Cats do so much to make us happy and bring joy to our lives. They tolerate our erratic schedules, inconsistent training methods, miscommunications, and clumsy attempts at interpreting what they’re trying to tell us. They seem to know we love them and are doing our best to help them enjoy happy and healthy lives.
Just in case your cat care skills need a little tweaking, here’s a list of 10 things you can do to help keep your cat happy.
1. Reduce Stress Triggers
Cats are easily stressed and it can take its toll on them emotionally and physically. Stress can show up in big ways, such as when you introduce a new cat or move to a new home. It can also show up in subtle ways that are easily overlooked, such as inconsistency in a cat’s schedule or inadequate resource availability in a multicat household. Take some time to examine your cat’s environment and see what stress triggers could be eliminated. If you have a multicat household and there is some tension between a couple cats, it’s time to work on helping them find a more peaceful co-existence. That may include increasing resource availability and locations, as well as helping them begin to associate positive experiences with each other.
Some stress is unfortunately unavoidable, but there are probably multiple stress triggers in your cat’s life that don’t have to be there.
2. Create a Cat-Friendly Litter Box Set-Up
When was the last time you took a good look at whether the litter box set-up really meets your cat’s needs or not? Perhaps he has outgrown that tiny box you bought for him when he was a kitten, or maybe it’s time to add more litter boxes since you’ve increased the number of cats in your home. The litter box is an essential part of a cat’s life and if it’s dirty, too small, inconveniently located, or if it puts him at risk of being ambushed by other cats, then it’s time to work on improving it.
Another thing to consider is how a cat’s needs change with age. The box set-up may have served your cat well when he was young and athletic but if he’s getting up in age and having mobility issues, it’s time to provide a litter box that’s easier to enter as well as increasing the number of boxes so he doesn’t have far to walk.
3. Have More Fun
Playtime is good for the body and good for the brain. Your cat needs to have fun. Conduct interactive play sessions with your cat at least twice a day. Use a fishing pole-type toy and let your cat fully enjoy what it means to be a hunter. The use of the interactive toy lets you keep a safe distance between your fingers and the cat’s teeth, and it also gives you the opportunity to move the toy like prey to motivate your cat. Playtime can be a valuable tool to help avoid behavior problems and to alleviate boredom and stress-related issues. It’s also great for reinforcing the bond between you and your cat.