very first night I brought Oliver
home. If you don’t yet have a
cat, consider adopting an already
bonded pair so they can live a
long happy life together.
4/Spay/neuter your cat.
This should really be the No. 1
priority on the list. Spaying/neu-
tering your cat is a very important
step to ensuring a happy, healthy,
harmonious life with your cat. It’s
often assumed that one doesn’t
really need to spay/neuter an indoor
cat, but there are many behavioral
and medical issues that can occur
in unaltered cats. Eliminating the
risk of reproductive cancers and
pyometra (infection of the uterus)
is just one benefit, and aggression
and the need to mark territory are
reduced. My late Sadie, who had a
severe heart murmur and could not
be spayed, suffered from uterine
infections as well as crazy aggression
caused by estrus. I loved her, but it
was unpleasant for us both, not to
mention the pricey vet bills. The cost
of spaying/neutering will be money
5/See the vet regularly.
I hear it all the time: “Oh, my cat is
fine; there’s no need to see the vet.”
Nothing could be further from the
truth. Cats are very good at hiding
the fact that they are sick. Usually by
the time you see symptoms, they are
really quite ill. A yearly checkup with
your veterinarian is the best way to
prevent health problems before they
even start. In fact, about half of the
people who call me for behavior
advice really need to take their cat
to see the vet instead of calling me.
Even I have fallen into that trap: My
16-year-old started peeing outside
the box and, at first, I just chalked it
up to old age. I then thought better
of it and whisked her to the vet,
where a UTI was diagnosed.
6/Give the gift of YOU. Above all else, what your cat
really wants from you is YOU. Spend
time with your cat every single day.
Playtime, cuddle time, and grooming
time all promote and deepen the
special bond you have with your
cat and will help you relax as well.
Stroking your cat will not only calm
her, it may also improve your own
health in the process. It has been
reported that owning a cat reduces blood pressure and decreases
your risk of having a heart attack or
stroke. It’s a winning situation for
Rita Reimers’ cat behavior
counseling sessions have
helped many kitties remain
happy in their forever
homes. Visit her website,
thecatanalyst.com, to learn more about
her services and to read her cat behavior
blog. Rita is also owner/CEO of Just For
Cats Pet Sitting: justforcatspetsitting.com.
Connect with Rita on Facebook at The Cat
Analyst and on Twitter at @thecatanalyst.
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD YOU
SPEND WITH YOUR CAT?