TIPS AND TRICKS
How to have good relations between children and cats
To develop a harmonious relationship between a child and a cat, the child must learn to be gentle and respectful of the animal.
Cats who are going to live with children will ideally have grown up win an active home and have been handled by children while kittens between seven weeks and three months of age.
In a large family, it is probably better to adopt a kitten than an adult cat as it will be easier to integrate it into family routine. On the other hand, some adult cats are calm by nature and will also adapt to a family with several children.
Nevertheless, very young children should not be left alone with pets -too much attention will eventually upset even the gentlest of cats.
Many potential cat owners are afraid to adopt a cat which may mark its territory by spraying. Normally, when a cat marks its territory, it backs up to an object, lifts its tail and sprays urine on the object. It is rare, but not impossible, that a cat will squat down on its hind legs to mark its territory. Remember that a cat doesn’t do this out of frustration or just to annoy its owners but rather to establish its territory, or as a reaction to change or because it is stressed. When it happens, you must never hit the cat as this would just create more stress aggravate the situation. As well, you have to understand that this behavior comes from their instinct to survive and to reproduce in the wild. If your cat is sterilized and begins to mark its territory, it’s important to see a veterinarian to see whether the cat has a urinary infection.
Generally, it is only unsterilized males who mark their territory by spraying -probably the best incentive one needs to get your cats sterilized as soon as possible to avoid this unpleasant behavior! As well, even if your cat has started spraying, getting him sterilized will greatly reduce the chance that this behavior will continue. Normally this stops at the time of the sterilization but in some cases it can go on for several months.
On the other hand, if you cat is sterilized and still sprays but does not have a urinary infection, here are a few suggestions that may help.
If your cat is spraying near a window or on curtains near a patio door, he may be responding to the sight or odor of an outdoor cat. In this case, try to block access to your cat or to discourage the outdoor cat from coming to that window or door. Never use mothballs to discourage a stray cat -if they dissolve in rain water and are drunk by an animal they can cause serious illness and even death.
If the cat always sprays in the same area, try to discourage it or block access to this spot -but, careful, by blocking access, the cat might simply decide to spray in another spot.You can discourage by changing the way the cat uses this area -for example, by putting its food there (cats generally won’t mark the territory where they are fed or place its favorite toys there for it to find and play with.
When you are first introducing a new pet into your home, try to do it gradually. Cats do not like change and they prefer a certain routine. If you have several cats, add another litter box. For pet owners having trouble with cats marking their territory, we suggest to have one more litter box than the number of cats.
We also recommend one litter box for each floor of your home. Some cats prefer to urinate in one litter and defecate in another, so try to add one extra box. But above all make sure the litter is clean. It needs to be cleaned at least once a day and the litter emptied and the box cleaned each week. Try to find the litter box that best suits your cat -covered or not, large or small- since the right box might not mean much to us but it can make a great difference to the cat.
If these suggestions don’t solve the problem, you can but a spray such as Feliway®. Your vet can also suggest treatments (such as anti-depressants) which may help the situation.
My cat “talks” way too much. He meows all the time and I want that to stop -What can I do?
First you have to determine if the meowing is a sign of distress or simply sociability. If the cat is meowing in distress, please consult your vet. If the cat is meowing simply for the sake of meowing, try to ignore it. By not responding when it meows it should eventually get discouraged and stop doing it.