10 Ways To Make Every Month 'Happy Cat Month'
September is "Happy Cat Month," which encourages, of course, an emphasis on healthy, playful, thriving felines.
The CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, and Henry Schein Animal Health, the leading companion animal health distributor in the United States, gave The Dodo some tips on how to make every month "Happy Cat Month."
1. Prove to your cat that the vet isn't scary!
While your cat may not be huge fan of the vet's office, it's necessary to take your feline to get their regular checkup. Though going to the vet can be a dreaded experience for cat owners, there American Association of Feline Practitioners has a list of veterinary practices that are designated as "cat friendly," to make the experience a little easier.
2. Prevention is the best medicine.
Even indoor cats can be vulnerable to fleas, ticks, and heartworms. The best way to ensure your cat doesn't have to deal with any of these grubby little pests is by using preventative medications, which should be discussed with your veterinarian. Your cat will definitely be all smiles with a clean bill of health.
3. Take a high-tech approach.
Okay, maybe microchipping your cat isn't super high-tech, but it is a good idea as it enables you to find your friend should he/she get lost. Of course, cats are known for being sneaky, so, you know, make sure they aren't just playing hide-and-seek somewhere in the house ...
4. Toys, toys, toys.
Toys are super important for cat happiness, obviously, as they're responsible for keeping your kitty entertained when you're not around. Every cat has different preferences, so try out different options and see what your cat likes. They'll enjoy getting pampered, and - bonus - you'll probably get to watch some entertaining cat antics.
... Orrrrr, you can watch them lay down NEAR the toys.
(Photo courtesy of Izzie Lerer)
5. Tricks are for cats!
Mental and physical stimulation is very important for felines, and training together can actually strengthen your bond with your cat - even if it's simply teaching them to sit on chairs rather than the counter. And let's be honest, training your cat to give you a high-five would pretty much be the coolest thing ever.
6. Cut down on cat curviness.
Cat obesity in this country is a bigger problem (*womp womp*) than many would think. Experts from Henry Schein Animal Health say that it's much better to actually make your cat work for their food. Food toys can help with this by only dispensing a small amount of kibble at a time. Your cat may take time to adjust to this, but don't worry - they'll stop sitting at the table eventually. And they'll be much happier when they start getting more exercise!
7. Show your cat that carriers are just glorified boxes.
Taking your cat somewhere in a carrier can be a harrowing experience to say the least. Cats It's a good idea to take certain step to get your cat acclimated to his/her carrier so that travel will be less stressful for them. You can find tips on acclimating cats to carriers at the CATalyst website here. You may find that once they're acclimated, they won't even want to leave!
8. Take to the streets! Or, backyard, rather.
Taking your cat outside is totally doable! By using a leash and harness or allowing them to walk around in a confined outdoor area, you can safely let your cat get a feel for the nature without having to worry about them scampering away.
9. Save the claws - and your couch.
It's very important for cats to have designated places for scratching. These areas will allow them to not only care for their claws, but to stretch out as well. Providing a cat tree/tower or scratching post is an excellent way to make sure your cat is happy - and your furniture is happy, too. Of course, if your dog chooses to get in on the cat tower action, that's totally his prerogative:
10. Life's more fun with a pal.
Cats are generally quite social, so if your cat is an only child it might be time to venture to the shelter to adopt a new sibling for him/her. As long as you have enough space for each cat to eat, hide, play, and go to the bathroom, a properly introduced playmate could be just the ticket for insuring your cat's happiness. Also, the probability of cat cuddles is exponentially increased when you have more than one cat.