The Star-Herald

Remember, cats are not dogs

We think a cat can make for the best pet in the world. To truly love a cat, you must learn to accept them for what they are — unpredictable and quirky, which is something unique and unlike any other pet. If you let them, they will find a way to warm your heart with their affection and loving nature. 

Here are some helpful tips to transition into a life with the purrrfect companion, courtesy of Iheartcats.com.

Cats are independent by nature, and at times prefer their solitude. Try not to get too discouraged if your new kitty doesn’t greet you at the door upon arrival and remember that this is just who they are. Your new kitten/cat may take a little while to warm up to you, especially if they are from a shelter or rescue, so take it easy on them when they give you a little “cattitude.”

Sharpening their claws on your leather sofa may not be exactly what you had in mind, so look to purchase a scratching post so that your new kitty can enjoy themselves. Scratching is a part of their natural process and giving them a safe place to perform it right away will help them (and you) quite a bit.

The litter box is a personal place for any cat and if you want to keep them happy you’ll be sure to clean it and change the litter regularly. Depending on the size of your new companion, consider a box that will accommodate their size. Ones with lids are nice to allow your cat some privacy when he breaks for the box. The lid also helps to eliminate odors, and there are many deodorizers available that you can purchase to help mask the smell in between cleanings. Remember to keep the litter box in a place where there isn’t a lot of foot traffic so they have privacy.

No cat will waltz right in and make themselves comfy, especially in the presence of other animals in the home. Allow there to be some time for the new pets to become acclimated with each another. We’d recommend a slow integration of time together in key areas of the home. Make sure to let each pet have a safe zone that they can retreat to.

Sure, tiny kittens are adorable and cuddly, but for a toddler or small child it isn’t always the best idea to mix the two. Most animal rescues highly recommend older kittens, approximately 6 months and up, when thinking of bringing home a younger cat for the little ones to love.

If your cat has longer hair, then it’s a good idea to incorporate brushing in your daily routine. Brushing your cat often will help to eliminate some of the unwanted shedding, and most cats enjoy a little TLC and the feel of the brushing running through their thick fur. 

Find these and more great tips at Iheartcats.com.

And it goes without saying to be mindful of outdoor kitties, especially with the extreme cold temperatures that we have been having recently.  Keeping them inside, warm and safe is the best thing for your furry family member.  

Stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society and see if we have that purrfect feline for your family.  We are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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