March 28 is Respect Your Cat Day and, while we’re sure you respect your favorite feline every day, we wanted to remind you that sometimes cats can be a little different when it comes to affection, which makes respecting them, and their space, pretty important in regard to their health and wellbeing. Here are a few of our favorite ways to show kitty they’re a respected part of the family.
- Read the signs. Your cat’s body language is the number one way they communicate, so it’s important to pay attention to things they welcome and things they reject. A relaxed cat’s ears and pupils appear normal and at ease, indicating neither fear nor aggression; if your cat’s ears are flattened against their head with eyes narrowed or dilated pupils, it’s an indication they’re nearing aggressive behavior and you should leave them be.
- Proper petting. This goes hand-in-hand with reading the signs; some cats (ok, most) don’t like their belly rubbed, even if they lie on their back – pay attention to the places your cat enjoys being rubbed and those they have a strong adverse reaction to and respect their preferences.
- Proper identification. Make sure your cat’s tags and/or chip are up to date to show they’re a meaningful part of your family in the event you were to ever be separated.
- Pay attention. Your cat’s needs change as they age, so pay attention to any new lumps, bumps, or behaviors so you can promptly address them to ensure kitty stays healthy and happy.
- Give them what they need. Cats have a natural desire to scratch, so be sure to provide them a scratching post in addition to access to clean, fresh water and a clean litter box. (These are non-negotiable necessities for a happy cat.)
- Be prepared. Out of respect for your cat’s wellness, have some standard care products handy so you have them if you need them.