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Keeping Your Cat Happy

June 15 2024

Have you ever wondered why cats are so good at wrapping us around their little paws? You’ve probably heard or read the anecdotes about how Fluffy managed to convince the ancient Egyptians to treat her as a sacred deity. Kitties were also held in very high regard in Siam, China, and Japan. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to install catnip gardens or build temples for our feline overlords. Actually, keeping your kitty happy, healthy, and purring is quite easy! A local Crested Butte vet lists some ‘purrfect’ ways to keep cats content in this article.

How Do I Make My Cat Feel Happy?

You’d have to start with the basics of good cat care: great nutrition, comfy shelter, proper veterinary care, and a clean litterbox. Those will cover your pet’s essential physical needs. To make Fluffy happy and bring on the purr, you’ll also have to see to her emotional and mental health. Fortunately, this is not only pretty easy, it’s also often adorable.

The best way to make your cat happy? Pay attention to her, and just spend time with her. While we may poke fun at cats for being cold, aloof serial killers, the truth is that our feline pals are actually very emotional, and get strongly attached to their humans. Carve out some quality kitty time every day. Talk to Fluffy, pet her, and let her snuggle with you. 

How Do You Tell A Cat Is Happy?

To be fair, our feline pals can be confusing at times. Fluffy may purr and cuddle you one minute, and bite you the next. (We’ll cover cattitude in another blog.) 

Your pet’s physical health is a good indicator. While there certainly are some rather cantankerous kitties that are in good health, for the most part healthy cats are happy cats. Fluffy’s body condition won’t tell you everything, but it is a good start. If your pet has shiny fur, is at a healthy weight, and has clear, bright eyes, it’s a good sign. If your feline pal is getting good evaluations from her vet at her exams, you’re on the right track. 

The next key is in your pet’s behavior and body language. Happy cats tend to be relaxed, curious, and confident, and are often very playful and affectionate. 

Fluffy’s body language is quite interesting here. For instance, if your feline pal looks at you and blinks slowly, she’s actually communicating with you, and showing signs of affection. A kitty that is content may also be quite prone to silly, mischievous behavior, such as batting bottle caps around the kitchen or ‘zooming’ around the living room.

You can also tell a bit by how relaxed your furry friend is. Nervous or unhappy cats often withdraw and hide. (Note: these can be signs of health issues, so if your pet has suddenly started acting withdrawn, contact your vet.) If Fluffy feels safe, she may stretch out in the middle of the floor or drape herself across the back of your sofa, and doze off without a care in the world. Happy kitties also often follow their humans around, and aren’t shy about requesting attention or lap space. 

How To Make Your Cat’s Life More Exciting?

Kitties are extremely exhausted, collectively: they can sleep up to 20 hours a day. (Most somehow manage to get by on about 14.) Make sure your furry friend has lots of comfy beds and napping spots!  Of course, when Fluffy is actually awake, she’ll need ways to amuse herself. Boredom is just as bad for pets as it is for people!

Here are our suggestions:

  • Playtime: Playing with your cat is actually great for her both mentally and physically. Even taking a few minutes a day to hold a wand toy or laser pointer will help keep Fluffy amused.
  • Catnip: No surprises here. Not all cats are susceptible to the effects of this curious mint plant, though. If your feline pal seems unimpressed, try offering her a honeysuckle cat toy. For some reason, cats that are immune to catnip seem to love honeysuckle.
  • Boxes: Remember to bring Fluffy home the occasional empty box to conquer!
  • Cat TV: You can actually find programs made just for kitties to watch. (As you would probably expect, there are a lot of birds and squirrels involved.)
  • Things To Explore: Make your home fun for your pet by giving her things like kitty condos, newspaper tunnels, and paper grocery bags with the handles cut off.
  • Cat Furniture: You don’t have to fill your place with things for Fluffy, but you should get her a few things she won’t have to share with her humans. Cat towers are the gold standard here, as they offer manicure stations, lookouts, napping spots, and jungle gyms. 
  • Manicure stations: Make sure Fluffy has a tower, post, or board to do her nails on.
  • Pet-Safe Plants: Kitties love to nibble on greens. Fluffy also sometimes enjoys peeking out at her humans from behind plants, and pretending she’s a ferocious tiger. Just stick with safe options. Check the ASPCA site here for a list of options. You’ll need to be careful with the setup as well. Don’t arrange your plants in a way that your pet could pull them over onto herself!
  • Games: Did you know that you can download games for your kitty to play on a phone or tablet? This is a good way to get some extra use out of a device you’ve upgraded.
  • Toys: While you should get things that you can use to play with your pet, Fluffy also should have things she can use by herself. Kitties all have different tastes here, so try different things. One furball may love catnip mice, while another may prefer crinkly toys.

Be sure to ask your vet for more advice on caring for your feline pal. 

How To Keep Indoor Cats Happy?

While Fluffy may enjoy going outdoors, rolling around in the driveway, and leaving dead mice on your step, she’s actually much safer staying in. Outdoor cats are vulnerable to many different threats. Inclement weather, heat, cold, toxic plants, chemical exposure, loose dogs, cars, parasites, stray cats … the list goes on and on. We strongly recommend keeping kitties indoors. 

That said, it is true that outdoor cats get exercise and entertainment by exploring outside and stalking the birds or chipmunks in your yard. You’ll need to make sure your feline pal has plenty of ways to entertain herself inside.

One great option is to bring a bit of the outside in for your kitty. If you have an enclosed porch, a spare room, a sunroom, or even a sunny corner, make Fluffy a catio. You can go all-out and make a whole garden of pet-safe plants and a wraparound catwalk, or just put some pet-safe plants and a cat tower before a window with a good view.

Speaking of good views, this is also a must. Kitties absolutely love birdwatching. Give your furry pal a comfy bed before a window. Then, hang a birdfeeder where your pet can see it. Chances are, your cute pet will spend hours there, napping, sunbathing, and daydreaming about hunting.

Don’t forget about Fluffy when you are out! If your kitty will be home alone, turn a radio or TV on for her before you go. The sounds will soothe her and keep her from feeling lonely. You may need to leave a light on for your furry buddy if you’ll be out after dark.

If your pet is alone a lot, you could consider getting her a buddy. However, that won’t be the right option for everyone. Think carefully first. Adoption is furever! 

What Is A Cat’s Favorite Thing To Do?

We’d probably put sleeping at the top of that list, followed by relaxing, meditating, playing, and exploring. Fluffy is also fond of just hanging out with her humans, contemplating world domination, and practicing her pounces.

Two other top kitty pastimes? Exploring and investigating things. Unfortunately, Fluffy doesn’t know what is and isn’t safe for her. Make sure your place is safe by removing or securing anything that could be dangerous. That includes anything small or sharp, plastic bags and wrappers, chemicals, medicine, toxic plants, and ropes and cords. You’ll also want to make sure your doors and windows close securely. Ask your Crested Butte vet for specific advice.

Make An Appointment At Your Crested Butte Pet Hospital

Do you have questions about your kitty’s health or care? Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. As your local Crested Butte pet clinic, we are here to help!  

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