Bring out your indoor cat’s inner kitten with these easy ideas

 

 

Cats are intelligent, active creatures that need daily stimulation just like we do.

Help your cats to tackle boredom and keep undesirable behaviors to a minimum. Constant meowing, scratching furniture, and urinating outside the litter box are all behaviors that can be avoided with some simple solutions that will keep your feline companions entertained throughout the day.

  • Put a well constructed multiple tiered cat tree next to your window that has a scratching surface such as sisal.  They’ll happily gaze at birds, passing cars, and pedestrians. This is a simple activity that will occupy your cat for hours all year round.
  • Turn on pleasant, easy going music or play a CD of nature sounds to soothe and comfort your pet when no one is home.  Buy a cat sitter DVD with a continuous loop to entertain them.
  • Satisfy your cat’s need to climb by creating safe pathways to the tops of bookshelves and other high places.  If you have empty wall space, consider perch wall units that will accomplish this.
  • Indulge the natural hunting instincts in your cat by hiding treats or dry kibble in your home. Use a kitty diner that will provide your cats with a stimulating activity. The challenging activity appeals to the natural love of hunting and will stimulate them mentally and physically.  Change the locations frequently to keep things interesting.
  • Give your cat new toys to sniff, play with, and explore. These might be anything from catnip toys, puzzle toys, teaser toys and tunnels.  These are wise investments that will go a long way towards keeping your cat healthy and happy.
  • Teach your cats to walk on a leash or provide a secure cat enclosure for the yard. This will enable your kitties to enjoy some of the perks of being outdoors without any of the risks associated with them roaming free outdoors.
  • Treat your cat to quality one-on-one playtime and cuddle time as often as possible.

Your cats have a distinct personality just like you do, so why not try as many of these entertainment ideas as possible and stick to the ones they like best!

 

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“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.

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Enter our Cattastic CatHaven Cat Contest!

Soft edges on this humorous concept

 

It’s time to enter our Cattastic CatHaven Cat Contest.  You and your cat(s) could win a Large, Multi-tiered CatHaven cat tree, delivered right to your front door!

Please read Contest Rules here.   Contest is for a limited time. Good luck!

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CatHaven answers the question, how do I provide outdoor adventure to an indoor cat?

How do you solve the dilemma of having an indoor cat, but giving him/her access to outdoor adventure? We understand purr-fectly – we have the answer!

CatHaven’s green leafy foliage sets it apart, creating wonderful play and privacy areas that your cat will love.  This amazing cat tree is handcrafted with soft, silky realistic looking leaves, a sturdy, scratchable turf base and three perfectly spaced durable, comfortable carpeted perches attached to a realistic looking trunk.    

 Learn more about CatHavens here! We offer four styles to meet every human’s space requirements and every cat’s needs.    


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Do you have a harmonious multiple cat household?

Black and white cats appear to be kissing.

Current statistics on U.S. cat-owning households (there are about 90 million today) show that nearly one half (49%) of these households own more than one cat. (source:  Armandhammer.com)  Those multiple cat households must have somehow figured out how to achieve feline harmony in their homes.

Basically, the way to a peaceful feline home is to make sure that there are enough resources and space for your cats.   If your cats know they have options on where they can eat, sleep, play, and use the litter box, all the better.    If all of your cats have only one option, that’s an ideal setting for territorial disputes and added stress among them.  We have a few pointers on how to create and maintain harmony in your cat household.

The initial introduction of cats to each other should be gradual and stress free.  If possible, keep the new cat in a separate living quarters in your home, with their food, litter box and toys.  Your “incumbent cats” will know about the new cat, but not have the stress of direct contact.  After a couple of days, gradually allow your “incumbent” cats to approach the new cat, keeping their contacts short and sweet.  After a few more days, you will have achieved a successful introduction.

Our strongest recommendation:  invest in vertical play spaces.   Cat trees, shelves and window perches are ideal solutions for giving your cats privacy in an off-the-ground location.  Cats like height, so it’s an ideal solution.

Your cats needs outlets for exercising and scratching.  Leave plenty of scratching devices around your home.  Whether they are horizontal, vertical or slanted pads, they will protect your furniture as well as your sanity!

Allow each of your cats a separate food bowl .  If you have common water bowls, have several in different areas.  A water fountain designed for multiple cats is a great way of managing this, just make sure to keep the fountain and the water it holds clean and fresh.

Keep as many litter boxes in your home as the number of cats.  One of the worst problems can arise when cats have the use the same box.    Territorial issues may arise, causing them to “spray” the litter box, which signals to the other cats to stay away.    No one needs to have cats depositing in undesignated areas of the house.  Once that “out of box” behavior starts, it’s hard to stop it.

Finally, monitor your cats’ interactions.  It’s better to observe body language and catch an early warning signal so that you can diffuse any tension and avoid an out-an-out battle.   One great technique for diffusing attention is to pull out a wand toy that immediately draws their attention away from one another and on the moving object (the toy on the wand).

Congratulations on your multiple cat household.  May you and they live harmoniously over all of their nine lives!

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