Dogs may well be man’s best friend, but cats are the undisputed overlords of the Internet. However, anyone who has a cat knows that they can be tempestuous at times.
Here are five tips for harmonious cohabitation with felines.
> Cats on holiday: Each country has its own policy regarding the entry of foreign cats, so it’s best to check with the embassy of your desired destination. Within the European Union, it is possible to obtain a pet passport from your vet for ease of travel.
> Old cats: As your cat gets older, it becomes increasingly important to take it to the vet on a regular basis. For example, it’s important to get your cat’s blood pressure measured at least once a year after they have reached nine years in age. According to the German Association of Practising Vets, high blood pressure is common among mature felines. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness or organ damage.
> House cats out and about: It’s not just dogs who can be taken for a walk with a leash. A stroll in a special harness can also be an enriching experience for a house cat with no real space to run around, says the German Animal Protection League. The organisation recommends starting with the leash young to get the cat used to it.
> Cats and dogs under one roof: Yes, it can be done – with certain conditions. Cohabitation of these two very different creatures can work when both animals are well trained. They need to be able to respond to commands in emergency situations, explains the league. Both animals need a sanctuary to which they can retreat and escape from the other – for example, where the litter box is.
> Moving house with cats: A familiar environment is important for cats. After a move, owners should ensure that the cat is immediately surrounded by well-known objects and smells. The German magazine Ein Herz fuer Tiere suggests using a scratching post, toys or food bowls. These should be set up in the new abode as soon possible. – dpa