Happy Cat Month gives us an opportunity to focus on finding ways to keep our feline friends happy and healthy.
Many of us love our feline friends because they are so independent. Unlike dogs, domestic cats do not generally see their owners as a focus of safety and security, according to Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine at the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences.
Professor Mills says: “The domestic cat has recently passed the dog as the most popular companion animal in Europe, with many seeing a cat as an ideal pet for owners who work long hours. Previous research has suggested that some cats show signs of separation anxiety when left alone by their owners, in the same way that dogs do, but the results of our study show that they are, in fact, much more independent than canine companions. It seems that what we interpret as separation anxiety might actually be signs of frustration.”
Even though our feline friends are fiercely independent, there are some things we can do to be sure that they remain happy and healthy.
The CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, has released a list of the top 10 ways cat owners can keep their pets happy:
- Visit the veterinarian. This won’t make Fluffy happy but it needs to be done.
- Microchip your cat.
- Go outside (appropriately). Yes! Cats can be walked on a leash with a harness or confined in a special outdoor area.
- Scratch the surface. Cats should have places they are allowed to stretch and care for their claws. Braxton’s offers a wide variety of cat essentials.
- Provide preventive medications. A parasite-free cat is a happy cat – and will keep your family healthier, too.
- Train together. Cats are smart and can be trained to do fun tricks just like dogs, and the mental and physical stimulation is great for felines.
- Work for food. Feline obesity is a huge problem in this country, and one way to combat it is for owners to make their cats work for their food.
- Get your cat acclimated to the carrier.
- Provide prey toys. One of the easiest ways to make a cat happy is with a new prey toy.
- Think about getting another cat. Cats are social animals, and owners should consider getting another cat to keep their current kitty company.
So during Happy Cat Month, try a few of these tips to spoil your cats a little more than usual.