March 28 has been named Respect Your Cat Day. The origins of the holiday are not really known other than a press release put out by a website called National Today. They trace the origins back to a 1384 edict by Richard II of England forbidding the consumption of cats. I guess that would be a sign of respect.Wherever it originated, I’m sure cats feel it is a well-deserved show of respect to have another day in their honor.
Just how do you show respect for your cat? You might say you already provide for their every desire, but here’s some ideas from cat devotees:
- Feed them healthy, species appropriate food - cat food designed for cats: You might think giving them a can of human grade tuna is great and special, but it does not contain the proper nutrients and supplements found in cat food.
- Give them appropriate playtime and toys: Playing with your cat on a regular basis is not only good for them, it demonstrates to them your interest in bonding with them. Figure out if they like climbing and get a cat tree, maybe they are laser fans, if so, get a couple of lasers to keep handy around the house.
- Learn how to hold them: Cats feel safer and more secure if they are held close to your body with as much contact as possible. Some cats don’t enjoy being held or picked up at all, so avoid it if you can.
- Learn how to pet them: Not all cats like to be pet and those that do typically have a preference. It might have to be through trial and error, but learn where your cat likes to be pet, it might be their head or ears, or their belly, but identify it and stick to that area to avoid unpleasant scratches from an unhappy cat.
- Learn proper grooming: It’s important to groom your cat regularly and keep them clean and fresh smelling. That includes weekly brushing or even daily if they have a long coat and don’t forget the occasional bath and nail trim.
- Proper litter etiquette: A big responsibility of cat ownership is litter box etiquette. Be sure and train your cat on the use of the litter box, keep it readily accessible and most importantly clean.
- Learn to read their body language: Cats are quite expressive and not shy about making their likes and dislikes known. Learn to read their body language and then respect their opinions and their desires.
- Show them affection: It’s important to show your cat proper attention and affection – some cats may like constant attention, and some may like none, but learn what your cat’s needs are and try to meet them.
I’m sure the cats of the world would have other items to add to this list, but these simple behaviors should make your cat feel loved and respected on any day of the year.