As a cat owner, you want to be sure that your furry friend is as happy as they can possibly be. Although there are many different approaches you can take when caring for your cat, these methods are sure-fire ways to give them the quality life they deserve.
1. Make Vet visits routine.
Even if you think your cat is healthy, they might be suffering from health issues that go undetected by the average pet owner. Annual and bi-annual veterinary examinations keep your cat healthy by identifying any health complications. Keeping them up-to-date on vaccinations helps prevent them from contracting dangerous illnesses.
2. Feed them a healthy and enjoyable diet.
You are what you eat, and our feline companions are no exception. A healthy cat is a happy cat, which is why it is important to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need. Some cats may develop health issues or have allergies to certain ingredients. Consult with a vet if anything seems abnormal. Your vet will be able to identify your cat’s needs and suggest specialty foods formulated for weight loss, urinary care, or other tailored formulas.
3. Keep them active with toys.
While some cats couldn’t care less about what they play with, others are pretty picky when it comes to choosing their toys. It’s helpful to purchase a variety pack to get to know what your cat enjoys. My cat is very selective. She refuses to play with balls or anything that is too fuzzy. She prefers toy mice and fish made of canvas-like fabrics. She also loves chasing toy mice with feather tails. They are sold at Walmart for just $1. If your cat allows it, try having them paw at a teaser toy. It’s a great opportunity to bond with your cat.
4. Give them their own special space.
As independent creatures, cats crave the freedom of their own space. Many cat owners prefer to purchase cat condos and tunnels, however, your cat’s space doesn’t have to be extravagant. A simple cardboard box should do the trick. If you’d like, you can even decorate the box. Here is a fantastic tutorial that teaches you how to make a cat cube with a box and old t-shirt. You could also make your own cat tent! If all else fails, a clear window seal with a great view is sure to keep kitty entertained.
5. Show them lots of affection.
Though cats are independent, they still crave your love. Remember to pet your feline when you get a break in your busy day. Get to know the spots your cat enjoys. They’ll let you know if they like it by purring. A general rule of thumb is to stay away from their belly, however, a small percentage of cats enjoy this.
6. Treat them every once and a while.
Like humans, your cat might get tired of eating the same old food day in and day out. I like to give my cat soft food on occasion during holiday celebrations or if she experiences something stressful like moving into a new apartment. You may want to invest in cat treats. Cat treats come in a variety of flavors like beef, cheddar and chicken. Some cat treats have health benefits that attribute to dental hygiene and coat health.
7. Groom them properly.
Depending on the breed of your cat, you might find yourself in some hairy situations. No matter how long your cat’s fur is, you should brush him or her regularly. This will reduce shedding and pet dander. Brushing is especially important for long-haired cats. If a long-haired cat isn’t brushed, it can develop mats that become painful over time. If you have trouble managing your cat’s coat on your own, seek the help of a professional cat groomer.
8. Treat them for parasites.
If your cat goes outdoors or comes in contact with other animals from outdoors, they are at risk for getting fleas, ticks, worms and other common parasites. These pests make cats uncomfortable and can cause serious health complications if not treated. If you catch your cat scratching or obsessively grooming, they might be trying to let you know something is wrong. Treat them with appropriate medications or bring them to a veterinarian if you are unsure how to treat them.
9. Adopt a companion.
While some cats prefer to be alone, others crave the companionship of their own species. Young cats are more open to being introduced to a new friend. Upon their introduction, allow the cats to sniff each other. This is how they identify each other’s scent and become familiar. Supervise them for the first few days to make sure they are getting along.
10. Talk and sing to them.
Cats love being talked to. A simple, “Whose a beautiful kitty?” should do the trick. Singing also catches their attention. I like to make up songs that involve their names. My cat goes nuts over her name being sung in a bouncy tune.
11. Allow them to safely explore the outdoors.
Although cats have been domesticated, their natural instinct tells them to enjoy the great outdoors. While it isn’t always safe to allow your cat to roam around outside alone, you can take precautions to allow them this simple joy. Take your cat for a walk using a leash and harness, or allow them to explore your backyard or garden. If you have windows or doors with a screen, open them so your cat can enjoy the fresh air.
12. Let them scratch.
Many cat owners have issues with their cats clawing at furniture. As annoying as it is, it is not their fault. They are simply trying to keep their claws healthy. Deter them from ruining your furniture by purchasing a scratching post or other cat furniture that is meant to be scratched. Attract your cat to the post by sprinkling a bit of catnip around the base.