Cats are self-reliant. They don’t need the same level of attention that dogs do.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The truth is that cats are incredibly social and need love, attention, and enrichment to be happy.
Ways to Keep Your Cats Happy
Provide environmental enrichment
Give them scratching posts, cat towers, window perches, comfy beds, a variety of toys, and safe places to observe their surroundings. Contrary to popular belief, cats do not just sleep all day. They are social, curious, active creatures with natural instincts to explore, stalk, and hunt. Give them the outlets to do that!
Take them to the vet
Getting regular check-ups will keep your cats healthy and prevent many illnesses. Cats are experts at masking their pain so waiting until you notice something wrong might already be too late. Be proactive. Schedule annual exams and make sure to keep your cats up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Keep their litter boxes clean
Would you use a toilet if it was dirty all the time? Then why expect your cat to use their litter box if it’s not scooped regularly? Cats are very hygienic and don’t appreciate using a litter box when their pee and poop from three days ago are still in there. In fact, if their boxes go dirty for too long, you’ll basically be encouraging them to do their potty business outside the box. Get on a schedule and stay consistent. An easy way to remember is to put a reminder on your phone’s calendar. You can do it first thing in the morning before you leave for work or at night before you go to bed. Just keep their boxes clean!
Hire a cat sitter for prolonged absences
If you’re going to be away from home for more than 24 hours, please do your cats a favor and hire a professional cat sitter to check in on them. It doesn’t matter if you have automatic feeders, water fountains, and litter robots. All of those things don’t take the place of a living, breathing human that will provide your cats with love, affection, attention, and playtime. Cats need human companionship, even the seemingly shy, standoff-ish ones. Just having a human presence can calm their anxiety and give them reassurance. Remember, shy cats will never acclimate to other humans besides their owners if they are never around them. Even just 15 or 20 minutes a day of human interaction with a cat sitter can help develop a bond.
September is Happy Cat Month
If you’re a cat person like me, you’d like to think every month is Happy Cat Month! However, September is a great month to pause and think of ways to make (and keep) your cats happy. Here are a few:
Play with your cats
Even 5 or 10 minutes a day is better than nothing. Pull out a feather wand and get your cat chasing after that prey. Daily playtime can reduce boredom, aggression, and even obesity!
Give your cats love and affection
Maybe your cats aren’t into playing a whole lot or they enjoy playing on their own. That’s cool. There are other ways to bond with them. Petting, rubbing, scratching, brushing… all of these are excellent ways to show your cats you love them. Try laying their favorite blanket on your lap and see if they’ll curl up on you. My shy cat goes for that every time and it helps her associate me with something good and relaxing.
Give them a special treat
Bust out their favorite treat, like catnip, freeze-dried shrimp, or an indulgent Churu, and let them enjoy. If they’re more toy-motivated than food-motivated, surprise them with a new toy. It’s their month to be happy!
Teach them some tricks
Dogs aren’t the only ones that can learn commands! With patience, cats can absolutely learn to shake paws, sit, come, turn around, give high fives, and fetch. Learning commands is a great form of mental stimulation. Keep your sessions short and offer rewards for positive reinforcement.
Happy Cat Month!
We offer daily cat sitting and enrichment visits in Greensboro, NC, and Jamestown, NC. To see for yourself why having a professional cat sitter will benefit your cats in your absence, visit us online and Become a Client today!