Easy Tips for Cat Owners to Increase Their Furry Friend’s Happiness
If you’ve spent more than half a minute around cats, you might have noticed that they behave differently than we do. Unfortunately, this can lead some to believe they are cold or distant and do not want to socialize. But, just like people, cats value companionship—they simply go about it differently and have specific needs.
So, to help human-cat relations, here are 30 tips to help you keep your kitty happy.
Make Sure Your Cats Eat From Shallow Bowls
It may not seem obvious, but the depth of your pet’s food bowl can affect their eating experience. For instance, cats’ whiskers are highly sensitive, and constantly brushing against the sides of a deep food bowl can lead to discomfort and stress.
According to the experts, this creates “an information overload” on their sensitive whiskers, stressing cats out. So try to use a shallow food bowl for your cat’s meals to ensure that your furry friend has a more comfortable and pleasant mealtime experience. Your cat’s whiskers will thank you.
Belly Rubs Aren’t For Most Cats
Some cats enjoy belly rubs, but for most, they are unpleasant experiences—especially if you’re what they consider a stranger. A cat’s belly is one of its most vulnerable spots, so petting a cat there can create a feeling of anxiety and of being exposed.
If you’re meeting a new cat, avoid petting its belly until you’ve built trust. If your cat allows you to rub its belly, you have a bond of trust. Respect their boundaries—don’t force them. Wait until a cat rolls into position first.
Your Cat Probably Hates Its New Bell Collar
Cats are sneaky creatures—so it’s tempting to attach a bell to its collar so that you can know wherever it is at any moment. However, even if you attach the bell for humane reasons, such as to protect birds or small animals from its maw, you’re still hurting your cat by forcing a bell around its neck.
Cats have extremely sensitive ears, so a bell to them probably sounds like a church bell clanging with every step they take. This is especially the case for more skittish kitties.
Give Your Cat An Easy Name To Remember
What’s in a name? Giving anything the right name can be a difficult task—be it pets, children, or even things like ships or bicycles. But did you know that cats prefer some names over others? When picking a name, try to go for something short with one or two syllables.
Cats with longer names will struggle to recognize them. Better to name your cat something like “Zelda” or “Rex” rather than “Hieronymus” or “Flufferion Sharpnails The First.” If your cat already has a long name, give them a shorter nickname.
Keeping Your Cat’s Diet Varied
It’s not just people who get bored by the same old food day after day. Cats also need to switch up what they eat—mainly between dry and wet foods. Even switching from wet to dry or vice-versa midweek can do wonders for your feline friend’s health.
Although wet food can be more expensive, it contains nutrients and fewer carbohydrates than dry food from a bag. Plus, dry food can really put your cat’s kidney through the wringer because of the lack of moisture. Mix up different brands, too!
Helping Your Kitty With Grooming Activities
Grooming is great for cats—it maintains their good hygiene but also helps to keep them calm and relaxed. While you can’t exactly teach your cats any new tricks, you can help them by laying grooming prompts and tools around the house, like this grooming brush.
Some cats dislike humans brushing them but will have no problem using one attached to a wall—in fact, they will enjoy it and get a deep level of stimulation and satisfaction from doing so. It’s a small thing, but it will keep your kitty happy.
Good Scratching Post Use And Maintenance
Infamous for destroying furniture and cushions with their sharp claws, cats have a natural inclination to scratch. If you want a happy cat and a pristine home, buying a stitching post is paramount—this way, your cats will be able to satisfy their scratching urge.
When the scratching post inevitably becomes damaged with use, consider wrapping it with some twine or yarn. They have the same texture as a post’s fabric, allowing your cat to continue using them as a scratching surface rather than turning to your precious furniture.
Cats Also Feel The Chill In The Cold Seasons
Yes, cats walk around with fur coats on their backs, but just like us, they get chilly easily, especially in winter. Cats have a normal temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so try to keep your home warm to at least 70°—otherwise, your cat will start seeking out sources of heat.
While it’s cute seeing a cat trying to snuggle under a blanket, they aren’t having a good time and probably feel threatened by the seasons. At the very least, don’t leave them out in the chillier seasons.
Have A High Strung Kitty In Your Life? This Treat Can Help
Most cats have a rather cool and relaxed demeanor—or at least, that’s how they tend to present themselves. Some cats are wired a little more tightly, and it can take a lot just to mellow them out. One thing you can do is lightly spray your cat’s fur with water. They will begin grooming themselves, which can help calm them down.
An even better method is giving them a cat lollipop, found in most pet stores. They attach to walls or the floor and will immediately help your skittish kitty relax.
Blowing Love (Or Insults) At Your Cat
Some cats like it when people blow into their noses. It’s a trait specific to cats, and few people seem to know about it. For whatever reason, it helps to calm them down. However, other cats do not take as kindly to this love-blowing.
In fact, these cats don’t just find it annoying—they see it as hostile and will bring out their claws upon receiving it. So now that you know of this trick, and if you want to try it, be sure to experiment with some caution.
Keep Laser Chasing A Fun Pastime
Getting a cat to chase a laser spot can be endlessly entertaining for humans, but not so much for cats—especially if all that laser-hunting is fruitless. Just like dogs, cats need positive reinforcement for their efforts. While watching for us is fun, it takes up a lot of our cat’s energy.
Eventually, your cat will realize that the hunt is pointless. Make your cat’s hunt worth it by rewarding it with a small treat. These rewards can work to reinforce other types of behaviors—but for cats, there are limits.
Dinnertime! Keeping Your Cat’s Feeding Time On A Schedule
Put yourself in your cat’s furry little paws: your human might see you lying around all the time as if you didn’t have a care in the world—but from your perspective, there’s no food to hunt inside the house, and it’s not always possible to get outside where there are critters to catch.
With that in mind, giving your cats food at an expected time of day helps to alleviate their anxiety about when their next meal is coming. Now all they have to worry about is getting comfy.
The Secret To Effective Kitty Litter Training
Being generally clean animals, cats take to litter boxes just fine on their own. But some cats might need a little coaxing to use it. They might find doing their business there undignified, inconvenient, or uncomfortable. But there’s a way to help them ease into it.
Placing some sand or old fabric in the box will encourage your cat to step in and give it a try. If you don’t have any spare fabric, sand, or even soil, try scraps of paper—although cats much prefer something less ruffly.
The One Thing Cats Love To Do
Do you feel like you want to do something nice for your cat but don’t have a lot of living space? No problem! If you have the skills (and even if you don’t, why not learn?), you can build a simple climbing frame for your cat!
Giving them small platforms, shelves, staircases, and tunnels to play on are great ways to get your cat to burn off excess energy. Your pet will find this climbing exercise stimulating and rewarding, and will save them from being bored if they are inside cats.
Protect Your Plants From Your Cat’s Claws
Do your cats think they’re living in a jungle? Do you come home wondering who dug out all the soil from your precious plants? There’s a way to prevent your cat from raking up all the dirt in your pot and moving it onto your carpet—just make the top of the soil uncomfortable for cats to walk on.
Plenty of materials will deter cats: dried-out leaves, pinecones, or flowers will do the trick. If your cat is particularly persistent, try lining the pot with marbles—cats hate this kind of texture.
Build An Effective (And Fun!) Cat Trap In Your Workspace
Get down, keyboard cat! Although they probably think they’re helping (or not), having a cat run over your laptop can be annoying if you work from home. There’s a great way to prevent your cat from running amok that isn’t locking your cat outside—which we know won’t work anyway.
Drop a box large enough to hold your cat next to your desk—or even better, next to your laptop. Most cats will be unable to resist this premium real estate and will move in immediately, leaving your keys paw free.
Keeping The Peace Between Two Or More Cats
Owning one cat can be hard enough, but two cats, especially territorial ones, can be hectic. One of the primary reasons that cats fight is over space and territory. You can help ease the tension by providing them with wall shelves.
It’s a great hanging-out spot for a cat since the high level puts them at ease. While it’s true that they might try to fight over these shelves, there’s at least more space to fight over. The spat won’t last long if another cat tries to contest another’s shelf.
Touch Base To Make Trimming A Little Easier
Clipping your cat’s nails can be about as dangerous as jumping headfirst into a knives and scissors factory assembly line—but it doesn’t have to be. To make this job a little easier, try touching your cat’s paws once in a while to get them used to the sensation.
This way, rather than feeling attacked, your cat will think the two of you are playing a little game. Just don’t pet your cat’s paws excessively or grab them too firmly, or you’ll run the risk of being annoying.
Use Hairballs To Check In On Your Cat’s Well-Being
Hairballs can be a tell-tale sign that something is wrong with your kitty. Cats naturally produce them, so seeing a few is nothing to worry about. However, constant gagging, throwing up, or even coughing indicates that a visit to the vet is in order.
Hairballs are usually digested along with their food, and if a cat brings them up more than once in a while, there might be something wrong with their digestive system. While it might just be a phase, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Helping Your Cat Stay Hydrated With Running Water
While we know that the water poured into a bowl from a tap or bottle is fresh, cats won’t tell the difference between the stuff we put in their bowls and stagnant pond water. They just won’t trust still water. Make sure they have peace of mind while drinking by getting them a fountain.
It doesn’t need to be all that expensive—most pet stores will sell small cat fountains at a reasonably affordable price. Drinking from a running water source will keep them hydrated and entertained.
Cats Don’t Just Dislike Bathtime—They Don’t Need It
Everyone knows that cats and water mix as well as mud and toast. However, some owners consider bathtime a necessary evil for their cats. However, all those painful scratches and sour looks might have been for nothing as cats don’t need bathing, even infrequently.
Besides an extreme situation, for example, if your cat has rolled around in oil or something stinky, you’re better off leaving your cat to it. They are expert groomers and have tongues designed for cleaning. Plus, bathing can remove their coat’s natural oil production.
Use Cereal Containers To Keep Dry Food From Going Stale
This one’s for all those cats out there with owners who don’t have to taste all the stale food they give their pets! Like anything else that can go off, cat food should be stored in an air-tight container—otherwise, it will turn stale. Even animals will turn their nose up at food of this quality.
Besides being bland, flavorless, and unhealthy, stale food can cause some serious bodily problems. Better to store your pet’s food in a cereal container—or use a peg or clip to keep the bag closed.
Is Your Cat Making Weird Sounds? Better Listen Closely
As with all these tips, it’s important to remember that a few one-off weird noises might not mean very much. However, if your cat is constantly yammering or producing odd sounds that cats shouldn’t usually make, it’s best to get them checked out at the vet.
Odd vocalizations can point to underlying health issues. Some specific sounds are linked to different conditions, and your vet will be able to figure out which is which—or at least give you peace of mind if your cat just likes producing strange bops.
A Natural Way To Remove The Smell Of Litter Box Odors
This is more of a quality-of-life tip for a cat owner than a cat. Then again, a happy owner is good for everyone—especially their cat, right? The smell of a well-used litter box isn’t the most pleasant thing to live with, especially if it’s been a little while since it got freshened up.
By pouring green tea leaves into your cat’s box when you next clean it out, you can prevent any future stinks—plus, green tea is anti-bacterial, meaning it will help to keep the litter tray clean!
Avoid Harsh Chemicals When Cleaning Up After Your Cat
Accidents are bound to happen, especially when cats are involved. Since their noses and immune systems are so sensitive, try using natural ingredients when dealing with any mishaps around the house. Doing so might also save you money!
Stir up some white vinegar with water and put it into a spray bottle. Use this as the first line of defense against stains or smells, then follow it up by pouring a little baking soda on the spot. This is also a great tip for cleaning up in general!
Getting Your Cat’s Portions Right
Pets are still animals, despite their domestication. As such, they are constantly in survival mode. If they see food, no matter how full they may be, they will try to eat it. When putting food in your cat’s bowl, it is important to get their portions right.
If you fill your cat’s bowl to the brim each time, your cat will become overweight, leading to many health problems. The key is consistency—give your cat the same amount at the same time of day. Just try to vary what they eat.
Send Your Cats To Bed With A Cooler Game
Here’s another one that’s both good for you and your cat. A kitty with energy left over at the end of the day is likely to give you a hard time when you’re trying to catch a good night’s rest by making a noise in the house. Worse, if they can get into your room, they might start climbing on your face in boredom.
Wear the little critter down with a game before bed; they’ll get out that excess energy and stress and leave you with more time to snooze.
The Two Things Cats Never Want Together
Putting your cat’s water next to its food seems like an obvious choice—people like their drink next to their food. But for a cat, unlike dogs, who don’t mind, there’s nothing worse. The scent of the water puts them off their food and vice versa.
It’s much better to keep them in a different place, no matter how inconvenient. One thing that will drive a cat crazy is seeing some food in its water—which usually happens when the bowls are adjacent—it will be as if the liquid is contaminated.
Keeping Your Filters Fresh
Cats are wonderful to have around, but they do put a lot of allergens, hair, dust, and odor into the air. Remember to regularly change your air filters in your home to help deal with them, especially if you have allergies. Changing out the filter will also prevent your cat from getting allergies, too.
Home supply stores stock them. After figuring out how to change it the first time, the next few times will take you less than a minute to do. And you’ll have a healthier, nicer-smelling home.
Keeping A Nightlight For Your Kitty Cats
Contrary to popular belief, cats can’t actually see in total darkness. They can utilize 50% more than humans, making them better at dealing with the dark. But, seeing as cats are often nocturnal creatures and like to walk about at night, consider leaving a small light on for them to use.
You don’t need to keep all the lights on—just a small one in the rooms they prowl. Plus, with a small light on, you will no longer have to fear treading on them at night!