5 Steps to Cat Happiness. Treat your furballs to a Meowtastic Life.

Today, dear fabCats, we approach you with a topic that’s simple yet incredibly important for feline happiness. While living with furballs might seem like an easy affair, there are certain aspects we might simply forget amidst the hustle of daily life. Whether you’re preparing for your first cat or if you’re already a seasoned cat parent, today we’ll delve into a list of 5 good habits that will ensure the best quality of life for your furry companions.

Prioritize feline activity

Cat – a lazy couch potato? Let’s toss that myth out the window right away! Cats do enjoy spending time lounging and taking blissful naps, but don’t be fooled. Your furries need playtime and physical activity, not just for their health but primarily for their happiness. Every cat harbors an inner wild hunter, waiting for a chance to pounce. Whether its target is a passing fly, a tasty morsel fallen from the table, or a favorite toy – it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that a cat needs to hunt, and if we don’t provide the opportunity, they’ll find their own entertainment. There’s a good chance that the results of their feline choices might not be to our liking.

Even 5-minute play sessions are enough to engage your cat’s senses and stimulate them physically and mentally. Tailor the toys to your cat’s preferences and don’t hesitate to experiment – hunting the same toy in the same way every day will eventually bore them.

PS If your cat hesitates to leave the couch upon seeing a feather wand or a plush mouse, try engaging them with a stick from the feather wand, a crumpled paper, a ball of aluminum foil, or a string – all under supervision, of course, to ensure their safety. And if you really want to rev up their engines, toys with catnip and valerian are your secret weapons. According to reports from fabCats, the Kung Fu cat toy has already enticed many a lazy cat into play.

Enrich the cat’s menu

Of course, we don’t mean feeding your cat “table scraps” or serving a different sachet every day – such indulgences can quickly lead to litter box rebellion. However, it’s beneficial to rotate at least a few flavors and brands of food that your cat eagerly devours. Why? Because getting your cat accustomed to only one type of food poses a risk. What will you do if the manufacturer suddenly changes the recipe? Or if they discontinue a flavor altogether? What if someone else has to take care of your cat in an emergency and offers a can of food that your cat refuses to touch? What if your cat develops an allergy to an ingredient in their food, but they’re not interested in other flavors? A hungry cat on a hunger strike is a big problem, so diversifying their menu truly pays off. Besides, who would want to see the same meal on their plate every day?

Utilize the cat’s space

Cats are territorial creatures and like to feel that every nook of the house is under their command. This sense of ownership is primarily built through scratching, rubbing, and fulfilling physiological needs. That’s why key resources for your cat – food bowls, litter boxes, scratching posts, beds, toys, and observation points – should be spread throughout the house in socially significant areas. Allow your cat to feel like a part of the family.

What does this look like in practice? 

  • Don’t stash the litter box in a dark, tight, remote corner with only one escape route. From a cat’s perspective, it’s a treasure trove of scents and the most important place in the entire house. If you consistently maintain a clean litter box and your cat doesn’t have gastric issues, we promise – its odors won’t bother you.
  • Give your cat a chance to scratch. Again, the topic of socially significant places arises – cats scratch sofas and chairs to leave their scent where you are. A solitary scratching post in a corner of the bedroom won’t fulfill its purpose, but a scratching post placed next to the couch will be a true treasure for your cat. And the more scratching posts you have around the house, the better!
  • Toys, beds, observation spots – just like with scratching posts, don’t limit them to one room. The more you allow your cat to spread out around the house, the better. Think of your cat’s belongings like your own – they’re everywhere. Unless, of course, you live in an empty space 🙂
  • Allocate spaces for eating, drinking, toileting, and resting. Anyone who’s lived in a cramped dorm room knows that cramming all life zones into one space isn’t the best idea. Your cat wouldn’t want to eat, drink, relieve itself, and sleep in the same place either. So, maximize your living space – you have your bathroom, bedroom, living room, and kitchen, so let your cat enjoy a similar level of comfort.

Master the art of “cat management”

Trimming nails, administering medication, grooming, getting your cat into a carrier – living with a cat is not just morning purrs and stroking the soft fur. As cat Guardians, we also have to handle tough yet essential tasks like unexpected trips to the vet, dealing with a claw stuck in the couch, and giving deworming medication. Of course, working with a young kitten yields the best results, as what youth is used to, age remembers… However, there’s no obstacle preventing us from working with older cats as well.

If you’re unsure where to start, you can always ask a behaviorist or a veterinarian for help. They can show you how to properly trim nails or administer medication. Through diligent work with your cat, gaining confidence while performing necessary procedures, and using positive reinforcement and rewards, life with your cat will gradually become easier even in these tougher moments. And remember – when you stress out, your cat gets even more stressed, and fretting has never solved anything.

Secure your home against cat shenanigans

Preparing your home for a cat is a bit like baby-proofing it, but for a creature that can reach the ceiling. Cats’ abilities to jump high, squeeze into tight spaces, knock things off shelves, or chew on forbidden objects have surprised many cat Guardians. Don’t be the next victim of boundless feline imagination! Look at your space from a cat’s perspective and make sure it’s impossible for the cat to get to cleaning supplies, medications, your food, toxic plants, small swallowable items, drawers with knives, crystal shelves, candles (not just lit ones)… the list goes on indefinitely. Also, remember to secure windows and balconies to prevent your cat from falling, escaping, or getting stuck.

What about you, fabCats? What would you add to our list? We’re waiting for your ideas, as always, in the comments under the article and on our Facebook profile → https://www.facebook.com/myKottypl/. See you, and hear you soon!

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