So your kitten is now a juvenile or young adult, what is next?
By Claude West (Cat Man)
Simple steps on how to raise your cat to a senior kitty. A young cat is very impressionable and now is the time to train them. If your cat is a bit high strung or stubborn, behavior modification techniques at this age work well.
Some training needs revolve around the kitchen counter and dining table. One of the best techniques is positive reinforcement (snacks) given only when they get off or stay on the floor.
Here is a wonderful video providing the example of using positive reinforcement as a training technique.
This may require several steps for example from the table (no snack) to your lap or chair (yes snack). Work it until kitty transitions all the way down to the floor. They must also learn that negative reinforcement is a loud noise and the word no. I prefer this when they are kittens but you may be adopting a juvenile or young adult.Other forms of reinforcement utilize “aversive techniques” which are things that the cat will associate to avoid. I used to use a spray bottle or squirt gun and have since abandoned this for better methods. Double sided sticky tape, aluminum foil, plastic film, and compressed air controlled by a motion detector are some examples of aversive devices.
Tips on how to raise your cat to a senior kitty:
Exercise: young cats need as much exercise as they can get. Most urban and suburban dwellers are not comfortable with kitty outside. This means you must provide as much entertainment with toys and cat furniture. This is a must have list: cat tree or condo, scratching post or block, old socks stuffed with catnip (rolled up), a cardboard box or shoe box perhaps in every room!
A kitty teaser like a fishing pole with something attached to the string, laser light, and maybe one of those things that the ball goes in a track and lights up to get kitty’s attention. The most important ingredient will be you taking time to play with the kitty and help stimulate its activity.
Failure to provide and facilitate exercising your cat can result in boredom, bad behavior, and obesity. If you watch Jackson Galaxy on Animal Planet’s “The Cat from Hell” one of the first observations he makes is what do you provide for your cats entertainment and do you play with the kitty.
Raise your cat to a senior kitty.
Litter box: is a cat’s MEOW and it is frequently cleaned and I mean more than once a day please! There is a litterbox requirement: you must have one additional litter box to the number of cats in your household. This is necessary and there is more information to the why on the internet. Just let that be your rule of thumb.
A proper diet is king for your kitty. Most commercial cat food fail to provide a quality product that will allow your pet to thrive and survive to a ripe old age. Here is a link to my blog covering the “sins of the commercial pet food makers” and furthermore beware it is very graphic and not for the weak at heart. The videos hit the nail on the head as to why you need to control what foods you give your cat.
Use resources to help you raise your cat to a senior kitty:
Finally, nothing is more important than having a quality veterinarian. There are several types of veterinarians and I need to elaborate some on this subject. The brick and mortar veterinarian typically referred to as an allopathic veterinarian. Their education focuses on disease prevention, surgery, and trauma care and most of all this is your go to person for emergency care.
There are allopathic veterinarians that studied holistic medicines commonly practiced in other parts of the world and some of those foreign veterinarians have moved into America so there is a good chance of finding a good holistic veterinarian. This is my first choice for routine care and wellness checks. Therefore they are more practical when it comes to specie specific diet and vaccination schedules. Note that they are not opposed to using antibiotics when needed but also have an arsenal of herbal remedies to benefit your pet’s health and rehabilitation.
Some folks may have difficulty in finding a quality holistic veterinarian but they are increasing in numbers and becoming more available. Here is a great option to combine with your allopathic veterinarian. They are certified veterinary naturopaths who have gone through intense studies covering total health for your pets. Holistic medicines, disease prevention, and detoxification of your pet. Just some of the many specialties that they provide to you and your pet.
What a wonderful combination, a holistic practitioner for wellness care and your allopathic veterinarian for emergency and critical care. Certified veterinary naturopaths can truly help you and your pets. Click this link for more information: interview with Dr. Kim Bloomer certified veterinary naturopath
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