Feline good: 6 top tips for cat care
Is your cat a happy cat? Admittedly it’s not always easy to tell with our feline friends. But whether you’re a new cat owner, or you’re just looking for some quick and easy ideas on how to care for a cat and improve her wellbeing, these six top tips are bound to leave her purring!
Create some nice places for naps
It’s easy to see where the word “catnap” comes from. Cats love to doze during the day; so for really great cat care, why not make life even more comfortable for her by creating perfect nap spots?
They particularly love to doze in the sunlight, so why not put a cushion or install a special padded perch near a sunny window? And if you have a garden, think about where they can sleep outside – preferably somewhere with a bit of shade and dry from the rain.
Back indoors, you can also purchase special “trees” to give your cat somewhere to climb up and sit. Cats are natural climbers and feel safe perched up high, where they can look down on their domain!
Treat her to some toys
Cats enjoy having some playtime and there’s a whole range of cat toys you can buy to keep her entertained. There are toys for chasing, toys for pawing around, toys for interactive play, all sorts. You can also buy special laser pointers that give cats a spot of light to chase.
You can very easily make your own toys as well. A simple ball will keep most cats amused for ages, as they paw it and pounce on it like a mouse. Your cat will also enjoy playing with some string or ribbon that you have tied to a stick, or on a door handle – just ensure the string can’t come off, as it’s dangerous for her to swallow.
Make her a home in your home
As you’ve probably gathered by now, cats are fairly independent creatures. They like to have their own space to go to for their bed and all their basic needs.
Create a special area in your home with her bed, a scratching post and a litter box. But keep her food and water in a different place – cats prefer not to eat where they also go to the toilet. The litter box should be in a well-lit, quiet part of the house to encourage her to use it.
Master the art of stroking!
While cats are undoubtedly independent creatures, they can be very affectionate and most of them love to be petted.
Give her a cuddle when you can and stroke her – but make sure you are stroking her in the right way! Always stroke her from head to tail, and never the other way around. Most cats don’t like being stroked the opposite way that their fur lies.
She’ll probably also enjoy being stroked behind the ears and under her chin, but stay away from her tail and paws.
If a child wants to stroke your cat, stay with them and supervise it – you don’t want your cat lashing out for being stroked the wrong way!
Keep on top of unwanted visitors
No doubt you have heard all about the risk of unwanted visitors in your cat’s fur, such as fleas and ticks. Parasites like these can cause all sorts of discomfort and disease – to humans as well as pets – so it is vital to keep on top of them.
Exactly which parasites your cat is most at risk from will depend on several factors, so have a chat with your vet to decide which preventive methods and medications you should think about to ensure the health and wellbeing of your cat. And once you have a programme in place, set yourself reminders (perhaps on your phone or in your calendar) to keep on top of it – whether that’s to give your cat medication, or to visit the vet. Staying on top of parasite control will mean you can nip any issues in the bud before they get serious.
Keep a routine, keep it clean
Most cats like routine so feeding times should be regular and structured e.g. breakfast, lunch and dinner (or just breakfast and dinner if your cat eats twice a day). If you work irregular hours, think about using a feeding timer.
The clearing up is as important as the putting out. If you leave food out all day, many cats will happily eat all day, so make sure you tidy away to avoid having a fat cat!
Keeping everything tidy is important anyway, as cats like things to be nice and clean. Regularly clean her food station, litter box and bed – she will be much happier for it.
A key question when thinking about caring for your cat is whether to have her neutered – why not read all the facts on cat neutering?