“Happy Cats are Healthy Cats”

Lynn Baer, DVM, Cat Specialist, shares her top tips for cat owners to ensure well adjusted, happy cats.  Lynn says, “happy cats are healthy cats and happy cats make owners happier and healthier, too”.

  Tip #1) Recognize the fact that indoor only cats have no choices of their own in life

They are completely reliant on what we offer them.  We choose their litter box size, shape, location and litter substrate. We choose where they are fed, what they are fed out of, and what foods they are offered.  We choose their toys, their beds, their bowls, and everything within their lives.  Cats have few choices of their own.   They would be happier given more choices of their own and once owners understand that and begin to expand their options, cats would remain healthier and happier. 

Tip #2) Bring the outdoors in 

Cats are held captive within four walls for their entire lives.  Open the blinds, open the windows, grow grass, bring leaves and branches in for them to smell. Again for owners to be more aware of the fact that their cats have never walked on grass or soil, experienced changes in temperature, smelled different smells, or had the ability to walk around the block to explore new surroundings.  Owners should evaluate every opportunity to enhance their indoors cat’s lives by bringing new things into the home.  Build catios, window units or other alternative opportunities for cats to experience the outdoors.  At a minimum place window seats around the house (off the ground), build vertical spaces for them to climb, train them to walk on leashes, erect cat proof fences, etc.

 Tip #3) Play, play, play and more play

Indoor cats are bored, depressed and inactive.  Owners don’t generally play with their cats daily.  Cats need exercise, mental stimulation and fun.  Having a basket of toys for cats is not enough.  Owners should actively engage with their pets by using wand toys, laser lights, throwing blankets over furniture to create tents, rotating toys daily.  Adding silvervine, catnip, and valerian to their arsenal of toys will give cats new experiences.  Using foraging toys for food rewards, making cats hunt for some of their food all help to stimulate their body and mind.

Tip #4) Lots of scratch posts – both vertical and horizontal for cats to scratch on. 

I am completely opposed to declawing (having never performed one in my entire career).   Scratching is a form of communication and also gives cats the ability to stretch their muscles.  It is important they have great areas and substrates to scratch on.  It makes them happy.

 Tip #5)  Seek out cat only veterinarians

Don’t allow a veterinarian who declaws to treat your cat.  Take your cat to a vet at least once a year for a good physical exam and blood work.  Cats are notorious for hiding pain and illness and if an owner thinks their cat is sick, they are likely very sick.  Pay attention to any changes (no matter how small) and seek veterinary care immediately.  Age is not a disease and many owners ignore signs of illness as due to advanced aging.  That is not in a cat’s best interest.  Owners need to advocate on behalf of their pets and insure good medical care.  Seek second opinions.  Good veterinarians encourage owners to do so and are never offended by it. 

 Tip #6) Cats need wet food more than dry

Wet food is lower in calories and higher in protein and moisture.  It is extremely important to feed cats at least 5-6 times daily.  Don’t feed one brand or diet only.  Variety is the spice of life and cats are used to eating birds, squirrels, rats, mice, chipmunks, bugs, etc.  One diet or one brand is not normal.  Either is feeding once or twice a day.

 Source:  The Purrington Post

Editors Note:  Find many of the toys, scratchers, outdoor enclosures and cat furniture mentioned in this article right here.

Do you have cats? You may live longer, as a result.

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Cats can make us healthier.

Do you know that spending just 15 minutes of quality time with your cat can be a great stress buster and improve your emotional and physical health?

There is scientific evidence.  Time spent playing with your cats boosts your production of seratonin, a chemical in your body that increases feelings of well being.   Quality time with your cats may also reduce the level of cortisol in your body, a hormone that’s maintained at abnormally high levels when there’s a chronic or continued presence of stressors in your life.

A 20 year study also found that people who owned a cat were 40% less likely to suffer a heart attack. (Source:  Purina.com)

OK, that’s enough evidence for me!!!

CatBlogger

P.S.  See our great wand and other interactive toys that can help increase quality time with your cats!

 

 

While you’re away…will the cats play?

How to Keep Your Cat Happy While You’re Away

With summer coming to a close, maybe you’ve been thinking about taking one last mini vacation while the weather is still nice. Whether it’s a day-trip or a weekend get-away, one thing is certain: you have to keep your cat happy while you’re away! At www.MyThreeCats.com, we have plenty of options to keep your cat comfortable and entertained.

Summer afternoons can be hot and boring, and few things would be worse for your cat than if they aren’t drinking enough water. Cats can incur a number of diseases from not drinking enough water, so making sure your cat has suitable water is crucial. Because many cats prefer constantly running water, My Three Cats offers products that allow your cat to drink fresh water with very little maintenance involved. The Drinkwell® Pet Fountain satisfies your cat’s need for running water in a quiet environment, and the Drinkwell® 360 edition is perfect for households with multiple pets with up to five streams of fresh, running water.

Give your cat plenty of his own special scratching surfaces to use throughout the house, so that you don’t return home to a shredded couch! Our great variety of colorful Scratch N Play horizontal scratching pads provide perfect locations for your cat to not only scratch, but to lay and dream about your return home.

It’s important for your cat to beat the boredom! When we go on vacation, our cats fortunately have great cat sitters to provide the best of care, including plenty of play time. However, they’re not around all the time. Cat toys from www.MyThreeCats.com help fill the void and create a means for some good exercise. Our new Bootsie’s Bunkbed and Playroom and Tick Tock Teaser Toy are great options for your cat’s enjoyment while you’re gone. Check our Cat Toy product page to read about all of our fun products.

Finally, it may be time to treat your cat to a brand new cat tree or condo. We have a vast selection of cat furniture that your cat can scratch, climb, perch and nap in! Most models ship immediately. See our Cat Furniture page for more information.

Take your vacation – you deserve it. But make sure you can leave your house with the peace of mind that your cat is living it up too!