September is Happy Healthy Cat Month and at Happy Tailz we know our pet-loving community strives to have happy, healthy cats (and other pets) every day of the year. The CATalyst Council, an organization dedicated to “spreading awareness and education about the health, welfare, and importance of our companion cats” is responsible for this cat-centric month.
Contrary to popular belief, cats are not solitary animals. Yes, a cat will be more likely to be found sleeping on the top of a warm refrigerator or in a dark, comfortable closet than a dog will, but cats do love their humans, too. Cats are the true ambiverts of the pet world – they love their alone time and they also love spending time and getting cuddles from the humans with whom they spend their lives.
There are common-sense ways to ensure your cat lives a happy, healthy life. Those include:
- Feeding a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Not overfeeding or underfeeding
- Taking your cat in for annual veterinarian visits
- Getting your cat vaccinated
- Keeping your cat safe from large, boisterous dogs and curious children who haven’t quite learned how to interact with a cat
What are other ways a cat parent can help his or her cat live the longest, happiest, healthiest life possible? We have put together a checklist that we are sure will be cat-approved!
Give them a space of their own. Dogs like to be in the midst of the action; cats like to watch the action from a high perch or from afar. Make sure your cat has a high space from which to watch the world around him. Give your cat a warm, secluded space to catch some zzzs. Your cat may not appreciate a bed, but she will appreciate a cat tree with a soft space to sleep. Give your cat a box and you know she will be happy to sleep and play in there! A cat tree is an ideal place for a cat to “get away from it all” while still being able to keep an eye on his family. Many cat trees feature scratching posts or corrugated cardboard scratching pads, sisal ropes, carpeted spaces or even logs upon which your cat can scratch to his heart’s content.
Cats love to play. A cat who has toys to play with is one who might be less likely to shred the furniture or climb the curtains. Cats all have unique personalities and you may need to try out a few toys until you find one your cat truly likes. Catnip bananas and catnip mice are usually welcomed. Your cat may love food puzzle toys or he may appreciate a feather on a string toy. Experiment until you find a toy your cat loves. Cats will get bored of playing with the same toy so make sure you swap toys out on occasion to spark his imagination.
Give your cat affection or a companion. If you think, “I can get a cat and leave him home alone for hours on end for days at a time,” you may come home to an unhappy cat. Cats need companionship. Some cat parents find it’s been better when they have two cats (or more) in the household. Cats will keep each other company when you’re away. They will play with one another and that will keep them happier and healthier. You may think your cat isn’t happy to see you when you come home, but we’ll bet if you pay attention, you will see your cat poking her head around the corner or coming down from her perch when you come home. A cat won’t be as enthusiastic as a dog, but your cat will be happy for your company.
How many times do you find yourself sitting on the couch and are suddenly surrounded by your felines? They want to be near their humans and there is no better way than a snuggle on the couch. Pay attention to your cat’s body language when you’re petting him though. Yes, your cat will welcome a scratch behind the ears or under the chin, or even the occasional belly rub, but they welcome it on their terms. If your cat pulls away or you notice his ears twitching, give him some space and just enjoy his warmth against your leg.
What makes your cats happy? We would love to know so submit a comment below!