There’s no denying it, cats are masterpieces! Here are some things that cats need to be happy, healthy and content….
Scooping that poop!
There are lots of litter trays on the market which makes choosing one tricky. When you purchase a tray, think like a cat – think about the size and shape – will your cat be able to get in and out and move around it in easily when they scratch to cover up their business?
Motorised self cleaning litter tray’s are noisy and may startle your cat. Also hooded trays, while they may be more aesthetically pleasing will store in smells which may put off your cat from going in there.
Location, location, location
Put the tray somewhere quiet and private where no one will disturb it and knock it.
If you have a kitten then don’t use clumping cat litter as this can cause dehydration.
Scooping the tray daily is important if not twice a day. A weekly deep clean with warm soapy water and dried down will keep the tray in good condition.
Holidays and time away from your cat
Have you thought about time away from your cat? Do you have family that will be able to help look after your pet or will you hire a cat sitter to come in and feed your pet or use a cattery. A week away can cost anywhere between £56 – £120 in pet care services so it’s an important consideration when looking at your budget.
How to make life enriching for your cat
If your cat is an indoor cat then it’s important to bring the outside in for them. A cardboard box scattered with leaves from outside with their kibble hidden underneath will be a fun foraging activity for your cat.
Activity puzzle feeders can be fun too. In the wild cats would eat 5-6 meals a day, but when we invite them into our hearts and home we give them one or two a day. Puzzle feeders can be good for boredom busting but ensure your cat knows how to use ut as if it’s only enriching if the cat interacts with it – otherwise it’s frustrating. Check out Nina Ottoson or Trixie activity centres or you can build your own.
Cats naturally like high elevated places so you could purchase a cat tree or some shelving – Catastrophic creations have some inventive ideas – just ensure the shelving is secure and they are designed to hold the weight of your cat. They ship from the USA so there may be a customs charge.
Power of playtime
Most cats that I’ve seen go wild for ‘da bird’ toy this mimics a real bird, and has genuine feathers. Any toy that mimics cats natural predatory hunting instinct is likely to be a big hit. Even a shoelace dragged across a floor will make some cats rushing over. Rotate the toys so your cat doesn’t habituate to them and get bored.
Food and your cat
Feeding guidelines can be a bit of a minefield. I had a feeding scoop from a cat food supplier that had the canine and feline amounts on it which made it confusing. The easiest thing to do is buy a little set of scales and weigh out the food on a weekly basis (if it’s kibble) or daily otherwise and pop it in a feeding container labelled with the day this way everyone in the home knows how much food the kitty is having and it won’t be overfed.
Overweight cats have an increased risk of diabetes, arthritis and other health problems.
It’s really important to cut down or cut out on treats if your cats overweight and speak to your vet about a weight loss plan. You can also buy a pair of baby scales and weigh your cat monthly to see how they’re doing. You can take photos and mark their weight on a calendar.
You can throw kibble across the floor and your cat can chase it. You can put the food in different areas of the home so they have to walk to it to increase activity too.
Like us, diet combined with exercise is key but always speak to your vet – don’t put kitty on a dramatic weight loss plan yourself – the Dukan diet and Atkins diet can stay in Heat magazine (and the recycling bin) – not in your home!