Everyone wants their cat to be a contented, purring ball of bliss. Here are some things you can do to help your kitty find their happy.
That’s the Spot
Petting your cat can certainly make you happier, but is your cat happy with where you’re petting them? Or is there a better place? Most cats will let you know where the no-no spots are pretty quick, but it’s still good to know where the best places to pet your cat are. Most cats like being stroked along their back, around their cheeks and the base of their ears, and under their chin. There’s a pretty good chance that if you focus on these spots, you’ll have one happy kitty. Of course, some cats run away at the mere thought of snuggle time, so it might be that no pets, scratches or rubs in any place will make those cats happy.
An Indoor/Outdoor Experience
OK, so for this one we don’t mean literally bring in a bird for your cat to swat at or a pesky mouse to pounce on. But do let them experience some of things they could do if they were outside. For example, make a perch next to a window so your cat can look out at the world and dream about chasing all the things they see. You could use a cat tree or a sturdy table with a comfy pillow on top as their viewing platform.
You can also fulfill their instinct to hunt things they see outside by letting them “hunt” inside. Using some of their daily kibble ration, hide “prey” kibble bits around the house for them to find. You may need to introduce the concept at first (show them where you hid some kibble), but soon they can stalk their way to a full belly.
You can also be their “prey!” Playing chase-the-mouse-on-the-string with your cat will be sure to make them happy, and it’s a good way for you two to bond (just make sure they actually get the mouse a few times). But always put wand toys away after playtime so your cat doesn’t become tangled in the string or get bored with the toy because now their prey is “dead.”
Add a happy buzz to your cat’s day with some catnip. Some cats react to catnip with aggressive playfulness while others will be cool, calm and chilled. Either way, it’s a temporary (10 to 15 minute) burst of happy for your cat and probably for you, too, watching their catnip antics. Keep in mind that some cats don’t react to catnip, so this one isn’t a guaranteed source of “happy” for your cat.
A Happy Home
A happy cat needs a safe, comfortable place to live and play. Cats love being up high, so provide a few spots around the house where your cat can safely gaze down on the world (without knocking off your best vase or trophy collection). Playtime is a must for curious kitties, so rotate your cat’s toys often so they don’t get bored and look for something else to chew or scratch on. It’s also important to have at least one litter box per cat plus an extra one. If your house has multiple levels, have at least one litter box on each level, particularly if your cat has trouble climbing stairs. Not using the litter box can be a sign that you have an unhappy (or potentially sick) cat.
A Healthy Cat Is a Happy Cat
One of the most important ways to keep your cat happy is to make sure they’re healthy. Cats are pretty good at hiding pain and discomfort, so you might not notice something is bothering them right away. Annual visits to the veterinarian can help make sure your cat doesn’t have any underlying health issues that aren’t obvious to you. Choosing a quality cat food with quality ingredients can also help your cat live the healthiest and happiest life possible.
What’s the one thing that probably makes your cat the happiest? You! You’re the best person to know how to make your cat a happy cat.
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