Cat and your small pets
There is no doubt that your cat is the cutest creature, forever purring in your lap, fluffy blob on your keyboard, or curled up in the sun. But do not forget that your adorable bundle attached to the house is also a born hunter. Cats are carnivores, and many of them enjoy the thrill of hunting just as much as their wild relatives.
Is there a way to introduce cats to birds and other pets without fear that such a relationship will end in a trip to the veterinarian or a cat eating a hamster or parrot?
Although there is no guarantee of safety when you bring together a natural predator and its prey, you can still minimize the risks. Here are some tips:
Introduce them to each other
Introduce your cat to her new little roommate. While interactions between cats and birds or cats and other pets must be approached with caution, it is important that the cat has the opportunity to satisfy its curiosity. Let the kitten sniff your feathered or small furry pet as long as they are in a cage and the cat is not a threat to them. If your cat tries to paw at them or exhibits any other aggressive behavior, be sure to use strong commands such as “No!” to let her know this behavior is unacceptable, but never use physical punishment. Also, don’t let your cat lick the bird, because her saliva contains bacteria that can make the bird sick.
Never leave animals alone without providing protection for small animals. Even the most good-natured cat can pounce during the game or forget for a moment when he sees a bird flaunting around or a rabbit jumping past. You should always be there to make sure your cat remembers that this little animal is a friend, not food. To keep your small pets safe, it is recommended to use a cage for them.
Give her a lot of attention
You need your pet to know that this little animal hasn’t changed your affection for her. Take time to play with her and provide her with plenty of opportunities to satisfy her hunting instincts through toys, treats and games. Distracting her is a good way to keep her from trying to reach your little pet. Never use toys that may be similar or easily associated with your other pet. For example, don’t let her play with toys that have feathers if you have a bird or a plush mouse if you have hamsters. If she thinks it’s okay to play with a similar toy, she might think it’s OK to play with another pet when you’re not looking.
Make sure you have a safe cage
If the cat can knock over the cage, then it is not a safe environment for your small pet. Or if the caged pet doesn’t have room to hide and avoid paws reaching for it, then you should get a bigger cage. Also, be aware that feeling like your small animal is being attacked can stress them out, which could lead to their death. The heavier the cage, the better. For cages made of stainless steel, wrought iron or powder coated, the distance between the bars should be no more than 2,5 cm.
Get a spray bottle. Every time you see a cat approaching a small animal or cage and it’s not clear what’s on her mind other than curiosity, spray her. She will soon learn to keep her distance from a small pet. It is also important to make sure that any children who may be at home understand that these two pets should not play together and that it is very important to close the cages in time or replace the lids after feeding small pets. One misstep can result in a snack for a curious kitten.
Don’t let the cat catch the fish
If you have an aquarium at home, your cat will probably be curious to see what is swimming in it. While watching fish swim in an aquarium can be a nice turn of attention for her, it can also be a problem if she finds a way to get in. If the lid of the aquarium is not fixed, the insidious cat will be able to climb under it. Plus, if she falls into the aquarium, it could be dangerous for herself, not to mention the mess she’s sure to make. Invest in an aquarium that she can’t topple or climb into. Never buy open bowl aquariums if you have a cat: they are too tempting for her curious nature.
Give her some time
The cat is incredibly curious, but if you allow it to look, smell and be in the same room with your miniature pets, then it will lose interest in them over time.
Remember that you know your cat best, so make the right decision for yourself. Although there is no guarantee that an accident will not happen, you can create in your home an atmosphere of complete harmony, care, attention and love for all its inhabitants.