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Franny Syufy

How NOT to be a Responsible Cat Owner

By February 20, 2013

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Most pet lovers are aware by now that February is National Responsible Pet Owners Month. But some may wonder exactly what it means to be a responsible pet owner. I found it easier to describe ways NOT to be a responsible cat owner to help those with questions.

 Many of us who weave our lives around our cats prefer to call ourselves pet parents, rather than pet owners, as we consider our cats to be members of our family. You may or may not find yourself in one or more of the descriptions of irresponsible cat owners. You may or may not disagree with my choices. But if you are curious enough to read further, you'll find a program with all the ingredients necessary to be a responsible cat parent. You will then experience a long, meaningful bond with one or more of the critters we all care so much for.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto/Dmitriy Shironosov


February 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm
(1) Barry Jensen says:

Encourage your cat to run loose and then go to the cats.about.com forum’s Support & Encouragement folder because your cat was 1. crippled or killed by a motor vehicle, 2. killed by a wild animal, 3. killed by accidentally eating poison, 4. killed by eating food poisoned by a cat hater, 5. infected with a fatal disease acquired in a cat fight, 6. crippled or killed by a wild dog, 7. just did not come home (was he kidnapped, locked in a garage, taken by a catnapper?)

I promise that I’ll be there to share your sadness.

February 21, 2013 at 8:09 pm
(2) Franny Syufy says:

Ron, unfortunately, too many people go through life learning things the hard way. It always breaks my heart when helpless animals have to die miserable deaths because of our mistakes.

As you wrote though. The lessons are painful enough without us piling on further blame. So we offer comfort and sympathy.

February 22, 2013 at 3:28 am
(3) Debbie says:

LOL, but what do you do with the ones who can’t (or won’t) seem to learn? I had a woman come in our adoption center a while ago who actually remarked, “I just don’t have any luck with cats. Mine always get hit by cars”. I couldn’t believe it.

February 22, 2013 at 8:41 am
(4) oneandhalfcats says:

Some may disagree with the idea of training your cat to stay within a fixed perimeter of your home. My husband and I live on a little over an acre property, and I believe I have done just that. While our cats are allowed to wander in the area which fortunately is on a quiet, country road, they are not allowed to go beyond a certain point and we bring them in before dark for the night. If we find them too far up the road, we go and get them and bring them back. Doing things like this, as well as checking the whereabouts of your pet and/or calling your pet to return home on a regular basis is part of the training process which gets him/her into the habit of hearing your voice and identifying this with the need to return. My oldest tabby comes running full tilt when I see and call out to him. Its like a game we play. That said, we have a new addition to our family, another young male for which the lessons will begin again to train him to stay close by.

@Debbie : I share your frustration. That woman needs to learn that it is not about luck, but being responsible in seeing to it that our pets are not put in harms way, in the first place. Case in point. We had tenants living next door to us, who had a female (working type) dog who was not properly trained to stay on its own property, or listen to commands from its owner. Many times she was on the run, on our property and was nearly hit one day by a passing truck. We hinted at first and then suggested strongly that the dog be trained or tied. The owners did not want to do this. Long story short, they are gone now but through the efforts we had to take to stop this, we think they finally got the message. It just amazes me, the complete lack of common sense when it comes to pets, in people who otherwise seem sensible enough about most things.

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