Lynn Bahr, DVM
I write about a lot of topics on my blog, but I thought we could all use a quick and easy Top-10 list of the things all cats need to thrive.
1. Places to hide
I created the Hide and Sneak for this exact purpose. Cats love to hide while keeping an eye on their surroundings. Play tunnels and cat trees provide great perches and hidey holes.
2. Regular play time
Just setting aside five minutes a day to dangle a wand toy or crinkle the Magic Carpet for your kitty will do wonders for your cat’s health and vitality. Daily play is essential to every indoor cat’s wellbeing.
3. A variety of toys
Even cats who love one special toy will appreciate regular toy rotation and a variety of options for play time. Find out what types of toys your cat likes best and buy a few types. For example our Wiggly Wand has several attachments so you can offer a different option for every day of the week.
4. Play that mimics hunting
Cats are instinctual hunters, so play is most fulfilling when it mimics reality. Some cats prefer ground prey and will gravitate toward mice-like toys similar to our Little Puff or Wiggly Ball. Others prefer birds and will enjoy any toy that dances or flutters like our Looper.
5. Scent enrichment
Indoor cats get stuck with indoor smells like air fresheners, cleaning products, and stagnant air. For a change of pace, let them use their super sensitive noses to sniff out leaves, grass, and small twigs. Or sprinkle a pinch of silver vine on their favorite toy.
6. Fresh air and sunshine
Letting cats roam outdoors isn’t always possible, but an open window, small catio, or leash walk on a sunny day is usually pretty easy. This can provide scent enrichment as well because they can smell the great outdoors while still being protected.
7. Places to scratch
Cats who don’t have scratchers go for the next best things, like furniture and carpet. Deter this unwanted behavior by providing a variety of scratchers. Cats love materials like wood, cardboard, and sisal.
8. Clean litter boxes
You wouldn’t want to use a grimy, smelly bathroom, and trust me, cats don’t either. To avoid accidents, place litter boxes away from food and in areas your cat frequents. Elderly cats and kittens may need more than one location, and if you have several cats, you’ll definitely need more than one box.
9. Reliable routines
If you’ve ever missed a meal time, I’m sure your cat has let you know. Cats are habitual and love routines. Make sure you do all of the wonderful things on this list at regular intervals so your cat knows what to expect and when. And that way she can remind you when you forget.
10. Lots of love
Cats often get called aloof, but cat owners know that’s not true. Your cat needs affection and lots of care. Regular veterinary visits, high-quality food, and reassurance that you are there for them is key to having a healthy, happy cat.
Need some help caring for your cats while you’re away? Let us know! We’ll be happy to ensure they get plenty of attention and the proper care in your absence.