If you’re a cat lover, you know the relaxing pleasure of curling up on the couch with a furry friend purring in your lap. Such an odd combination of playfulness and aloof independence, cats enrich our lives in innumerable ways. For example, medical research indicates that petting a cat can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels. The antics of a cat playing with a toy can make you laugh at the end of a hard day. Because they add so much to our lives, naturally we want to do everything possible to make our kitties lives full of love and contentment. Here are a few tips for keeping your furbaby happy.
Make Time for Play
Cats are so self-confident that you may feel they don’t need humans at all. However, spending time each day playing with kitty is good for both of you. A good game of chase through the house gives you both some exercise. If that’s not possible, though, cats enjoy quieter forms of play as well. Tie almost anything to a string and dangle it in front of your furry friend, or throw a ball of twine or paper. Many cats are as proficient at playing fetch as their canine counterparts.
Provide Some Quiet Space
When playtime is over, your cat needs quiet time in a space of his or her own. This is especially true if your home is a very busy place or you have small children running around. While carpeted cat trees with compartments are wonderful, you don’t have to spend money to meet your kitty’s needs. Baskets and boxes are just fine. The main thing is to make sure kitty can see out since it is a cat’s nature to be on the lookout for danger approaching.
Offer Mental Stimulation
Just like people, cats can get bored, especially if they are left home alone for several hours. Engage your cat’s mind by giving it things to think about. Here are just a few ways to do that.
• Make available a window seat or a chair that sits high enough to look out on the trees or the lawn. Watching the birds come and go or squirrels scampering by is fascinating for your cat.
• Let your cat “hunt” for treats or snacks. Hide some tasty morsels around the house so that the kitty can find them.
• Keep a steady supply of toys available. Create a rotation of balls, plastic mice, and other playthings so that something new and interesting is always popping up.
Respect Their Petting Preferences
Just like people, cats have preferences when it comes to personal space. Especially if you just brought your pet home, allow some time for it to get comfortable with you. Most cats will signal you when they’re ready for petting by giving you a gentle nudge with the head. While many love gentle scratches around the head, be cautious about trying to touch a cat’s paws or belly, as some cats dislike touching in these areas. Finally, never pet a cat by rubbing its fur in the wrong direction. This is very annoying to your furbaby. You probably don’t like it when someone tousles your hair, and it’s the same for your cat.
Keep Them Healthy
Routine checkups with your vet are critically important for keeping your pet healthy and happy. If your cat has no chronic health problems, an annual visit for vaccination updates and an overall wellness evaluation should be sufficient. As your pet gets older, your vet may recommend visits more often. Your vet can also help you address any behavioral problems your cat may develop.
Cats generally do very well if you have to leave them alone for a few hours. However, if you have to take a longer trip, don’t leave the kitty home to get lonely and bored. Check out the amazing indoor/outdoor cattery at Canine Country Club & Feline Inn. This facility for cat boarding in Phoenix is staffed by caring professionals who will take good care of your cat until you return.