Years ago, my daughter, Nicole, devoted many hours towards creating the most beautiful and original birthday cake for me. This cake is the stuff of cat lovers’ dreams. Nicole created from scratch, a moist, mouth watering red velveteen cake. She painstakingly decorated it with marzipan. Enjoy the slideshow that takes you step-by-step through the process. This cat cake truly was a labor of love. Thank you for the memories, Nicole. You are the best daughter a mother could hope for.
I have loved cats since infancy. Or so my Mom used to say. My first cat was a jet black, sleek looking cat named Ebony. There’s a faded picture of my Mom lowering Ebony into the cradle to take a better look at me. I don’t know if Ebony was that impressed, but I’m sure that I was!
Since then, after years of living with Ebonys, Taffys, Lilys, Bogeys and Chesters, with countless moments of joy and of sadness (at their eventual loss), I am still crazy about cats. I was crazy about cats long before the internet’s love affair with them. In fact, I even opened a cat shop in 1998 and appointed a newly adopted tuxedo boy named Bogey as our official shop cat. (now, you can shop at my website, MyThreeCats.com)
My heart has expanded with each cat experience. So much so, that I couldn’t help sharing the passion. Today, I serve on the Board at FosterCat, Inc., a Pittsburgh based network of foster homes and volunteers who rescue and save cats’ lives every day.
Cats are so tuned into us that they know when we are energetic, happy, stressed, sick, exhausted or grieving. How many of you have experienced the comforting feeling of a cat tending to you while you lay in bed, sick or hurting? It’s pretty special, whether they decide to catnap beside you, or tap your face with their little paw to say, OK, I’m here. (Of course, LOL, they also use techniques to wake you up.)
The daily care giving time I have invested in my cats has been rewarded many times over with their unconditional companionship and affection. Only those who have owned cats (or should I say, have experienced being owned by them) will understand this.
Anatole France made this observation: “Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remained unawakened.” I wholeheartedly agree.
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!
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.
OK, cat crazy people (like me), I ran across this YouTube and had to share it with you. Cats, cats and more cats! This lady has it right!