Cat owners who have graciously been allowed to bring along a cat to stay with family or friends need to take more than the usual care of their host’s home and furnishings. Even the best behaved cat can turn mischievous and destructive when its owners’ backs are turned. What can you do as a cat owner to show respect for your host’s home?
Bring Along Scratching Posts
Cats love to scratch. There is no getting away from this basic feline requirement to stretch their limbs and engage in a satisfying scratch each and every day. That is fine when the cat uses scratching posts, cat trees and other objects that are designed with a cat in mind. However, when you will be staying in someone else’s home it is important to treat their home with a greater level of respect. Bring along scratching posts so that the cat does not tear your mother’s antique dresser or love seat to shreds.
If the cat acts like a tear away from time to time and tries your patience by clawing pieces of furniture rather than making proper use of designated scratching posts, spray a light mist of cat repellent on articles that the cat is likely to scratch. I have discovered through personal experience that citrus is particularly effective at discouraging inappropriate scratching in cats.
Keep the Cat Confined when You Are Absent
It is easy to supervise the cat when you are home with your hosts, enjoying one another’s company. But if you are planning to pop out briefly, consider confining the cat inside its kennel. Provide fresh food and water, along with a blanket to lay on while you are gone so that the cat does not want for anything.
Even if it is not your usual custom to confine a cat inside her kennel when you are not home, you should exercise greater care for other people’s property. Do not wait until a cat has broken a vase or had an “accident” before you take action. Your host deserves to have a clean, orderly home.
Enforce Discipline at All Times
Cats learn through consistent training methods. Those methods should be employed at all times, whether you are at home or enjoying the hospitality of your family. If you notice a cat jumping up on counters or begging for food as everyone is sitting round the dining room table, enforce discipline.
Certain cat antics are not considered harmless fun for many people. Rather, they are disgusted to see a cat on their counters, even if they do not come right out and say it. As the cat owner, it is your responsibility to immediately enforce discipline at all times while you are the guest in someone else’s home. It is disrespectful to do otherwise.
Cat owners who have been allowed to bring their cats with them to their host’s home need to take precautionary steps to keep a cat in line. Anticipate what could occur, such as inappropriate scratching, and take steps to prevent that from happening. A proper, respectful approach will ensure that a cat is welcome to return with you in the future.
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