5 Simple Habits To Keep Your Cat Happy & Health
One of the best moments after a long day at work, or even during a day of relaxation is when your cat wanders over and cuddles up next to you.
Contrary to the popular belief that cats don’t crave as much attention as dogs, spending time with your cat is an important part of their routine and is an amazing way to strengthen your bond with them.
But getting that level of trust and comfort with your cat can sometimes take longer than you might hope.
So, whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with an existing feline friend, or are bringing a new cat home for the first time, follow along as we let the cat out of the bag on five tips that will help keep your cat healthier and happier.
01. Feeding your cat
There’s an old idiom that says “the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Well, the same can be said about cats.
A Good, Balanced Meal
Food is a great motivator that you can use to deepen your bond with your cat. Establishing a daily feeding routine that is consistent is key. So find a diet that works for your cat and stick to it.
A good diet with the right supplements can contribute to your cat’s wellbeing. Some effective supplements for your cat include Probiotics and Omega-3.
Probiotics are good bacteria that will aid your cat’s digestion and improve their overall health and wellness, while Omega-3 fatty acids will help keep your cat’s skin healthy and their fur soft.
Just remember, any changes you make to your cat’s diet should be done gradually in order to prevent any digestive problems and make it easier for them to get used to their new food. And as always, ask your vet before choosing supplements or starting a new diet plan for your cat.
Don’t forget the treats!
Treats are another constructive way to promote and strengthen the bond with your cat while you spend one-on-one time together.
Offering treats to your cat when they play nicely with you, let you brush them, or when they’re being extra cuddly will provide positive reinforcement. By offering treats for these positive actions, your cat will link you to pleasant things and want to spend more time with you.
A word of warning: As much as you love your feline friend, and as much as they might love eating treats, make sure you give the treats in moderation.
02. Playtime Is A Must
Curiosity thrills the cat!
Playtime with your rambunctious furry friend is a fun way to spend time together. The excitement will stimulate your cat’s body and mind, which can be important after their long day of catnaps as they waited for you to come home from work.
When playing with your cat, try appealing to the little hunter in them! Go for games where they can chase and pounce, and use toys that simulate prey which will let them use their hunting instincts. Playtime that mimics hunting behaviors isn’t just a great way to let your cat get out all of their pent up energy, but it has also been shown to reduce their stress and anxiety.
Best of all, keeping your cat engaged with playtime is beneficial for their mental state. When your cat is allowed to have ample playtime, they won’t overeat, sleep too much or cause destructive behavior out of boredom.
Keeping Your Cat Entertained
The key to making each playtime session enjoyable for you and your cat are to find the right cat toys and activities that suit your cat’s personality.
Whether you’re looking online or walking through the aisles of your favorite pet store, it's easy to see that there’s no shortage of bright and colorful toys to captivate your cat. With popular toys like cat dancers, kitty teasers, wands with feathers, or the good, old-fashioned laser pointer there are plenty of options out there to grab your cat’s attention.
Does your cat go cuckoo for catnip? Some toys come stuffed with catnip while others have catnip rubbed right in. Unlike other toys cats loves to chase, catnip toys can get your cat to goof around with you and chill out. These toys are fragrant enough to entice your cat and keep them entertained for hours.
Of course, each cat has their own personality and not all cats will respond to the most popular store bought toys. If your cat is perfectly content playing with simple household objects, more power to them. Just make sure whatever they choose won't be able to be swallowed easily, and remember to put away all of their toys when a playtime session is over.
03. Brush Your Cat Regularly
Cats are so good at grooming themselves that it’s easy to forget they could use a little more help. Luckily, not only do cats like being brushed but it’s an activity that makes them feel comfortable and safe.
Many people are quick to overlook the importance of brushing and assume their cat is doing a good enough job on their own. However, brushing your cat is an important task that should be performed at minimum every other day, or daily if your schedule allows.
Regularly brushing your cat helps reduce dander, gets rid of loose fur and even prevents hairballs.
Brushing is especially important and beneficial for older cats who can’t groom themselves meticulously on their own.
Tired of constantly using your lint roller to remove stray cat hairs? Brushing your cat consistently is the most effective way to reduce fur shedding, as you’re able to collect your cat’s hair in the brush before it falls out and gets all over your furniture and clothes.
Another benefit of brushing is that it helps to spread natural oils that maintain your cat’s skin health. Spreading these oilds also gives your cat a beautiful, shiny coat that’s free of tangles or anything else they rolled in.
In the off chance that brushing your cat isn’t helping, supplementing Omega-3 in their diet can help your cat’s hair follicles stay healthy and promote a fuller, shinier coat.
Although you might be ready to give your cat their brushing right after reading this, we do suggest waiting until your cat is settled down before starting. Trying to brush them right after naptime or while they're eating will not go well for either of you.
04. A Space Your Cat Can Call Their Own
Sometimes your cat might just be looking for a little rest and relaxation and wants to be left alone. That’s perfectly normal, but you need to make sure they have a nice private space to be by themselves and that you respect their boundaries.
Your cat can find happiness and de-stress when they are given their own private space. Any time you force interaction by invading their space, you could stress them out!
Cats require very little room, but you need to ensure they feel safe in your home by providing a few key spots that meet their needs.
- A place to eat: Where cats eat does not need to be as secluded as where they sleep. Anywhere without a lot of foot traffic should do the trick. If your house is relatively quiet, the kitchen can be a great place to feed your cat. But if you do a lot of cooking, they may get too nervous to eat as they’d like to avoid getting stepped on. Once you find a good spot for their food, make sure you place their water right next to it, and keep the location consistent every day.
- A place to do their business: Much like where you place their food, you’ll want to keep your cat’s litter box away from busy areas of your home. You’ll also want to avoid having your cat’s litter box near their food, as some cats might refuse to eat near those unpleasant smells.
05. Cuddling & Snuggling
Contrary to popular belief that cats are aloof, most cats enjoy being cuddly and need your attention and love.
When your cat shows affection by cuddling, it is a sign that they trust you. In fact, cuddling with your cat has been shown to be mutually beneficial. The positive emotions you and your cat experience when cuddling are able to boost your immune systems, which leads to better health for both you and your cat.
However, there are some things to remember when getting your cuddle session in with your four-legged friend.
Don’t overdo it: Cats like to cuddle in smaller doses than dogs. So, it’s a good idea to get to know your cat’s personality well, and only cuddle them on their terms.
That’s the spot: A few places cats enjoy being touched include the base of their ears, around their cheeks and under their chin. You’ll know you’ve got it right when your cat responds with purrs and snuggles. Those are clear signs that your cat is enjoying the attention and your time together.
Some areas your cat might be more resistant to are their tummy, their back, and their tail. Those areas are extra sensitive to them, so don’t be surprised if your cat doesn’t put up with you touching those places very long.
Read their body language: You should never force your cat to cuddle when they’re not in the mood. Cats are very expressive and will show comfort or discomfort through their body language. You should be able to notice a clear negative reaction when your cat shows their dislike of something you’re doing.
Some of the negative signs your cat will show include not purring, flattened ears and swiping their paws at you. If you persist, their temper can mount and you could wind up with a new set of scratch and bite marks on your arms, face, or anywhere they can strike. Do this enough and you might risk your cat never warming up to.
Bonding may be key, but knowing when to back off is just as important to build a strong rapport and lifelong friendship with your cat.
So there you have it! A few basic habits that are easy to remember and carry out every day. By including these five simple things in your daily routine, you can be sure your cat is purr-fectly happy and healthy all year long.