1. Treating cats as if they’re dogs.
It’s hard to imagine a cat playing fetch, or a dog spending its waking hours preening, so why would we expect the same behaviours from our fur babies when it comes to housetraining? According to cat behaviourist and author of The Cat Whisperer, Mieshelle Nagelschneider, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to raising four-legged friends can have disastrous consequences. “We can end up creating cat issues—and making a lot of existing issues worse—by treating them like dogs,” she says. “Cats are a little bit more wild—they’re not fully domesticated, and still have many of their wild cat instincts.” These instincts help explain some of the more curious behaviours exhibited by housecats, including perching high (a means of keeping an eye on potential predators) and fussily refusing to drink day-old water (they’re hard-wired to be wary of bacteria).