Sassy cats – Things I do differently

I’ve had cats ever since I was a kid. Young ones, old ones, healthy ones and not so healthy ones. Loved them all! There are a few things I’ve learned over the years and a few things I’d do differently given the chance.

Medicating – Cats are notoriously hard to medicate. You can read about this epic disaster when Morgan joined the tribe here. You can’t trick them like you can with a dog. They know there is a pill in the cheese, tuna or whatever and will spit it out somewhere you don’t notice until the next day. Crushing is not always the answer either. Some pills are bitter or taste bad. Now they won’t eat the food it’s crushed in. I would start early to get a cat to eat pill pockets. None of my cats eat cheese but you can get them to eat a lump if you start early. Put a piece of kibble in it. There is no guarantee but you have a fighting chance.

“Hey Cupcake! You don’t know what I did last night! I was out on the town! Did you know some bars put an anchovy in the niptinis?”

The indoor/outdoor thing – I don’t currently have a cat that goes outdoors and I won’t again. Jake (my old cat who died) was the last of the indoor/outdoor cats. Without him I no longer worry. I don’t run around at 10 p.m. looking for him. I don’t wake up at 2 a.m. when he’s hollering at the door to come back in. I don’t worry about finding a dead cat on the patio. I grow too attached to my cats. However, if Jake were still alive I would buy a GPS tracker for him. Cats can be snarky. They will sit 10 feet from you and watch you looking  and calling for them but will remain silent. It amuses them. That GPS would have saved me a lot of heartache.

The food – I wouldn’t wait until they developed an allergy or illness to transition them to healthy food. I would start off with that. Also, I would make sure that wet food is the bulk of their diet.

They occasionally sleep together but prefer not to touch.

The more the merrier – For a long time I only had one. When I was in my 30s, my beloved cat died and I got two. Two isn’t that much more work than one and they are company for each other even if it doesn’t appear like that. Now I have four so you have to be careful of that multiplication aspect but I wouldn’t have it any other way. By the way, four is more work than one!

All the cats here wish you a great day!

61 thoughts on “Sassy cats – Things I do differently

  1. Until maybe 10 years ago we always had a cat. There were reasons for a while this wasn’t practical (not that you’ve taken the practical approach–ha!) but we don’t think we can introduce a cat to our home with Zena. But a little black kitty has been coming into our yard at night and eating the remnants of Zena’s dinner. We assume by this that she’s hungry and may need a family…we are trying to see if we can welcome her into our brood. I’m hoping!

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  2. I find my cats rather easy to medicate if i have to 😛 I’m an old pro at it. Have had cats for over 30 years. I tilt their head back gently, open the mouth, pop pill in, gently close mouth, holding with thumb, underneath, forefinger above nose, and using my other hand, gently rub their throat. They swallow it every time. No spitting it out either. Rarely happens to me.

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    • I’ve had cats for 50 years and some still flummox me. I have two right now that get pills. One takes them in the pill pocket. Very easy. The other I do much the same way you do only she’s not happy about. If she sees me with the pills, she will run and hide. Blowing a puff of air in their face after you insert makes them swallow too.

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  3. Thank you for passing on your lessons learned 🙂 I don’t let my cats out – they are indoor boys. When I was growing up we were in a woods pretty far away from other people, so it was a little bit safer, but where we live today I wouldn’t do it.

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  4. Good Morning, Kate. Two kitties this time if we decide to adopt again. And wet food will be all they eat. But I tried with the Z Cat and there was nothing I could do to get her to eat wet food, She would lick the gravy/sauce off but would not eat any wet FOOD. Indoor for sure!

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    • Yes! I adopted adults from a rescue and they were fed dry. It was hard to transition them and they aren’t fully transitioned yet. My first cat never ate kibble. She thought it was a play toy to bat under furniture.

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  5. With four cats, I’d say you re definitely doing something right. My aunt had a dog and used to hide his pills inside a wiener. He loved them and would gulp it down, none the wiser. Wieners won’t work with cats though I wouldn’t think.

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  6. I agree with have multiple cats. It really does keep them from being too bored. Even if they aren’t besties, they are companions to each other.
    That is a great idea about the pill pocket. I think I’m going to try that. It’s so hard when you have to medicate and they refuse.
    My sister had to give one of her cats a pill daily from the time he was 9 months old. She gave him a treat after each pill and so in a bit he actually jumped up on the counter to be pilled when she shook the pill container. I never had the luck.

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  7. Every other night we run around looking for Sloopy Anne at bedtime. Since she’s the sneaky one I like to make sure nobody let her outside accidentally–before I go to bed for the night. A GPS would be a great idea for her! Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one!

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    • The last two years or so of Jake’s life, I made him stay in after dinner so he’d be in for the night. We always did (and still do) a nose count to make sure everyone is safe. Thanksgiving was good.

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  8. I learned early on not to have indoor/outdoor cats. Had cats get worms from eating wild critters, injuries from fights, and finally a cat get run over on the street in front of the house…all before I left home as a teenager. I have had indoor cats with, therefore, so much less stress and worry. Many people think it is cruel not to let cats roam about. In England that appears to be the common practice. But, IMHO, cats are basically opportunists who thoroughly enjoy a safe catered pampered life. I have never thought my cats felt they missed out on anything at all. 😉

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    • I agree with you. Of the four I have now, two were found on the streets, one in a hoarding situation but basically an outdoor cat and one was surrendered with kittens (probably an outdoor too). From the time they came into my house, they had no interest in going outside. I had a cat door for Jake and none of the other cats used it even though they saw him go in and out. If we left the door open they would sit at the threshold and smell but not go out. They have access to a screened porch year round although only Hazel and Morgan go out when its cold. They are quite happy inside. If I had encouraged them to go out when they first got here, it may be a different story. Jake was found outdoors as a young cat (3 months) and I let him out from the beginning. Jake brought in fleas and ticks (despite the meds) and he had to be wormed periodically. I also intervened when a coyote followed him home. We also had foxes that eyed him up (and he was a tall and big cat). So much easier now. Each to his own. I’m connected to a cat group on Facebook and every week someone’s cat doesn’t come home. So sad.

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  9. I know what you mean about trying to get them in at night so you don’t have to worry about them. When we had Sneakers in Florida, she used to stay mostly in our yard and sometimes next door. She usually came when we called her at night, but once in a while we had to search. She was a hunter and brought home a couple of dead birds. Ack. I think, depending on health issues and personality, some cats are easier some are more difficult. Sneakers was super easy, but she was nasty. Didn’t like anyone much, not people, dogs or other cats. My cat before her was indoor only and difficult to care for. He was always sick and eventually got diabetes. Both were strays we had taken in as kittens. Your four all needed a good owner desperately, and they are fortunate to have found their way into your home. You take such good care of them.

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    • I am lucky and very grateful that they will share the house with other cats. Sounds like you’ve had some tough cats. Most of mine have been sweet most of the time. Only Lacy was a bitch. She would sit on your lap but if you touched her she would claw you and draw blood.

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  10. There have been four cats in my past, and all took pills readily (sort of). We just coated the pill in something good and, as soon as it was in the cat’s mouth, we blew on its face. For some reason all four cats reaction to the blowing was to swallow!

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    • Blowing in their face causes them to swallow. I use that for Mollie although first I have to get the pill far back on the tongue or she will not swallow it but spit it out. You were truly lucky with cats. They are not easy to pill unless trained early. None of my cats will take a pill coated in anything. One takes a pill pocket. For the others, it’s a crap shoot.

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    • Awww…no. We are at maximum capacity to keep my sanity. Someone is always barfing and there are always 4 poops in the litter box every day. Then there are the different tastes. I’m lucky that 2 days eat the same flavor! Suppertime is like a restaurant kitchen here.

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  11. We are always learning about our pets, and the pill pockets are a good idea. We can con Maggie with cheese or anything else come to think of it, but there are times when she will spit it out, so I crush them into her breakfast. When she was a pup, we went through the motions of cutting her nails every week so that she got used to the idea (our previous dog was a nightmare and it took five of us, four holding a leg each and the vet trimming, but at least that was better than the cost of having to sedate him). Now she just falls asleep shortly after we start!
    I love your four, they have such great personalities. How’s Hazel’s diet going?

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  12. Our cats have never seemed to like each other until the current pair. They always seem to be in the same room together, but a few feet apart. I finally decided it as a cat-type of friendship. They sniff each other’s behinds and we don’t see them play. If it’s a lot like your sleep photo- together-ish but not touching. I agree with all your recommendations, particularly the high-quality food from the beginning.

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    • My first pair were not buds. One of the cats should have been an only cat. I had her when I adopted Jake and they didn’t get along at all. At that point she was an old (but feisty) cat so I kept her separated upstairs. She was beautiful but not particularly friendly (or only on her terms). I was sad when she passed but no one else in the house missed her. I am over the moon that the current group likes each other and will actually be in the same room together.

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