For Happy Cat Month, here are some simple tips to keeping your cat happy, from your neighbourhood cat sitter. In no particular order:
1. Access to clean, fresh water at all times.
Some cats like drinking directly out of the faucet, but they should still have another source of water in case the water stops.
Likewise, if you use a pet water fountain that has zero access to water if the power goes out, then an additional bowl of water is needed.
2. Keep pet water fountains clean. If you have a water fountain, be prepared to completely disassemble it almost daily, including the motor. Replace the filter when it gets discolored or slimey.
3. Comb your cat as-needed. Some cats are mostly self-sufficient when it comes to maintaining their coats and don’tneed much help. Some need daily combing to manage matting and shedding. Some only need a weekly comb. Each cat is different. Combing out small mats is doable, but if you let the mats grow too big, it will take more time and effort to work out, until they have to be shaved off by a groomer. Don’t let it get that bad. Mats are painful to cats.
4. Trim your cat’s claws. It’s just like using a nail clipper, except you use a small pet nail trimmer and you only remove a tiny bit off the tip, about half a grain of rice. It is more comfortable for the cat, as their claws won’t snag on fabric, furniture, or carpet. Not all cats are able to sharpen their claws on scratching posts or outside. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t become overgrown.
5. Enrichment Enrichment Enrichment. Play with your cat. Get them a cat tree, some toys. And use the toys! Lick mats and food puzzles can make a big difference for certain cats. Some like music or certain tv shows. A lot of indoor cats enjoy smelling the outdoors. And there’s the universal favourite, the cardboard box.
6. Please, don’t antagonize your cat for social media.