Want to sign up for our blog?
Do you understand how your cat sees the world?
To help your cat be even more happy and serene, it helps to know what is important to them, where they feel safe and what stimulates them. As an experienced kitty parent, you likely know when your cat is happy! But there may be other considerations to be aware of to keep your kitty purring!
Here are some tips to help:
5 Tips to Help Your Cat be Even More Happy and Serene!
1. How do you interact with your cat?
When you first bring your kitten home, it will take them a little while to settle in and get to know you and their new surroundings. Let them explore first and come to you on their own terms; don’t try to grab or squeeze them or force them to stay in your arms.
They may well disappear behind the sofa or cupboard, but don’t be concerned; when they feel more comfortable they will approach you - probably cautiously to start with. A good sign is when they rub against your legs - leaving their pheromone and scent on you - and this will make them feel more comfortable.
Once they approach you and are happy to be touched, make sure you stroke them in the right places. Remember cats don’t like to be stroked on their tummy! How well can you read a cat’s body language? Can you tell when they are happy or when they are anxious?
Interacting with your cat and getting them used to being handled is also important in case you need to inspect them for any injuries, and to prepare for when your cat has their regular health check at the vets.
2. What makes your cat anxious?
Cats don’t like change! They like routine and get anxious if their home is turned upside down by, for example, you working from home during lockdown. Our recent survey showed that 33% of owners noticed a change in their cat (both positive and negative) during lockdown. Whenever possible, make any changes gradually and make sure your kitty has access to a safe haven where they can hide until they are ready to join you.
Their territory is important to them and you will see them marking it to make them feel secure. Cats will also mark/spray their territory to comfort themselves or reduce stress. And they’re not good at sharing, so if you have multiple cats in your home, make sure each one has their own resources (bed, food bowls, scratching post and litter tray)!
FELIWAY Optimum is a great way to help cats feel secure in the home and cope with the stress that our busy, ever-changing lives can present to our feline friends. It also helps bring harmony between cats living together.
3. How can I help my cat?
Cats will make their own decisions about where they want to sleep and when they want to spend time with you. You just need to make sure you have everything in place that a kitty could ever want!
- Give them plenty of choice - nice comfy spots where they can snooze in the morning after their daily preening routine, or in the afternoon after they have explored outside, and they feel like having a cat nap.
- Give them somewhere to stretch and scratch. Scratching is an important part of a cat’s routine - it’s how they maintain their claws, and if you provide a scratching post that is taller than your cat (when they stretch), has a perch to jump onto and maybe a hiding spot, you will probably have a content kitty. It will also protect your furniture from being the next best choice!
- Cats are naturally more active in the morning or evening, so schedule in some playtime with them - it will not only help them get rid of excess energy, but will also develop a strong bond between you if you create a play routine every day. Playing is a natural outlet for a cat’s hunting instincts, so provide toys that they can chase and catch to keep them interested. Food toys or activity feeders are good, too, for keeping cats occupied and alert, as they have to work to get to their treat!
- Make sure you keep their litter tray away from their food and change it regularly. Cat’s don’t like smelly toilets!
- Don’t expect cats to share their food or drink bowls! If you have more than one cat, make sure each has their own resources - and they have easy access to them.
- Having a number of safe places where your cat can hide is essential. If your cat begins to feel anxious because of new visitors, loud noises, or changes around the home, they will want to take themselves off to a safe haven. Cats like to be higher than humans or other pets, so giving them easy access to a bookshelf or the top of a cupboard will help - you may need to ensure they have ‘steps’ in place (like a chair) to be able to access them if they are really high. They often feel safe in a cardboard box too!
- Train your cat to get used to a cat carrier - you will need to be able to transport them sometimes - and getting them used to the carrier will remove any stress. Leave the carrier in the room, with the door open, where they spend a lot of time; line it with a comfy blanket and perhaps put an occasional treat or toy inside to encourage them to go in of their own accord.
4. Tips for indoor cats
Cats are instinctive hunters and therefore love to explore outside, climb trees or hide under a bush until there’s a passing mouse to chase, or an insect to swat.
However, if it’s not possible for your cat to have outside access, there are things that you can do indoors to keep them active and fulfill their natural instincts.
- Strategically placed large indoor plants can be a good substitute for a garden bush.
- Cardboard boxes can make great hiding places, particularly if they have a cosy blanket inside.
- High perches will allow them to climb and survey everything below!
- Sturdy scratching posts (instead of a tree outside) can help keep their claws trimmed.
- Regular playtime with toys they can chase and pounce on will satiate their instinct to hunt and catch.
- It is also possible to train a cat to wear a harness so that you can take them outside safely on a lead.
5. How do I look after their health?
Following the steps above will help to keep your cat happy and serene. Providing them with a well-balanced diet, clean water, and lots of exercise are essential daily routines, and to keep them in tip-top condition, you should also schedule in regular checks with your vet.
Taking these steps into account, you’re now ready to help your best furry friend stay calm, happy and serene! And, if your kitty needs a little support, FELIWAY Optimum helps cats with more signs of stress than ever before, helping them stay serene and secure at home. Purrfect!