Everyone who has had a cat knows there are very few, if any, animals that are as independent and personable as a domestic feline. These beauties come for affection on their terms and heaven forbid you don’t respond in just the right manner. Don’t worry, they’ll let you know. Cats expect dinner to be just so and please absolutely do not forget to clean that litter box. Of course, inevitably, as soon as you do they’ll be sure to use it.
Cats are truly the Prima Donnas of the animal world and for those who love them; they would have it no other way. These regal creatures love their creature comforts and what better way to start a new year than to cater to their every beck and mew?
So what does a cat need and want?
There are things cats need and things they want and when these are combined to improve their overall health and wellness, it will make even the most temperamental beauties come purring their thanks.
Things They Need
Things cats need are rather simple. They need food, water, grooming, a place to sleep, a place to do their business and the occasional veterinary visit.
Items in this category will, if properly provided, aid in your cat’s overall health and happiness. If one of these needs is not met, often they will end up sick and possibly need veterinary interventions to repair damage that is done. For instance: if a long-haired cat, such as a Persian, is not groomed regularly their hair will eventually mat to the point it will develop sores and the whole cat will need to be sedated and shaved to be able to apply the ointment required. This is, of course, a worst-case scenario developing over many months, however, it has happened.
Once these needs are seen to, you can focus on looking into the things they want. And the things that will enrich your cat’s lifestyle.
Things They Want
The better question is what does a cat not want? It is said that dogs have best friends, cats have staff, and all cat owners will find this to be true to one degree or another. They like to be above everything, to freely look down their noses at their loyal subjects and the goings on in and out of the house. They enjoy hunting and chasing things and they love affection on their terms.
Cats, even those who are indoor-only, love being able to be by a window yet often will not want to go outside, particularly on a leash. Providing safe areas such as a screened porch offer both security and safety for the cat while allowing them to go out and get some fresh air.
Here are 4 resolutions to boost your cat’s health and wellness…
1. Good Quality Food
Many people skip quality food, finding that it’s more expensive than the cheap food at a grocery store and that just cannot justify the price. This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions around at the moment.
While a bargain-brand cat food may cost only $15 for a large bag, if you look at the ingredients, it reads like a loaf of cornbread, without any of the nutritional value. There are also frequent recalls on these foods due to contaminated meat, melamine, and other such issues. The amount of food needed to feed your cat is also more (generally up to 1 cup a day) which results in more waste products. These foods are truly the fast-food of the cat world and will often lead to obese and unhealthy cats creating higher veterinarian bills.
Quality foods read like a good steak dinner with plenty of meat as their primary ingredients. Remember cats are carnivores after all. Feed cats high quality meals will ultimately mean that you don’t need to feed them as much. With the added benefit that the litter box will need to be emptied far less frequently. Woohoo! While the higher quality cat food can cost over $30 for a large bag, the amount to feed a normal 10 pound cat is around half a cup and contains all the essential vitamins and minerals your cat needs to stay healthy.
2. Regular Grooming
Keeping your cat regularly groomed will make both you and your cat happier. A great time to bond! The cat will enjoy the interaction and feel of a gentle grooming and you will enjoy their sleek, glossy coats along with the reduced hairballs and hair on your floor. Investing in a good grooming mitt is advised even for long-haired cats as this is a way to turn petting your cat into a grooming session even for those who are not keen on being brushed.
3. Screened Porch or Balcony
All cats enjoy being outside to a degree. Unfortunately, there are few ways of allowing them to do that safely in the city and therefore a screened porch or balcony is an excellent solution. This allows the cat to be outside, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine without the dangers of the road or other animals. If this is not an option, opening a window and putting a cat seat on the ledge is a good alternative.
Failing that maybe you can become one of the lucky few that happens to own a leash lover.
4. Cat Wall
Cat walls are a space-saving idea to keep cats happy and active. These can be permanent fixtures in your home or can even be incorporated in a modular wall. These walls require a track system to be placed on a wall and then a series of platforms and boxes can be placed along these tracks and can be changed as often as you like creating “new” areas for your cat to explore. By placing these modules apart you can also encourage your cat to become more active therefore helping them lose weight and stay fit.
That’s it. Four simple resolutions that’ll boost your cat’s, and in turn your, health and wellness this year.