Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.
Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling cats with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the kitty love!
How to Love Cats
A survey by a pet food company back in 2021 collected survey info from 1,094 dog and cat owners. I wonder if you agree with the results?
Overwhelmingly, respondents related treats equalling love (Karma-Kat agrees!). But other common “love languages” involved playing with the pet (83%), cuddling with them (82%), and talking with them (79%). Many pet parents use treats to connect emotionally with their animal companions, with 44% saying feeding treats shows how much they love their pets. And 16% give treats when they eat snacks, while 7% used treats as a distraction (“Go eat a treat while I ZOOM on a meeting, kitty.”)
Sound familiar? My Karma-Kat things he should get a treat whenever Shadow-Pup gets one (and he gets treats during training)—and vice versa. That raises the potential for putting on pudge so you need to find healthy ways to slim a cat so our pets live longer, healthier lives. It helped Karma-Kat slim down.
Love Cats with Attention
Your fur kids are more interested in playtime and fun activities, and these do help kitties both emotionally healthy and happy. Figure out what makes your cat purr with delight. Depending on the cat, the emotional connection with their pet parents is top of the list.
That’s not to say that all cats are cuddle-bugs or touchy-feely felines. For some cats, simply spending time in the same room and gazing with adoration is the ultimate in cat love.
Cat comfort is another important issue for your pets. Every cat is an individual, so while one cat loves to swing from the drapes and meet new people, strangers could be a horror movie for other cats. A lot of that has to do with your cat’s socialization and parentage. One of the most ways to love your cat is to accept each cat as an individual and adjust our expectations—and resolutions—to each special cat. Here are five ways you can share Valentine’s love and increase your cat’s purrs.
Schedule Play. Not every cat enjoys play and mostly the youngsters under a year go nuts for interactive play that may tip over into play aggression. Cat teasers like fishing pole lures offer a great aerobic workout for cats. It gets them off their tubby tails to help slim them down. Play increases the bond you share with your cat and can boost the confidence of shy felines and burn off the energy of bully cats that pick on others. Cats play in short bursts so schedule 10 minutes a couple times a day to play with your cats.
Provide Scratch Ops. Cats scratch to exercise, mark territory and relieve stress. Offering your cat legal scratching outlets makes her happy and keeps her physically healthy as well. Some cats won’t want to share their favorite scratch post so be sure you have at least one for each kitty. The Cento Cat Tree by Mau Lifestyle offers luxury scratching and napping ops (oh-my-dOG there’s a dog in there, too!).
Offer A Bed. Cozy fuzzy beds make cats purr with delight. Set a bed under a lamp and you’ll be your feline’s favorite buddy ever! Older cats especially appreciate soft spots to lounge, especially since cats spend up to 16 hours a day napping. Karma sleeps in a dog bed I got years ago, set up on the dining room table under (surprise!) another stained glass lampshade. But I’m tempted to order him the bed, below. Isn’t that gorgeous?
Provide Hideouts. Cats love hiding spots. You can offer an empty box or shopping bag to satisfy many cats. Cat tunnels work great in multiple pet households to reduce feline stress, too. This Juccini cat cave bed, made from felted wool, checks the boxes for style, comfort, and hiding ops. It comes in 10 colors/styles.
Cats don’t like other pets to stare at them, so a cat tunnel like this Frisco PeekABoo Cat Chute lets kitty travel “under the radar” to reach important locations such as the litter box. Cat tunnels can reduce the hissy behavior between cats since they don’t have to face each other. I’d share a picture of Karma’s cat tunnel but it’s discontinued. (sniff)
Give Them Cat Cologne. Cats are sensory creatures, but your perfume may not be the best kitty gift. Find other cat-interesting smells to show your cat how much you love her.
Create Entertainment. You wouldn’t think cats get bored, but they evolved as hunting machines. Sleeping all day stores up enormous energy and indoor cats look for entertainment outlets. Set up bird houses and bird baths near windows for your cat’s viewing pleasure, as a sort of “kitty TV.” Enriching the cat’s environment keeps kitty happy, and prevents many behavior problems, and improves feline health. For more tips on enriching your cat’s environment refer to this webinar–it includes a free Quick Tips book, DOES MY CAT HATE ME?
Offer Healthy Treats. The operative word here is “healthy.” And moderation. Chewy offers lots of cat treat options from Tiny Tiger, but make sure you offer only tiny amounts so you don’t risk adding to the pudge factor.
Avoid milk–it can give cats diarrhea—unless they create a formulation specifically for cats, like Feline Natural Milk for Cats.Oh, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area, you can get samples of Milk for Cats from free pop-up events scheduled at Abbot Kinney (Feb 12), Melrose (Feb 13), and Santa Monica (Feb 14). Visit the food trucks for your chance to win even more goodies.
So over to you. What are ways you show your cat how much you love him/her? Post in the comments, so Karma-Kat gets extra lovin’ stuff.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!