I’ve spoken about the pros and cons of cat ownership before, but while I’m always chiming on about the awesomeness of cats on this blog, I do feel the downsides and frustrations that come along with owning a cat need a little more attention every once in a while – hence the topic of today’s post.
Nothing in life is without its downsides, and obviously, I think the trade offs between the downsides and the upsides of cat ownership are weighed heavily on the pros side, but there are some cons I really wish I never had to worry about.
Here are what I think are some of the biggest frustrations pet owners have when it comes to keeping cats. I would absolutely love to hear what your personal biggest frustrations are in the comments down below. Oh, and if you come up with any resolutions to frustrations you’ve had in the past, please let me know about those, too!
Picture from post Kitty Cat Photobomb
14 Frustrating Things You Deal With as a Cat Owner
1. #IndoorCatProblems: Worrying over cats escaping.
Whether it’s opening the door for the postman, a lack of insect screen on your European windows, a cat who adores taking his or her claws to the insect screen that’s there, or just about anything else, it can be downright exhausting stressing over the fact that your cat could escape and get really hurt or injured, and/or never find his or her way back home as an indoor cat owner.
Now, for those who, seeing this part of the post, are now interested in debating the ethics of keeping cats indoors, I encourage you to share your thoughts, though not on this post. So we can keep the comments here on the topic of cat owner frustrations alone, please post your thoughts about the ethics of keeping indoor cats to this article instead.
2. #OutdoorCatProblems: Worrying over your cat getting injured outdoors.
I know that many outdoor cat owners stress over the ever-present dangers to their cats at least some of the time. Whether you’re more stressed over the risk of your cat being attacked by other animals, getting rabies or other diseases, getting hit by a car, or other hellishly upsetting plausible scenarios, it’s just not an easy thing to have weigh on your mind. If only there was a way we could all have our cats get the best of both worlds – outdoor and indoor – without the worst of either.
3. Cats can be really naughty and refuse to stop doing things you’d rather not have them do.
This is obviously true of scratching, and while you can definitely train your cat to stop destroying furniture you love, it will take some work to do. But of course, feline naughtiness doesn’t just stop at that. Many cats open kitchen cupboards and linen closets, jump up onto sinks (and even stoves, eek!), wake you up in the mornings, as well as doing other things we humans would really rather them not do, whether for hygiene purposes, for their own well-being, or just plain for our own sanity!
Again, these are not too big a deal since I think you can (and should!) train your cat to stop doing things you’d rather not have them do, but naughty behaviour can be very frustrating to have to live with before the training process is complete.
4. It can be hard to get cats to do things that are good for them – like drink water!
Getting your cat to do ever-so-simple things that are good for their health, like drink more water and slowing down when eating can be done – but the training process can take a while, and thus in the meantime, could be overwhelmingly frustrating considering the fact that doing these things is so obviously good for them.
Thanks to training, and the food tree I bought him (reviewed here) my cat Avery doesn’t have a problem with eating too quickly anymore, but I still have issues getting him to exercise, which leads me to the fact that…
5. Cats can be ridiculously hard to engage in play.
My cat Avery is one of the laziest around. He’s extra hard to engage in playtime, even when I know for a fact he does want to get in his exercise. I’ve had to work around his lazy-bones attitude to help keep him fit, coming up with workout ideas, even at times making him stick to a daily routine that includes mental and physical exercise tricks.
Overall, my efforts to keep Avery fit definitely do pay off. Still, it’s pretty stressful on days I just can’t get anything to work.
6. Cats get bored ever-so-often.
Sometimes, cats don’t want to play, they just want to be entertained. And while passively entertaining cats is possible, say by placing a bird feeder outside your window or grabbing a closed off fish tank with some new pets for your felines to watch (here are some more feline boredom-fighting ideas) – these aren’t always the easiest things to implement, and let’s be honest, even then sometimes cats are still bored.
While I do think indoor cats have more of an issue with this one, I think outdoor cats often deal with issues related to boredom as well: at least my neighbours’ cats back home in Canada did, since they hated stepping foot outside whenever it snowed, which happened quite a bit in Toronto! It’s too bad there aren’t all that many simple and affordable ways to keep cats passively entertained.
7. Cat products can be really expensive.
Attractive looking cat products like modern cat trees and minimalist cat litter boxes can cost an arm and a leg. But even if you’re simply looking for regular ol’ practical cat products – like automated cat toys, tall cat trees, scratching posts, a cat carrier – often times the price tags on these items are still not what I’d consider truly affordable. Heck, even staples like cat litter and quality cat food can be more than a little hard on your wallet!
I do feel prices have gotten a lot more reasonable for cat products over the years, especially with more and more companies jumping in to create products for our feline friends, but there’s no doubt the pet industry still has a long way to go when it comes to offering effective, affordable, and durable cat products – let alone ones that are attractive to boot.
8. Cat hair is everywhere – always.
Yes, it’s a nuisance we all know well will always be a part of our cat-cohabiting lives, but every so often, it does get over-the-top annoying knowing you’ll never get near to winning the war against the cat hair pile-up. Not the biggest issue ever, but one I’d love to have completely disappear from my life. Please oh please can someone invent an automatic duster that doesn’t just clean floors!
9. Vacationing can slightly suck because you miss your cats too much and worry they’ll miss you.
Maybe this is just a problem that I have, but I do wish I could travel with my cats sometimes. I feel taking vacations for more than a week – maximum two – isn’t very nice at all considering I’ll miss Avery way too much and I worry he’ll miss me.
10. It’s not always obvious which cat foods and cat litters are good or bad for your pet.
I don’t think there’s a best cat food out there yet, but I do think that some are better than others, and I think if there was a way to scientifically determine which cat foods were better for our felines, a lot more of us would switch over to something new for our pets. Same when it comes to cat litters. Obviously, more research is needed, and luckily a lot of headway seems to have been made on this front in the past decade or so, but I do wish this process could hurry itself along so we could all have the optimal diets and environments for our cats.
11. Feline behaviours aren’t easy to interpret. It can be difficult to know what your cat wants.
Trying to figure out what your cat means by a specific feline behaviour is tricky! Cat crying at you quite a bit recently? Your cat could be sick or in pain, could want food or want you to do something for him or her (like clean the litter!), could want to play, or very well could only want your attention. While there are ways of figuring out why your cat is crying, and what he or she wants/needs from you, they aren’t as easy as being able to directly ask your cat. If only cats spoke human languages! Even just a few words would really help: outch, food, and play for instance. 😉
12. It can be extremely difficult to tell when a cat is suffering, sick, or in pain – until things get really bad.
A horrifying thought, but many cats don’t show any signs of pain or distress until they feel so poorly they can’t help but communicate their suffering. That makes dealing with issues like recurring urinary tract infections very frustrating, as you won’t know until the pain is really bad that crystals have resurfaced and a visit to the vet is needed again.
13. Vets don’t always know what’s wrong with your cat when he or she is sick.
Yet another very upsetting circumstance to find yourself in. Luckily, health care for our pets has really improved in the past few decades – or at least I think so. Still, sometimes it can be difficult getting a diagnosis, especially when what your cat has isn’t particularly common.
14. Vet bills can be overwhelmingly expensive.
This is one frustrating aspect of pet care many of us know all too well. Hopefully veterinary care and medicine for our pets will get a lot cheaper in the future, but until then, this will always be a troubling potential to have to deal with for every pet owner – not just of cats.
Thoughts on Frustrating Aspects of Cat Ownership?
What do you think are the most frustrating aspects of cat ownership?
Have you found any resolutions to problems you’ve had in the past? What were these resolutions?
Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments down below!