Here are the top three mistakes cat parents make, according to one trainer

Woman hugging her cat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nobody’s perfect, and that goes for pet parents just as much as anyone – even the most well-meaning person can make a mistake when it comes to their furry friends. 

Most of the time, these mistakes – like feeding a few too many of the best cat treats – won’t have huge, long-lasting impacts on your pets, but it’s still good to be aware of them. Particularly when it comes to cats, because of their independent nature it’s easy to assume that what you do as their parent doesn’t matter so much. 

But fortunately, certified cat trainer and behaviorist and founder of Cats Explained, Maria Kozlova, is here to outline the top three mistakes cat parents make in an Instagram post. 

1. Assuming cats are low maintenance: “While cats might seem more independent than dogs,” says Kozlova, “They still need regular feeding, playtime, grooming, and lots of love! Make sure you’re prepared for this commitment.”

Of course, all cats are individuals, but some can be extremely affectionate towards their humans and need plenty of contact with them. And even the most independent cat will still rely on you to some degree, for things like food, water, and grooming. Here are seven signs your cat isn't getting what it needs to be happy.

2. Not providing enough litter boxes: If you didn’t realize it’s a good idea to have more than just one litter box, you’re not alone. Koxlova says, “A good rule of thumb is one litter box per cat, plus one extra. If you have one cat, that means two litter boxes!”

This is particularly important if you have multiple cats. Can cats share a litter box? Well, some cats don’t like sharing, and even if they are fine with it, there might be a time when one cat is caught short but their feline sibling is already using the litter box. Having additional litter boxes means that there’s always going to be a free one not too far away. 

And even if you just have one cat, they might be on the other side of the house when they realize they need to go to the toilet. An extra litter box can reduce the likelihood of any little accidents!

3. Neglecting routine vet visits: “Cats need routine vet care just like any other pet. Regular check-ups can help catch any potential health issues early,” says Kozlova.

Again, because cats often seem so independent, it can be easy to forget things like this. But however independent your cat might be, they can’t phone up the vet to book an appointment if they’re injured or unwell. 

They’re relying on you to take them to the vet on a regular basis to nip any potential issues in the bud, and to look out for signs that they may not be feeling their best, too. Here’s how to get a scared cat to the vet if you’re having trouble, as many cat parents do from time to time. 

If you’re aware that you’ve made any of these mistakes yourself, you won’t be the first cat parent to have done so. But identifying them makes it easier for us to change our habits and be the best parents to our kitties!

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.