Our kitties are the loves of our lives, and we always want to make sure that they have everything that they need. From the best care to the best guardians (us, of course!), our cats bring so much joy to our days that we want to return the favor. While we love to spoil our cats with extra toys and treats, the first step is to make sure that their basic need are met.
Below are the 7 things your cat needs from you the most. If you already live by this list, chances are, you have one very happy kitty!
1. Respect for their space.
For cats, there’s a time to socialize and a time to be alone, and we humans must respect when they need the latter. All cats should have a “safe space” of some kind, whether it’s a room, a box, a cat-cave, or a perch, where they can go and not be bothered. They also love places where they can hide while observing the action around them, and if they’re comfortably lounging by their lonesome, try not to move them. When guests come by, make sure that they know not to approach or corner your cat, and to only pet her if she approaches them. When your cat knows that her desires are respected, she’ll have a lot of trust in you.
2. Fundamental needs
It goes without saying that cats need food, water, and a place to relieve themselves. But consistent grooming also falls under this category. While cats do a good job keeping themselves clean, they may need a “hand” combing out knots and little pieces of debris, especially if they have long hair. A mat on a cat isn’t just a nuisance – it’s a painful problem that will get worse if it’s not addressed. Plus, grooming allows you (or the groomer) to notice any sudden changes in his body.
3. Understanding of their pickiness
It’s no secret that our purring pals are picky – and in more ways than one! Cats can be particular about the type of food they eat, their water dishes, their litter boxes, their toys, and even the location of these items in the house. While their fussiness may feel like a nuisance, the fact is, a lot of it is due to their deep-rooted instincts. So, accept their persnickety nature and do your best to work with it! (Click the links in the text to learn more about your cat’s pickiness in these areas.)
While our kitties have great survival instincts, it’s up to us, their guardians, to make sure they stay safe. Microchipping, vaccinations, and pest preventative are all part of being a responsible pet parent. It’s also up to us to take proper precautions when letting our kitties outside, or even keeping them indoors altogether. Do you have a cat who loves fresh air? Consider adding a catio to your backyard or windowsill.
5. Mental stimulation
Although our cats don’t need to hunt for survival, it’s important to allow them to tap into their instincts. Hiding, stalking, chasing, and pouncing helps keep your kitty happily occupied. Try feeding your feline with food puzzles for a healthy, easy way to incorporate “hunting” into his mealtime routine. Games that involve hiding and finding treats or toys are also great for mental stimulation. You can take the cat out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the cat!
6. Dedicated one-on-one time
You can offer your kitty her favorite toy or absent-mindedly shine a laser around the room while you’re watching a movie, but cats know when you’re not giving them your undivided attention. There is no substitute for one-on-one time with your kitty, and your full attention is worth much more to them than the newest, trendiest toys and treats at the pet store. Make sure to spend time doing your cat’s favorite thing with her every day, whether it’s cuddling, playing, or just having a conversation!
7. Love and affection
Aside from their health and safety, the thing that cats need most is a connection with you! Love and affection strengthens your bond, and although you’re a different species, your feline knows that you’re her family. Your cat’s relationship with you enables him to feel content, secure, and safe. This is necessary for him to live his best life possible!