Fabulous Fluffy: A Happy Cat

Cats have a reputation of being aloof and independent – even finicky.  While all of those traits may be part of any cat’s personality, they are also part of a feline’s charm.  First, you must understand her personality.  Some are lap cats, preferring to curl up as close to you as possible at any time for a snooze.  Others prefer to sit beside you, not necessarily touching, and do not want to be held or confined in any way.  Still other cats are so independent that they show no interest in you at all, except at meal times.  Respect their differences, and cats will reward you with their affection – just displayed in their own unique way.

Provide your cat with several soft beds or cushions placed around the house.  Most cats prefer high places in order to look down on their world.  In our house, Lucy and Chico have catnip-filled Catty Matty’s placed in several locations out of reach of the dogs.  There are two high perches on the climber beside a window.   Both kitties like to nap on our bed.

Cats prefer a clean litter box.  Or several!  Scoop the boxes once a day and clean them thoroughly weekly.  If the box isn’t kept as clean as they like, some cats will urinate outside the box to show their displeasure.  Choosing a cat litter may take trial and error.  Some cats refuse to use scented litter.  Others prefer a loose litter over a clumping variety.  I read quite a few reports of cats suffering extreme illnesses from the clumping, clay litter and we chose to switch to a very cheap, loose litter.  It’s just as easy to dump the entire pan as to scoop the poop and because of the low price, it’s a good choice for our cats.

Feed your cat the healthiest diet your budget can afford.  A high-quality, commercial cat food will provide exactly what a cat needs.  Try to convince Fluffy to eat canned food.  You can add some dry kibble to her diet, but she needs the wet food.  Cats don’t always drink enough water, and the moisture content of canned food provides what’s missing.  Canned food is lower in calories, as a rule, than dry food and should aid in keeping Fluffy’s weight down.  Keep kitty’s dishes clean and her water fresh.

Provide safe toys for her to play with and include some interactive play with you.  Our cats love the laser pen lights, and we try to keep them busy chasing it every day.  Catnip-filled toys are appealing to some kitties and most enjoy the feather toy hanging from a pole.

Cats are easy to raise, and if you accomplish all of the above, you should have a happy, well-adjusted kitty.  If she knows she is loved and wanted and her basic needs are met, Fluffy will bless you with love and purrs for many years.

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