Make Your Cat’s Life Better In 5 Easy Steps

| Published on July 31, 2015

Our cat friends add so much to our existence. It is important that we return the favor. Here are 5 easy steps to make your cat’s life the best it can be.

1. Give him a safe place in which to hide and sleep. Cats sleep a lot and they like to feel safe and protected while they do. For some cats, a scrap box will feel safe (See Why Do Cats Like Boxes). For others, a sunbeam on a window perch will be perfect. Expect your cat to rest a lot and respect his tendency to be crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk) like his wild ancestors. If you can make one of his “safe houses” be his carrier, then it’s even better. He will then feel secure if you need to move or travel too.

2. Fuel her instincts to scratch and climb. Make your home truly her habitat. Provide cat trees and climbing posts. Think of your home like a zoo where your cat is the resident. Zoos spend time and money making habitats that meet the natural tendencies of those living there. Your cat will want to mark her territory with the scent glands on her paw pads. She will need safe and appropriate scratching surfaces to do so. She may like to climb up high to survey her domain. If you do not want her on furniture or counters, you must provide good alternatives for her to jump on and climb.

3. Entertain his mind and body. Your cat is a complex carnivore, not so distant from his wild relatives. He is built for speed and stealth. He needs to flex his muscles and use his brain. If you can provide puzzle toys with edible rewards or hide treats around the house, your cat will delight in their pursuit and capture. Find ways to try to outsmart him with games and toys. He likes to chase his prey and maybe your toes under the sheets.

4. Bond with her. You are your cat’s pride, her family. Mutual grooming is a bonding experience even in wild felines. Make time to brush and stroke her. If she purrs or kneads her feet, you will know that she is in her “happy place”. Grooming will keep her coat shiny and mat free and gives you the chance to notice if anything is amiss on her skin or body. If your cat does not like to be brushed, choose a soft grooming mitt or just your hands. This ritual is good for you and your feline friend.

5. Provide a clean litter box in a desirable place. Remember that elimination habits are a huge part of your cat’s life. The places he chooses to urinate and defecate are meaningful to him. Make sure his litter box is super clean and in a desirable location, away from noises and other pets. Make sure that you have a litter box for each cat, plus an extra to keep any of your cats from developing a preference for eliminating elsewhere. The excrement of another cat might be an active deterrent to him since cats can use waste as a territory marker.

Since you love your cat, just seeing her enjoy the items that you provided for her will make you feel good. If you can think like a cat, you can come up with more ways to enrich her environment and her life. These are only a start. I would love to hear ways that you make your cats’ lives better. Please find me on TwitterFacebook and Google+ .




vet thumbnailAbout The Author: Dr. Kathryn Primm is a practicing small animal veterinarian and practice owner at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, TN.  She has consulted on articles for national magazines, done numerous radio interviews and appeared on local television. She has contributed to articles for Prevention magazine (April 2015) and Woman’s Day (Feb 2014 and June 2015). Her radio segment Chattanooga Pet Talk airs each week on all the local iHeart Media affiliates.

She has a social media presence on TwitterFacebook and Google+ and enjoys interaction with others about her passions, animals and communication.  She has written a book, Tennessee Tails:Pets and Their People. The book received recognition as Runner Up in the Memoirs category at a national book festival. You can read more about Dr. Primm and how to get the best value for your pet care dollar at her website,

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