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Question for long time Cat/Pet owners

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We recently got our first cat and I have a question for all you long time cat/pet owner, or even if you just grew up with pets your whole life.

My wife and I have 3 children, so my question is related to coralation between cats (pets) and humans in terms of discipline as well as pampering/spoiling.

Do you treat your pets the way you would raise your children or do you treat them differently.

Meaning, for example, are you as strict/lenient with your pets as you are with your children? Do pets learn the same way children do and remember things the same way children do?

I have been wondering this but I saw a news video today that made me think about this even more. The video was of a new way people are "pampering" their cats.

This is the news article/video on pampering cats

So, to me, I would not think of sending my 5 year old child on a "vacation" so I was wondering if as a pet owner my mindset needs to be slightly different when I think about raising kids versus raising pets.

I appreciate all your opinions and thoughts on this topic.

(a fairly new cat owner )
post #2 of 12
Wow, that was a good vid! Thanks for the larf.

That might have been a cattery; looked like a good option if you are on holiday. It was cheap too!

If you reading here, you'll get caught up to speed in no time on living with a cat.

The most important thing IMO, regarding cats - is that they have their own nature and personalities. They won't necessarily bend to your will. But, with the right conditioning and consistent routine, cats are lovely to own.

I've always had cats - so basically they are just "themselves" with me stepping in for a few rules (like, no darting out the front door, no getting up on the counter/tables, no scratching the expensive furniture).
post #3 of 12
If you were traveling and needed a place to board your cat then this looks like and ideal place and the price is right too.

I wouldn't send my cats on a "vacation" without needing to though. Even as great as the place looks I think that they would much rather be at home and comfortable in surroundings that they know.
post #4 of 12
Well I probably am more lenient with the cats then the kids as the cats don't really understand English and the kids BETTER understand it.

The cats stay at home unless they are with us for showing. But DH and I will be travelling cross country after I retire, so we will just pack them all and go
post #5 of 12
Believe me, cats don't need a vacation...their whole life is a vacation! That looks like a good place to board you cats if you were going away for an extended period of time and didn't have anyone to come in and check on them every day, but that is not a requirement!

You do have to set ground rules for your cat, but it's very different than setting ground rules for you kids. Cats are born with their own set of rules (jumping, climbing, etc) and you just have to let them know when it is appropriate and when it isn't.

Most cats feel very pampered with lovings, treats every now and then, and a warm safe place to nap in the sun.
post #6 of 12
One thing with a cat or dog when you are trying to change a bad behavior you have to respond to the behavior right when it happens. You can't respond after the fact because they won't make the connection they will just be confused and you won't be making any progress in changing the behavior.
post #7 of 12
I believe my cats only behave to humor me. They know what they aren't suppose to do and if the mood strikes them they won't do it...

Mostly however it is do it then run like heck before Mom shows up..I cat proofed my house years ago, most of my treasures are put away and the ones I do have out I like less then my cats so what will be will be.

As for sending them on vacation, I don't even board my cats when I am away I have a standing agreement with family members who come in to feed them and play with them a couple times a day if I am away.
My cats don't like things being different so I don't think they would enjoy the idea of a vacation very much.
post #8 of 12
Cats are VERY different than kids. Much furrier, for one thing.

As far as 'discipline' goes, my kitties never get any sort of punishment--I'm not sure they'd even understand it. Emma doesn't even get tones of voice, she'll jump into my lap and purr in my face while I'm grumbling angrily at her, so that sort of thing doesn't work. The trick is to enforce the rules of the house first thing and be consistent. Squirt bottles if they get on the countertop, distract them and carry them to their scratching posts if they scratch furniture, etc etc.

With kids you can TELL them the rules... verbally.. and make them go to their room or take away a privilege if they do something wrong. Kitties aren't going to understand it if you print up a list of rules and hand it above their litterboxes. :p

As far as pampering? You can pamper them as much as you want. Not much harm in that. Mine love pillow piles, sitting in the sun on dark colored fabrics, playtime, etc. They don't necessarily need fancy or expensive pampering. The little things that make them happy are good enough.
post #9 of 12
I've had cats my whole life, and I was an educator and have a daughter, so I guess I'm qualified to answer your question.

The thing you do the same with cats and kids is treat them both with kindness and respect. They both also need consistency.

I'd never disicpline a cat. If you want to teach the cat not to run out the door, you need repitition, done kindly and regularly. For example, if the cat runs to the open door, you say, "NO" and gently put the cat elsewhere and close the door. Repeat as needed. All family members should participate. The cat eventually gives up because he knows he's not going to get to do it.

With a baby or very young child, you might do something similiar once, then you distract him with something more interesting.

For an older kid, you simiply say, "Don't go outside without telling me." If s/he disobeys, you say, "This is your only and final warning. If you do it again, then <fill in consequence>." Then you follow through.

Hope this helps.
post #10 of 12
How is it that I am thinking the same thing as you and you ALWAYS manage to say it better than me, SW?
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by noludoru View Post
How is it that I am thinking the same thing as you and you ALWAYS manage to say it better than me, SW?
Ha ha, I was just repeating what you said.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone - your replies have been extremely helpful.

The raising kids part I have down pretty well (good thing since there are 3 of them)...

But it was more the cat part that you guys really helped me understand how to approach correctly.

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