescue cat into your home, you'll want to know what things you should avoid doing in order to nurture your new family member.
Fortunately, cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy has shared with Tiktok four things you should never do to your cat and why. They aren't rocket science but they're all important if you want to be a brilliant cat parent and make sure your feline friend can live to its fullest with you.
Galaxy jumps straight into his feline 101, which we've listed down below so you don't have to mentally note his four helpful tips.
1) Never declaw your cat
Cat declawing is a surgical process that involves removing the last bone of a cats toe to stop the cat's claw from growing, the full claw and nail is removed during this process. It's an extremely controversial procedure and one that Galaxy says, "Just don't do. "
"Whatever you’re trying to solve won’t get solved, it hurts them. It’s illegal in many countries and it should be illegal in the US as well," he adds.
2) Don't use a squirt bottle
Although squirt bottles may look fun to mess around with and a good way to play with your cat, Galaxy doesn't recommend using one of these around your kitty. He warns, all you are achieving by spraying your cat with one of these is making them scared of you. If you want to improve your relationship with your cat, spraying water at them isn't going to win you any feline parenting points.
As for using it as a training tool, "It just doesn't work," notes Galaxy, "What happens when you’re not in the room and your cat scratches the carpet? They’ll do it again."
3) Avoid yelling
Punishing your cat by yelling at them isn't an effective solution. Galaxy explains, "If you think that yelling at your cat because they did something works - it doesn’t. Again, all your doing is damaging your relationship." Instead regularly spend time connecting with your cat and teaching them good behaviors and skills as you do this. Why not read our article on how to play with a cat, which includes expert advice from a vet.
4) Don't give up
Last but not least, Galaxy encourages cat owners not to give up. If you've been struggling with training or receiving affection from your cat, don't give up on trying. Your efforts will eventually pay off or perhaps you need to seek some professional help to identify why any issues could be persisting.
Want more kitten and cat tips? Find out how to stop a cat from spilling their water bowl or look into signs your cat isn't getting what it needs to be happy.
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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.