woman and blue cat

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month. What does that mean to you? I think you can define it in specific terms like taking your cat to the vet or not letting your kid forget to feed her kitten on time. Or look at bigger picture terms like meeting your furbaby’s needs for food, shelter, enrichment, training and love. Or being committed to your kitty for life. Really, isn’t it all of that? I think “giving your cats the best life possible” is really all about being a responsible cat owner.

A Responsible Pet Owner Understands Her Cat’s Needs

You know what you are getting into before you adopt your cat. Research the different needs of the various breeds, ages, and stages of cats. For example, if you aren’t prepared to train a kitten, adopting an adult cat would be a more responsible choice.

A Responsible Cat Owner is Committed to His Furbaby

Committed even if he develops a health problem or behavior problem. Understanding your furbaby’s needs will help prevent behavior problems. If you do run into a problem, you will have the knowledge to find a behaviorist or trainer to help you solve it.

Making Sure A Cat Fits into Your Lifestyle is Responsible Pet Ownership

It is also important to understand what cats need. A litterbox in the basement that gets scooped when your teenager remembers isn’t really going to meet Kitty’s needs. If you can’t live with litterboxes in the house, you probably shouldn’t live with cats.

Same thing with scratching posts. One post you keep in a backroom because it is ugly won’t do.  You need to be able to blend to your cat’s needs, not expect her to fit into yours in a way that isn’t natural for her.

Does the commitment of time and money to meet your cat’s needs fit in your budget? Annual vet visits, dental care, pet insurance, pet sitters when you travel all cost money. So do toys and treats.

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Responsible Pet Ownership Means Preparing for the Future

You commit to your cat for her entire lifetime when you sign that adoption paper. Being a responsible pet owner means  thinking ahead.

  • Will you still make your cat’s needs a priority when you have kids?
  • Will an elderly cat fit into your life when you have a toddler?
  • If you are single, what will happen if you date someone that’s allergic or (gasp!) doesn’t like cats?
  • Are you in stable housing? It isn’t easy to find a rent with pets.

A Responsible Pet Owner Keeps Her Cat Safe

  • Cat-proof your home. Get rid of toxic plants and dangerous products.
  • Microchip your kitty and keep the registration information up-to-date.
  • Follow local laws. Do you need to register or license your cat?
  • Have a first-aid kit and know how to use it. Take a pet first aid class.
  • Make a disaster plan. Set up your evacuation plan. Get your disaster kit together and keep it refreshed.
  • Make an emergency plan for Kitty in the event something happens to you. Who is your furbaby’s emergency contact? A family member or friend? Her petsitter? Carry a “my pet is home alone” card in case you are in an accident. Make a will/trust for a long-term plan.
woman with a black cat

And, of course,

Responsible Pet Ownership Means Providing The Basics:

Feed Kitty the best, species appropriate, diet you can reasonably afford.

  •  For me, that means no dry food. For others, they draw the line at only raw food, or only grain-free, or a certain dollar amount or brand. You and your vet or vet nutritionist set the bar.
  • Feed an appropriate amount so Kitty doesn’t get fat.

Provide appropriate medical care.

Keep Kitty well-groomed.

Regular brushing will keep Kitty’s coat in good order. It will prevent a matted coat, dandruff, and shedding.  A professional groomer can help if you need it to keep her nails trimmed, coat maintained, and teeth brushed.

Grow Your Bond with Your Cat with These Fun Activities…

and give your cat the best life possible.

You will receive access to a subscriber-only resource library of free and paid cat care guides and printables, our “mews”-letter filled with more tips, cat-related news, and a calendar of enrichment activities to do with your special kitty.

Provide socialization and enrichment.

A cat isn’t naturally a couch potato. He needs your commitment of daily time for play and interaction, love and companionship.

Things like puzzle feeders, interactive toys, climbing shelves and hiding spots help keep Kitty busy and happy. Adventures on leash or access to a secure enclosure provide outdoor enrichment opportunities.

Keep your kitty from impacting others or the environment.

If your kitty is an adventure cat, clean up after him in public. Don’t let your cat roam.

What other things should be on this list? Do you have other ideas about what it means to be a responsible pet owner? How does your Kitty benefit? Drop a comment.

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8 thoughts on “Are You a Responsible Cat Owner?”

  1. I like how you do not dictate the brand, type or price of cat food. I would hate for a loving pet owner on a budget worry themselves into a corner because their food isn’t ‘good enough’.

    Safety, respect and love matter more than an expensive ‘snob’ diet.

  2. A great post! I love everything you included to help cat parents succeed! Prioritizing our pet’s need is a must – and I love that you’ve infused this concept throughout the post!

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