Once again, I’m participating in the Pet ‘Net Adoption Event 2012 running this whole week. This is the 5th anniversary event in which pet bloggers join together to promote good cat and dog care issues. But Petside.com is doing something extra-special. WIN $5000 FOR YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER by clicking this Hub Link to browse all the other great blogger contributors, and enter your zip code. The winning shelter will be announced on Dec. 17. You can enter your zip code once per day, for the entire week.
I can hear dog folks snickering, but it’s true. You get out of a cat relationship exactly what you put into it, and cats CAN be trained! My Seren will walk on a leash, come when called, sit up…well, she expects to get PAID of course, in treats and attention. And I’m glad to pay her. To promote the whole idea, there’s even a trained Maine Coon cat (Macy) who is a hero kitty and literally “nails” the bad guy in my pet thriller LOST AND FOUND. But training takes a bit of effort.
TIME CHECK: Allow at least an hour a day for basic training—teaching the cat her name, for example. Add another two hours daily for teaching claw etiquette, the rules of the house (staying OFF countertops), and bathroom manners. Kittens and cats learn toilet techniques very quickly, and done correctly you’ll not need much clean up time for any accidents. You can find out all the must-knows about kitten care and training in my Complete Kitten Care book. Stay tuned, it will soon be available as an audio book, too.
Coats vary from long and thick, to short and silky, curled, fluffy, or peach-fuzz bald. As a general rule, more fur means increased coat care. However, the Sphynx (bald) cat also requires sunscreen, and extra baths to fight oily skin secretions that stain upholstery. And remember, the Persian’s glorious coat requires daily attention, while any longhaired feline quickly turns into a matted mess without lots of work.
Depending on the breed, that means combing, brushing and/or bathing on a weekly (or oftener) schedule. Remember, grooming includes ear care, eye care, teeth cleaning, and claw trims. Hairless cats still require bath time. Yes, you CAN bathe a cat but if you don’t want to attempt such things, rethink your cat choice.
TIME CHECK: For grooming claws, ears, eyes and teeth allow for at least thirty minutes a week. And for longhair cats, add another half-hour grooming time each day.
Old cats will be a known personality, already potty trained, and more predictable behaviors. You can tell immediately if she’s a lap snuggler or prefers window gazing, gets along well with kids and dogs, or fears strangers. Special needs cats that have lost a limb, are blind or deaf typically adjust readily to accommodations–such as simply not moving the furniture. Healthy adult cats can live into their late teens or early twenties so adopting older felines may offer you a decade or longer of grateful love! There are lots of easy home care tips in my Aging Cat book.
TIME CHECK: Cats of all types and ages still need healthy exercise to stay physically and emotionally balanced. Even old-fogie cats benefit from a minimum of 10-minute gentle exercise following a feather toy, for example.
Any size cat seems able to claim the lion’s share of the sofa, and demands pillow space—alternatively, sleeps on your head. Cats in multiples claim major bed space and may squabble over lap time.
TIME CHECK: Allow a minimum of thirty minutes daily ‘schmoozing’ time—that’s the nose-to-nose, cheek-rubbing, butt-scratching, sweet-purring, secret-sharing, quiet communing cat lovers do as a matter of course. The stronger the bond, the more time you spend schmoozing.
So far, our weekly cat time commitment conservatively totals 35-40 hours—multiplied by the number of cats you have. We often make do with less, and our cats suffer. Ignore Sheba and spend little time training and interacting, and you’ll end up with a cat who ignores you, has her way with the sofa, and sleeps her life away.
Therefore, my ultimate secret to obtaining the BEST cat ever: simply devote as much time to Sheba as you would for those things that matter most to you. As you teach, care for, and love her you will create the cat of your dreams!
Okay it’s your turn. How did you choose your furry wonder? What considerations were most important to you? Fur coat or color? Personality? Age? Breed? Please share in the comments and help others find the Cat-Of-Their-Dreams!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my THRILLERS WITH BITE!