In any discussion surrounding the UK’s two most popular pets, it’s usually dogs that are considered to need the highest levels of care and nurture, whilst cats are the more – for want of a better word – ‘convenient’ pet.
That’s not to say that cats are neglected, rather that owners consider them to be the easier option as they often integrate into our daily routines far more easier than their four-legged canine friends.
Whilst this may be partially true, it’s also something of a myth, as cats are incredibly loyal creatures that are affected by changes in their environment much like dogs. So, it begs the question…
Just How Independent Are Cats?
Cats are far more independent than dogs – that much is undeniable. Leave a dog outdoors for too long and they’re sure to stand by the door soon enough, whimpering to come in. Cats, on the other hand, can live indoors or outdoors quite happily, so long as they know that they have a home to come back to when they need food and shelter.
That’s the caveat – however you choose to raise your cat, they need to be assured that they’ve somewhere to go for the night or whenever they want some nurturing. Therefore, they’re not totally independent, meaning that that they can often be unknowingly neglected.
In an effort to bust some common misconceptions, here are some cat care tips to always remember…
Cats Need Attention
First things first, cats should never be left alone for more than 24 hours.
It sounds obvious, but there’s a common misconception that cats will fend for themselves and manage just fine if they’re left to their own devices for a few days. Yes, they might be natural hunters, but having been domesticated these instincts will have been largely suppressed.
Leaving an indoor cat with enough food and water sounds good enough, but who knows what else could go wrong. Similarly, outdoor cats depend on the option to go home and, if they’re not greeted upon arrival, they will be seriously disoriented.
Make sure you’ve always got someone to check in on them or, if needs be, get a cat sitter!
Separation Anxiety Exists
Much like dogs, cats can suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to them becoming stressed.
They need daily social interaction and playtime to keep them stimulated and well exercised. Without this, they quickly become bored.
It’s important that you’re around to keep a close eye on them, as boredom often leads to mischief – and who knows what could happen then…
Fresh Water, Please
Cats need to drink approximately 30ml of water per 450g of body weight per day in order to prevent dehydration, meaning that you need to be on hand to keep their bowl full.
They’re fussy creatures, meaning that even when provided with enough water to last them, they’ll turn their nose up if it’s warm and stale. Instead, they need fresh, cool water to keep them going.
Aside from the lack of freshness, leaving multiple bowls of water down is a recipe for disaster, as they’ll undoubtedly be spilled all over the place and you’ll soon be forking out for a new rug!
It’s simple – never leave your cat alone for any lengthy period of time.
It might seem fine to start with, but any number of things could happen, in terms of your home, and well as the safety and well-being of the animal. They’re largely independent, but they cannot manage totally alone.
If you are going to be away from home, plan ahead and have proper provisions in place to ensure that your cat is well looked after and you’re not living in a state of worry.
Work full time and looking for regular pet care? Perhaps Tailster can help! We have a range of vetted carers across the UK, available to care for your pet as and when you require. For more information, click here.