R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out how to show it to your cat.
“Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect.” – Mona Sutphen, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff
As a devoted cat owner, you most likely have taken this advice to heart and place great value on the bond you have developed with your feline friend. In fact, on March 28, you can celebrate that esteem even more by recognizing “Respect Your Cat Day.”
This day for honoring cats is believed to date back to March 28, 1384, when King Richard II of England officially outlawed the consumption of cats through the issuance of a formal edict. Today, humane societies, veterinary clinics, and other animal organizations encourage loving cat owners to evaluate the care they already provide their pets and look for ways to show a bit more respect to their feline friends.
Ready to honor your pet?
Here are just a few ways you can respect your cat, on March 28 and every other day of the year:
- Feed him a high-quality diet. Look for one formulated specifically for cats. Manufacturers today offer many different high-quality options, so you may want to ask your vet what type of food is best for your cat’s life stage (kitten, adult, senior), and if your cat should eat a diet that helps control a pre-existing medical condition.
- Ensure your cat has a ready source of clean, fresh water. Keep in mind that some cats like to drink out of a bowl, while others prefer a tall cup. Some cats even like to drink running water, such as that from a specially designed fountain.
- Make time to play with your cat. Ah, the lazy life of a cat. Napping, eating, sunning—and most likely not getting enough exercise to stay fit and trim. Help your cat stay in top shape by engaging him in interesting play. Interactive toys will help get him moving, and help strengthen your good relationship.
- Keep your cat indoors. While your cat may show a heightened interest in all that awaits him outside, limit his outdoor excursions to short daytime visits that you are able to supervise. Your cat can encounter many things that can harm him outside, including automobile traffic, wild animals, and other (potentially aggressive or sick) cats.
- Schedule regular veterinary checkups. By taking your cat to the vet for an annual checkup, you help ensure that any potential illnesses are caught early, and that you can make small adjustments in your pet’s care to keep him in the best shape possible. If your cat is showing signs of illness or displaying changes in behavior, don’t wait until his next annual checkup. Take him to the vet as soon as possible.
- Keep his litter box clean and accessible. No one likes a dirty bathroom, including your cat. A general rule of thumb is to provide a box for each cat in your household, plus one more. Keep the boxes in quiet yet accessible locations, and scoop them at least twice a day.
- Bond over a grooming session. Regular grooming sessions help keep shed hair to a minimum by removing loose hair from your cat’s coat. Most cats also love the feel of the brush on their skin. By brushing or combing your cat regularly, you also learn to recognize any differences in the feel of his skin or fur, which can help you detect any bumps, bruises, or lesions before they become serious.
- Trim his claws. As part of your grooming sessions, make time to clip your cat’s claws. This will help protect your home furnishings, and will also be more comfortable for your cat. Ask your vet or your local groomer to show you the method the first time. After that, find a time when both you and your cat are calm (again, after a grooming session typically is ideal), then gently trim.
- Provide appropriate places for scratching. Even with regular help from you in maintaining his claws, your cat still needs to satisfy his urge to scratch. To save your furniture and home furnishings, be sure to place appropriate scratching surfaces around your home where your cat can scratch.
- Meet with a cat trainer: Cat Trainers are able to review your home and provide suggestions and training tips! Trainers are also able to make sure you have the optimum placement of litter boxes, cat trees and enrichment activities.
- Evaluate your home from your cat’s perspective. Make sure he can’t access something that can harm him, such as household cleaners, medications, or pest control products. Securely fasten all window screens so your pet can’t push them out while enjoying the view from a window. Keep all your crafting items—particularly thread, yarn, needles, and tiny swallowable objects—out of his reach.
- Give him the best seat in the house. Respect his need to observe his surroundings, whether from a window seat or a cat tree placed near the hub-bub of the family without placing him in the center of it. Your cat wants to see all the activity but not necessarily engage in it.