Cat owners everywhere, listen up! If you think you know your cat well enough, this next list just might leave you surprised. According to veterinarians, even people who have owned cats for years can still make mistakes when it comes to properly taking care of them. You know what kind of food they like, but you probably didn’t know that yarn or strings aren’t the best toys for felines!
To help you become a better cat parent and understand your furry best friend’s needs a degree better, here are the top things you should avoid doing to your cat.

1. Never Force Affection Upon Them

Cats value their personal space and they actually respect yours as well. This is why there are instances where they’d stay in the room with you, but won’t approach you until they feel like it. While they do enjoy human attention, they prefer it in much smaller doses compared to dogs.
Instead of forcing affection upon them, take a cue from your feline friend and respect their space as well. Do not hug or cuddle them if they are showing an aversion to it. To their credit, cats will take the initiative if they need attention from you and. Trust us, it’s so much better if you just let them!

2. Avoid Bringing Toxic Plants into Your Home

If you intend on adding a collection of plants to your home, be sure to double-check if they are not toxic to your cats. There are certain plants that can be very poisonous for felines that even a small amount of it, when ingested, can lead to severe effects. A good example of which are lilies, which are common houseplants and can also be found in many flower bouquets. If you want to make investments toward houseplants, the ASPCA has a comprehensive list of plants you should be mindful of.

3. Yarns and Strings are Unsafe for Cats

This will surprise many cat owners as yarn and string are known to be favorite toys for cats. However, contrary to what popular media might make you think, these pose a certain danger to your beloved pet. They can accidentally ingest it, which often happens with kittens, and result in possible surgeries. This is because their intestines can get knotted up, trying to pass the string or yarn that they have consumed. There are a lot more cat-friendly alternatives that would fit right into your money management plan, so consider those instead.

4. Directly Punishing Your Cat Doesn’t Work

One thing every cat owner needs to keep in mind is that they cannot train cats in the same way they do with dogs. Reprimanding your cat by making a loud noise and shouting at them can actually backfire since they are very sensitive to sound. They might find it scary or threatening, causing your feline friend to avoid you instead.
Sometimes, the solution to problematic cat behavior such as constantly leaping on tables and shelves is practicality. Build or purchase a high enough cat tree for them, and you’ll find that they’ll stop repeating the unwanted behavior. If you want them to stop scratching furniture, you can get them scratch posts or other cat-friendly furniture that they claw instead. You wouldn’t want to waste investment money on expensive furnishings that’ll end up ruined, right?

5. Avoid Feeding Your Cat a Diet of Solely Dry Food

You may think your cat only needs kibble to stay healthy, considering the number of great options available, but this isn’t the case. Kibble doesn’t have enough moisture, which is necessary because they naturally hydrate through the food they eat. Did you know that cats don’t feel a strong urge to drink even when they are thirsty? By feeding them dry food all the time, you might be contributing to chronic dehydration.
Vets recommend giving them wet and dry food alternately. This will keep them healthy, and contrary to what some might think, canned food only contains a similar degree of calories as kibble.
Remember, the best way to care for your feline friend is to get to know them better. By understanding their lifestyle and their needs, you will be able to create a happy and healthy home for them.