Ask A Vet: Top 5 Items Every Cat Owner Should Have

| Published on August 8, 2016


If you have a cat then you want to reward her for making you smile every day. Here is our top 5 list of things that every cat owner should have for their fur-iend.

Fleece beds and hiding places

Studies have shown that cat actually prefer fleece as a bedding over other materials and we all know how much cats enjoy boxes and hiding spots. It is affordable and easy to meet these needs. You might have to experiment with shapes and sizes of beds and boxes to find her favorite and be sure to rotate them out of sight for a while so that they can feel novel each time you bring them out.  Cats love new things to explore on their own terms. If you can line her carrier with fleece and place it in plain sight from time to time, she will not learn to fear its presence also.

Food and water bowls that are shallow and not plastic

Of course you provide food and water dishes for your cat, but make sure that you have dishes that fit well with who your cat is naturally. As a tiny predator, your cat is always on the lookout for predators that are bigger than she is. Her personal safety is her first concern. She likes to be able to see around herself completely when she is at her most vulnerable, while feeding. Shallow saucer-like bowls may make her feel safer because she can see while she nibbles. Her dishes should not be plastic either. Plastic feels greasy and some people think it is partially to blame for some cases of feline acne. Place her food dish some distance from her water also because her ancestors did not feed at their natural water source.

Prescription parasite control

Good parasite coverage often comes from your vet with a prescription and usually will cover more than just fleas. Fleas are a real concern, even for strictly indoor cats, but feline heartworm disease is a threat as well and mosquitoes can fly and follow you in an open door. All cats should be protected from these risks. Protecting them is easy. Treating a flea problem once it is established is hard and there is no safe effective treatment at all for feline heartworm disease.

Extra litter boxes

It is suggested for you to provide one litterbox per cat in the home, plus one more. Place the boxes out of the way and sheltered, but easy to access in case your cat has arthritis or a reason that she would not want to travel too far to urinate or defecate. In multiple cat households, having an extra box can prevent any territorial disputes since cats use scent marking to establish their territories.  You might offer different types of litter and shape of boxes and keep them really clean to make sure that your cat maintains his good litter box habits. Just think if your only option was a portable outdoor toilet that smelled foul, you might choose to go out in the woods instead.

Enrichment toys and feeders 

Cats are built to patrol and hunt. Enrichment puzzles are a great way to simulate both. Depending on the style, some of these contraptions are loaded with food rewards and your cat has to either outthink or out maneuver them to get it. Be sure to read the instructions and take some time with your cat to teach him that it is his to play with. Just like the boxes, you will want to rotate the puzzles so your cat does not become bored with them.

Happy cats mean happy owners. Make sure that you have these top 5 items to make sure that you are meeting all of your cat’s needs and protecting her where you can.

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