What makes a cat happy? Cats are well-known for being amused by the weirdest of stuff, like sitting themselves down on your laptop keyboard while you’re trying to get something done or squeezing themselves into the tightest of spaces. Cats tend to be highly independent animals and even though they’ve come to accept that they do need their humans to feed them, the rest of the time, they prefer to have options when it comes to what they choose to do.
Making sure that your cat is happy and healthy often means more than simply making sure she gets fed and has a bed to sleep in. If you want a cat who is truly happy and content at home, it’s important to provide the following. This checklist will help you be a better pet owner, whether you have had your cat for a while or have recently become a cat parent.
A Nutritious Diet:
Your cat’s diet can have a huge effect on all the other areas of his life. If your cat is not getting the right amount or type of nutrients in his diet, then he might begin to suffer from low energy, poor coat condition, irritability, itchy skin, and a whole host of other problems. Sadly, much cheap supermarket cat food has only the very minimum protein requirement for cats and is filled out with other cheap, carb-heavy ingredients.
You might want to consider a raw food diet to ensure that your cat is getting the very best. You can find tips and advice for feeding cats a raw food diet at Bella and Duke’s website. Bella and Duke offer pre-prepared, packaged nutritious raw meals for your cat that are expertly designed to make sure that your cat is getting everything she needs from her diet.
Cats feel safe when they are high up, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your cat has high-up places to get to whenever she wants to feel calm and secure. Even if your cat doesn’t use the perches all the time, she will certainly appreciate that they are available. A high cat tree is a great solution for this since it does not require any fixtures or fittings and can be placed in any room in your home. Many cat trees are also full activity centres for cats, with hanging toys and more included to keep your cat busy.
A Clean Litter Tray:
Just like you wouldn’t like going to the bathroom if it was filthy, cats don’t like using their litter trays when they are not clean. While you don’t have to completely clean out and disinfect the litter tray every time your cat has a poo, it’s a good idea to keep a pooper scooper nearby so that you can take the waste out – this will also help to eliminate any nasty smells in your home. You should aim to completely clean out the litter tray and replace the litter with fresh around once a week or more often if you see fit.
While it’s not a requirement for all cats and some are more than happy to drink out of a water bowl, many cats do prefer to drink from a source of running water. If you are often finding your cat coming over for a gulp of water when you turn on the tap or lounging around in the bath, hoping that somebody will come in and turn the tap on for them, it might be worth investing in a cat drinking fountain. These fountains can be left on all the time, and a good one will come with a filter to make sure that the water is clean to drink.
If you bought a gorgeous and expensive bed for your cat and they have never so much as sniffed at it, you are not alone as a cat parent. Cats do tend to choose their own sleeping spots, and it could be anything from your living room rug to on your pillow above your head if you’ll let them. Make sure that there are plenty of comfortable spots around your home for your cat to sleep and relax in. You don’t have to get dedicated cat beds; blankets and cushions will usually do just fine.
Cats need to scratch at things to keep their claws nice and sharp. And if you let your cat go outdoors, you will want to avoid trimming their claws because they will need them when they’re outside to move quickly in some situations and grip onto surfaces when climbing and jumping. Trimming your cat’s claws regularly is fine if they are a totally indoor cat, but they will still have this natural instinct to scratch, so save your furniture by investing in some scratching posts and pads. They’re made from cardboard, quite cheap to obtain, and designed to help your cat scratch away to their heart’s content.
An older cat might not be so bothered about toys as a kitten or younger cat, but it’s still a good idea to have a selection available for them to play with if they would like to. Even older cats can have a burst of playfulness from time to time, and many indoor cats enjoy having toys that they can substitute for the live prey that they’d be catching if they spent time outside. Teaser toys and laser mice are also really interactive and can be great for bonding with your cat and spending time together, especially if your cat is new to the family and still getting to know you.
If you have the space in your garden and you don’t want to let your cat roam freely outdoors, consider building a catio. These are enclosed outdoor spaces designed to allow cats to spend time outside but restrict their freedom so that they are not exposed to as many risks. It is an ideal solution if you have a cat who spends half their day trying to escape or meowing at the back door, but you live on a busy road or in another area that might be unsafe for cats to roam.
Regular Flea Treatment:
Fleas are not nice for your cat and they’re not nice for you either. And sadly, all it takes is for one flea to lay eggs in your cat’s fur and you could have an infestation on your hands. Fleas can get into your soft furnishings, carpets, and even your clothes, and before you know it, both you and your cat will constantly be itching. Avoid this problem by giving your cat a regular flea prevention spot-on treatment, usually every six to eight weeks. You can get the treatments from your vet or from any reputable pet shop.
Last but not least, your cat wants your respect! Cats all have their own personalities so spend some time getting to know your cat, learn how to read their body language, and know what they enjoy. Some cats don’t like being petted or held very often; accept this and allow your cat to lead the way with petting. You’ll probably find that they’ll come to you more often when they know you respect their boundaries.
And there we have it – the recipe for a happy cat! If you’ve got any suggestions to add, we’d love to hear from you.