Striped or tabby, young or old, you love your cat like family – because they are!
Whether you’re a long-time kitty caretaker or settling into life with your first feline friend, use these 7 cat ownership tips to keep your furry family happy and healthy!
1. Make Cats Part of the Family
Though cats may be more reserved than doggos, it doesn’t mean they love you any less! Return your feline’s affection with regular one-on-one attention. Whether your kitty keeps to themself or loves constant cuddles (and interrupting Zoom calls with impromptu laptop naps), your undivided attention is a crucial part of being a pawesome pet parent.
Remember: Many cats are naturally aloof – and that’s ok! While regular bonding is important to make your kitty feel loved, be sure to tailor your affection to your cat’s social preferences.
2. Prioritize Health
Accidents and illnesses happen – often when you least expect it. To ensure you can provide care when your cat needs it, find a local vet you trust and create a list of local emergency clinics that provide treatment outside of your clinic’s normal hours (like nights, weekends, and holidays).
Also, be sure your cat is spayed/neutered and current on necessary vaccinations or medications (like flea and tick).
Don’t forget about a plan to pay for veterinarian care! Pet insurance is a popular way to take the financial strain out of providing medical treatment – whether it’s a routine visit or a life-threatening emergency.
3. Pet Proof Your Home
No matter the age of your cat, they still find ways to get into trouble – especially when you’re not around. Here’s a quick checklist to help you keep wandering paws (and noses) out of trouble:
- Keep food away from the edges of tables and counters
- Secure trashcan lids and avoid overflow/leaving behind smelly scraps
- Remove toxic or harmful plants
- Place medications, chemicals, and detergents in secure cabinets or on high shelves
- Keep electrical cords out of reach and away from walkways to avoid tripping
- Ensure clothes, shoes, and other chewable items are secured in hampers or shelves
Looking for more pet safety tips? Check out this room-by-room pet proofing guide from the American Human Society.
4. Keep an Eye on Diet
Just like your human family, your cat needs a balanced, complete diet to stay happy and healthy and avoid obesity! During feeding, refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations on meal size and frequency. Also, be sure to avoid excessive treats. While it’s nice to spoil your feline friend, too many fun eats can cause weight gain and upset stomachs. And don’t forget about underfeeding! Never starve or withhold food from your cat!
Like to give your kitty a taste of human cuisine? Be sure what you’re sharing is safe and doesn’t contain poisonous or unhealthy ingredients. Here’s the ASPCA’s list of human foods that are safe and unsafe for cats.
5. Keep Litter Boxes Clean
Though your cat’s litterbox may look clean, it can be teeming with disease- and odor-causing bacteria without consistent upkeep. To avoid a sick kitty and a smelly house, it’s recommended to clean your litter boxes every two to three weeks or twice a week if you’re not using clumping litter. While pricey, self-cleaning litter boxes are a great investment if you have a busy schedule or multiple cats.
Also, be sure your litter box is the right size for your cat. Cramped litter boxes quickly become dirty, resulting in a smelly house and an unhappy cat. Over-sized litterboxes can cause your cat to look elsewhere to use the bathroom.
Potty training a new cat? Here’s a helpful how-to.
6. Create a Kitty Clubhouse
Cats are solitary critters who need time away from human and animal family members. You can help your kitty feel comfortable at home by creating a private space to unwind. In addition to being in a quiet part of your home, your cat’s nest should also be in an area that’s easy for them to access – like a master bedroom, guest bedroom, or closet. If you have dogs, be sure the hideaway is in an area that’s away from wandering noses. Adding a dog to your feline family? Here’s how to introduce your current kitty to a new dog.
Though some owners opt for elaborate kitty getaways, it’s not necessary to spend hundreds of dollars; cats are just as happy in a cardboard box stuffed with a comfy blanket!
7. Provide a Scratching Post
Cats instinctually scratch to show excitement or stress, stretch, clean their claws, and mark territory. Without the right place dig in their claws, your cat will act out this behavior on furniture, pillows, and blankets. By giving your cat a scratching post, you can keep wandering claws away from items you don’t want destroyed or damaged. Additionally, scratching posts help to keep your cat’s paws healthy and free of overgrown or infected claws.
The best way to be the purrfect cat parent is having a plan to keep your kitty happy and healthy! With coverage from Companion Protect®, you can rest easy knowing your cat is protected against unexpected accidents, injuries, and illnesses. Catch your quote today!
Wilson has written for brands in the tech, e-commerce, construction, health, and finance industries. In his free time, he enjoys cooking for friends and family, spoiling his dog-daughter (Penny), painting, and playing music with friends. And speaking of food, his favorite meal is his mom’s pot roast and mashed potatoes!