Being a cat in the 21st century can be stressful and demanding. There are more cats nowadays than there were 50 years ago. Cats used to be kept more as pest-controllers and today are more often kept as pets and are an important part of our family.
URBAN LIFESTYLE & CAT’S APPEARANCES
Modern lifestyle and urban congestion mean the average city apartment is fairly small for the typical cat while houses have open-plan living limiting privacy and safety. For many cat’s, their territory is restricted to indoor only existence and they may share their space with other cats, pets and humans all producing negative emotional effects such as anxiety, stress and over-dependence. Indoor cats may exhibit stressful and unwanted behaviour due to lack or separation of resources and deficiency in vertical space while outdoor cats may be affected by territories heavily populated by other cats, noise, traffic and foot congestion. In city locations and due to human population increase there are lots of redevelopment and destruction of forests, parks and small creatures, depleting hunting resources for outdoor cats. Overall, there is limited amount of supplies while everyone is expected to co-exist in peace and harmony.
Regrettably, numerous people have an unrealistic expectation of cat’s appearances and purchase kittens from breeders without getting educated about the breed, it’s genetically related health problems and/or tendencies for fear or anxiety. Medical problems such as skeletal abnormalities, irregular bone development, osteoarthritis, teeth decay, stiffness of limbs and tail, pain and discomfort associated with various pedigree breeds are a common occurrence requiring lots of medical and long-term care.
CAT VS DOG
The modern human/cat relationship intensifies when humans compare and treat cats similar to dogs. Some people lack knowledge when it comes to understanding what makes a cat a cat and inconsiderate to feline behaviour.
Likewise, owners can inadvertently play a role in increasing their cat’s stress levels by having a constant need for physical affection increasing demands on the cat for attention and interaction while quite a few owners display inconsistent behavior. Unconsciously, humans also project a lot of their emotions onto their pets without realising the consequences given that cats are emotionally sensitive.
Several people have impractical expectations of a cat’s behaviour resulting in cats being relinquished to shelters for adoption causing even further distress which affect the cat’s health and welfare in the long term.
The socialisation period for cats is between 2-7 weeks maximum up to 8, ill-advisedly countless owners only introduce their cats to their household and environment from 9 weeks on wards without understanding the cat’s social structure, how it communicates and how early experiences can affect future behaviour paving a traumatic, uncertain and unhappy future.
All cats are predatory hunters who are obligate carnivores and MUST eat meat! With changes in human diet, lifestyles and the rise of social media, certain unaware people have resorted to converting their cats to be vegetarians causing unnecessary medical and health problems. Similarly, people are unaware of the correct feeding method for cats and the significance of food for felines.
Generally, people feed 2 meals per day in a feeding bowl and don’t encourage food foraging. Certain owners aren’t conscious that food also needs to be separated from water and food bowls need to be cleaned each and every time causing undue negative emotions and frustration to the cat.
Furthermore, in the past 30 years there has been a huge change driven by the pet-food manufacturers selling food high in carbohydrate and low in water content which may lead to long term medical conditions for those cats who don’t drink sufficient water. Owners need to pay particular attention to how cats eat and drink, to reduce the risk of medical conditions such as obesity (highly prevalent) and urinary tract disease.
The domestic cat’s adaptability as a species is continually being challenged by the demands of the modern world, it’s our responsibility as cat owners to help create a positive and stress-free environment by improving our education, maintaining and exceeding the standards of feline care.
In Part 2 we will discuss the changes you can implement towards having both physically and behaviorally happy, highly stimulated and loved pet cat.
To discuss your cat care specific needs or learn more about our treatments and services, contact Pet Nurture on 0403 939 202 or Enquiries@PetNurture.com.au
Care, I. C. (n.d.). ISFM Certificate in Feline Nursing. Understanding Feline Behaviour. UK. Retrieved December 20, 2018
Ellis, S. (n.d.). Would you want to be a 21st century cat. Retrieved June 18, 2018, from https://youtu.be/m2HkY2NulWo
Rodan, I. (2014, 05 28). Human-cat bond – the good, the bad, and the ugly. European Feline Congress, 9-12. Retrieved December 15, 2018
Individual blogs are based upon the opinions of the specific author, who retains full copyright. The material is not intended as medical advice, it’s intended as a sharing of knowledge and information.
We are not veterinarians and do not diagnose any conditions, perform surgery or prescribe medications. We encourage you to make your own pet health care choices in collaboration with a certified pet health care professional.