11 Little-Known Cat Care Tips Experienced Owners Want You To Know

<span class="copyright">zhihao via Getty Images</span>
zhihao via Getty Images

In a Reddit post shared to r/Cats, site user and first-time cat owner nuhBoi asked people who’d owned cats for years for “things that are good to know but rarely talked about.”

The responses were pretty surprising ― and even occasionally life-saving.

So, we thought we’d share some of the best:

1) “Lilies. No lilies. [Not] even [a] little exposure [is safe for your cat].” 


2) “Be very careful about things like tinsel/ribbons/floss/hair ties. They can get stuck in cats’ digestive systems and require emergency surgery or even kill them.”


3) “Cats are very smart and will use ‘yell til I’m understood’ to show you exactly what they want (prompting you to follow them). If you’re not careful, they will train you instead, and find ways to make you give them what they want.”

“Stand firm on your feeding ritual and keeping their litter box clean.”


4) “Leave the carrier out somewhere your cat can access it and [encourage them to] use it as a bed... This makes the carrier part of their territory instead of the thing that comes out before scary things happen (car rides, vet, etc).


5) “No essential oils! They are extremely common in households, but some essential oils can cause respiratory damage and organ failure. There are some that are relatively pet-safe, but it’s just better to keep those away as well!”


6) “Get [your] kitty used to you handling her paws [early] so that you can cut her claws easily.”


7) “Kidney disease is incredibly common [among cats], so always [give them] access to multiple sources of fresh water. It’s better if it’s running water.”


8) “Cats have a preference for horizontal or vertical scratching. So make sure your] kitty has both vertical and horizontal surfaces to use instead of your furniture until you figure out its preference. Once they learn the couch is a nice scratching post, you will never be able to have a nice couch again.”


9) “Avoid feeding or watering [the] kitty in plastic dishes. Feline acne is a thing, and is more than just a nuisance if they’re susceptible (their chins can lose fur, turn pink and develop tiny little ‘blackheads’ which become infected and sore). [Plastic bowls increase the risk of this and] it’s not worth chancing yet another veterinary bill.”


10) “I see so many [owners] trying to bathe their cats. Unless the cat is too old, too young, too disabled, or has bugs, it does not need a bath. Cats are meticulous groomers and they take great pride in being clean.”

And lastly,

11) “Get a bigger SD card for your phone. Prepare to have dozens of pictures and videos of your little furbaby. You’re going to be one of those people.”


Do you have any others to add?