September is Happy Cat Month and a good time to check that we are providing an environment that ensures a happy kitty!
Assessing if your home provides all the necessities for a happy, healthy cat doesn’t take long and any changes that you may need to make will probably be simple. Check to make sure that you are providing the following:
Regular Wellness Checks: Make sure to visit your veterinarian for regular wellness checks. The frequency of these checks depends on the health status of your cat. Work with your veterinarian to determine the best schedule. These wellness checks allow your veterinarian to check for any “hidden” illnesses or injuries, assess the general health of your cat, as well as keep up-to-date with vaccinations and parasite prevention.
Food: Make sure that the food you are providing for your cat is a high quality food appropriate to her life stage. Check in with your veterinarian to make sure that the food is appropriate and that your cat is of a healthy weight. Review the amount of food that you are feeding each day. Don’t forget to provide treats once in a while (if your veterinarian approves of them).
Water: Some cats are finicky with how they receive their water and some cats don’t drink enough. To encourage drinking, create interest for your cat by trying out a cat water fountain. Ensure the water is fresh – no one likes drinking dirty, stale water.
Litterboxes: Ensure that your cat’s litterboxes are fresh and clean. Removing waste twice a day and thoroughly cleaning the litterboxes each week will keep your kitty happy. More importantly, the rule of thumb for the number of litterboxes, is to have one more litterbox than the number of cats in your home (2 cats = 3 litterboxes).
Exercise and Stimulation: Exercise, play-time, and interactive toys not only help stimulate your cat mentally, they encourage your cat to exercise which is so important for the overall health of your cat. Take some time to play chasing and pouncing games with your cat using pole or wand toys, and consider puzzle feeders for independent stimulation.
Perches and Posts: Cats have the urge to scratch which may not be appreciated by cat owners if the scratching is destroying your furniture! However scratching is necessary to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, to mark their territory, and to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws. To avoid scratching on furniture, consider a scratching post with perches and hiding spots. This allows the scratching stimulation that your cat needs and a place to perch and watch the birds or squirrels outside.
By taking a few steps to ensure that your cat’s environment is stimulating and safe, your cat will be a happy cat, and a happy cat equals a happy pet owner!