By: Carmen Scott – The Cat Mom
We all know how special our cats are to us, but did you know that September is Happy Cat Month? Yep, 30 days of unadulterated, no-holds-barred love, affection, treats and tummy tickles for your cat that requires no ‘catsplaining’ to anyone.
But September is almost over, we hear you wail. Have no fear, because as far as we are concerned, every day should be spent celebrating the fabulousness that is your feline.
Here is our list of the top 10 things you can do to make sure your cat is grinning like the proverbial Cheshire day in and day out, all year round.
1. Keep your cat curious
Cats are naturally curious, and while the old saying goes ‘curiosity killed the cat,’ it’s in fact what has kept the species alive.
Naturally born to hunt and explore, your fearless feline can wedge himself into impossibly small spaces and perch on precarious edges, as he keeps an on his prey and steers clear of danger. Even indoorsy cats aren’t immune to pouncing on an unsuspecting fluffy slipper or attacking an ominous-looking barefoot.
To keep your cat stimulated and happy, you can create quick and easy exploring opportunities with everyday objects left around the house. Old paper shopping bags and empty boxes are unchartered territory for your kitty to conquer and will allow him to tap into his wilder side.
2. Give your cat quality one-on-one playtime
We often associate playtime with kittens, but even older cats will be hard-pressed to resist an interactive game, and nothing will make your cat happier than some one-on-one quality playtime with you.
Toy mice are perfect for a simulated game of ‘cat and mouse,’ and even a piece of string pulled by you will bring out the predator in him. Laser pointers are a great way to get your indoor cat moving, but it’s important to make sure there’s an actual reward at the end of the game. Otherwise, he could be left feeling defeated, which experts say can result in behavioral issues.
3. Give your cat a room with a view
We have already mentioned that cats are innately curious. Whether it’s watching people going about their daily routines, keeping a watchful eye on the pesky mutt next door or some soulful cloud watching, being nosey is what cats do best.
If you want to make your cat really happy, give him his very own spot in a room with a view where he can watch the world go by.
4. Build your cat his very own catio
If you really want to make your cat happy, give him his very own catio. Growing in popularity, these screened porches or enclosed areas are the perfect way for your cat to experience the outdoors safely.
Build your own one if you’re DIY-inclined, or buy one ready-made. Either way, your cat will be over the moon with his very own chill-out area.
5. Let your cat have some screen time
Believe it or not, cats enjoy screen time. For some, it might be the daily news, for others, it’s specialty programs with close up footage of birds or even watching a game of tennis.
No TV? No problem. Cats are just as happy watching a screensaver on a laptop.
Your cat will feel less lonely if you let him do his best couch potato impersonation while you’re at work or out for the day.
6. Adopt a Cat
Even though wild cats aren’t pack animals and do well on their own, domestic cats quickly adapt to different social structures. If you’re at work most of the day or travel regularly, you might want to consider getting your cat a paw-mate.
June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, but did you know the ASPCA has a mobile adoption center with different locations throughout the year? We can guarantee you will be making one cat very happy by giving him a fur-ever home.
If you can stop giggling long enough at the idea of walking your cat, you really should give it a go. Taking your cat for a walk on a leash is a great way to spend quality time together while getting exercise and taking in the sights and sounds around you.
Remember it might not come as naturally for cats as it does for dogs, so start off slowly and be patient. In no time at all, your cat will be looking forward to his daily walks, leash and all.
8. Give your cat his very own scratch patch
A cat that can scratch is a happy cat, so make sure yours has got a dedicated scratch post.
Nowadays, you can buy combination posts that allow your cat to sharpen his claws horizontally or vertically while stretching his muscles. And you don’t have to stress about your sofa or carpet remaining intact.
9. Banish boredom at mealtimes
Set meal times are great, but it’s also a good idea to let your cat hunt for his food. We don’t mean literally of course, but you could use puzzle feeders or timed food dispensers to banish boredom at dinner time.
Allowing your cat to fine-tune his hunting skills while being rewarded with a tasty treat will keep him challenged both mentally and physically. And leave him feeling very proud of himself.
10. Keep it clean
It’s no secret that cats are absolute neat freaks and need their living space to be tidy all the time. Keep his litter box clean by scooping out the poop once a day and replacing the litter regularly. Also, don’t cause your cat unnecessary stress by putting his food and drinking bowls next to his litter box and make sure that where he does his business is private. You don’t go to the toilet with an audience, why should your cat?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t take a lot for your cat to be content. All he needs to be happy is a well-balanced diet, along with clean water and regular visits to the vet. Throw in some quality playtime, a little space to call his own and loads of tender loving (cat) care, and you’ll have yourself one very happy cat.