Owning a cat is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Their quirky yet nonchalant behavior amazes and astonishes us and just when we thought we had them all figured out, they surprise us with a cute yet intelligent display of behavior. We admire their aggressiveness and courage and relish in their plays for affection. The interesting thing about cats though, is that, metaphorically speaking, we don’t allow them into our lives they allow us into theirs…… and what pleasure that is. The primary responsibility of a cat parent is to take care of your cat, and understand how to keep your cat happy. Doing the following will help:
Strong litter box with quality litter
Provide your cat with a covered litter box. This minimizes the amount of litter that will get onto the floor of your home and keeps the soiled litter inside the box. If space is limited in your home one large litter box is usually fine for 2 cats. If you can accommodate 2 boxes for 2 cats, all the better. However if you have more than 3 or more cats, 2 litter boxes are sufficient. On a side note, keep your cat’s food and water dish a far distance away. A cat’s sense of smell is strong and if their food is near its’ washroom facilities, this is extremely unpleasant for them and they may not eat their food. Also, clean your litter box every day. Avoid having to clean it for more than 2 days in a row. Cats are very fussy about the cleanliness of their ‘kitty toilets’. If you don’t scoop it daily and line it with fresh litter, your cat may just go to the washroom on your floor, floor mats, or rug. If that happens, it is more than certain that you will clean their box on a daily basis.
Invest in toys for your feline friend
Cats love to play and hunt. Toys give them an outlet to burn off excess energy and works in line with their natural instinct to hunt. If you have an indoor cat, toys help to alleviate boredom when you are not around to give them attention. Roll your cat’s toys in catnip or purchase catnip filled ones. Your cat will love you for this, as they roll around and rub themselves with it in delight.
Get a scratching post
For indoor and outdoor cats alike, a scratching post will save you from having ruined furniture and relieve your cat’s natural tendency to scratch. It also keeps your cat’s claws in proper shape and provides them a good outlet for stress relief.
Give your cat a boost
For an older cat, place a stool or small bench as an aid for them to jump up to go on a window sill. A view of trees, yards and nature in general, provides great entertainment for them. A small bench for them to jump onto a bed or sofa to sleep and be comfortable, will keep them mellow and content.
Feed them nutritional, good quality food – Give your cat a combination of high quality, veterinarian approved wet/canned food as well as dry food. Cats need moisture for optimal health and sometimes don’t naturally drink as much water as they should. To combat this, invest in a water fountain type of water bowl. Cats like fresh, running water as opposed to water that has been sitting in a bowl all day long.
Groom them regularly
Certain breeds of cats requires daily brushing whereas others only require a weekly or bi-weekly brush through. The more hair you get on a cat comb is definitely less hair that you will find on your floor, sofa, and bed, basically anywhere your cat goes. Combing/brushing from a cat’s point of view, mimics petting. They obviously enjoy this, since it is so very comforting for them and an added bonus is that it gives you both time to bond. Weekly claw trimming is a must if you would like to keep the sharpness of your cat’s nails to a minimum to avoid unnecessary play time kitty swipes and new furniture looking new instead of something you purchased from a used, second hand store.
Play with your cat
Indoor cats don’t have the opportunity to explore the natural habitat of the great outdoors where they can hunt and observe bugs, mice, and anything else that piques their interest. Play hunting games with your cat. Throw rubber ball cat toys around your house for them to run after or tie a bunch of fake feathers or a thick ribbon at the end of a long wand like stick to mimic a bird. Swing it in the air and bounce it off the floor so that your cat thinks it is an actual bird. Give them a chance to stalk and hunt and after a couple of minutes let your cat finally attack or catch it. It is important to make your cat feel as if they had a successful hunt.
Take care of the preliminaries
Microchip your indoor and outdoor cat. In the event that your indoor cat sneaks out the door or window, they can be identified when found. Even for outdoor cats who find themselves in a different neighbourhood, can be identified by the authorities. Vaccinate your cat as required by your Vet and also have your Vet do a yearly general medical checkup on them to keep their health in line. Of course, spaying and neutering is a must to prevent unwanted litters and keep aggressive behavior to a minimum.
How to Keep Your Cat Happy Summary
This article outlines how to keep your cat happy and healthy. With proper care and planning, you can ensure your cat will be with you for a long and happy time.