With all the changes that 2020 brought, some days, it’s hard to tell if you’re coming or going—no matter where you are in the world. Just like every other area of life, time with our pets has significantly changed. With lockdowns and returns to work, sometimes it is hard to keep up a routine.
Lockdown can be emotionally taxing for so many reasons. It’s isolating, boring, and downright scary sometimes. But if you find your area starting restrictions again, here are some tips to keep your cat—and you—in good health mentally and physically.
Cat Care Tips to Help During Lockdown
1. Play Together
This is a great opportunity for you and your cat to make up for the lost time. You can buy all sorts of new activities to try out. Or better yet—take the time to work on some really cool DIYs you’ve been pinning on Pinterest but had no time to make.
There are tons of exciting play toys, entertainment stations, scratching posts, and interactive toys you can make in the comfort of your own home with scraps you don’t need. If you are not a crafty person, you could consider subscribing to a cat toy box, with new goodies delivered monthly.
2. Set Boundaries
You both might still require alone time. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to separate if the company is getting to be a little much. After all, many people, primarily through 2021, are working from home to some degree.
If your cat is too invasive, there is nothing wrong with setting boundaries. It’s okay to shut a door for some privacy or step out on the back porch alone for a breather.
Also, if you have an extra needy cat, they will be heartbroken each time you go back to work. Keeping somewhat of a distance will keep their brains on somewhat of a schedule so they aren’t stunned when you finally leave the house again.
3. Stock Up
If you have the extra funds and want to get ahead of the game, you could always take this time to stock up on cat products. This doesn’t end with food—think of all the products you need. You can store grooming products, supplements, flea treatment, or dewormer.
Sometimes, there’s a shortage in products, especially considering vaccine restrictions. So, if your cat has a special snack, diet, or supply that they need, it might be best to have a few extras on hand—just in case.
Also, keep in mind that some vets have drastically changed the policy on walk-in appointments. Be prepared in case of minor injuries by having your own kitty first-aid kit.
4. Keep Your Cat Stimulated
While you’re home, your cat will likely be extra demanding for attention. It’s best to keep toys and entertainment around so your cat can self-soothe.
Once your schedule changes again, they will be alone for the majority of the day. They need to rely on more than just you for their source of fun. Now might be a good time to promote self-play, teaching your cat how to have a good time alone with their new gadget.
Or even better—have you thought about adopting a new friend for your feline? Maybe you both could use another quarantine buddy.
5. Groom Regularly
Grooming is actually a powerful way to bond with your cat. Physical contact creates pleasure and trust. Of course, even before COVID-19 hit, your cat probably snuggled on your lap or beside you during downtime.
But now you have an opportunity to take it a step further. You can make nightly brushing a routine.
Brushing has many positive health benefits, too. It increases blood flow, removes debris from your cat’s fur, and loosens dead hair follicles to reduce overall shedding.
On top of brushing fur, you can also make it a daily task to brush your cat’s teeth. This habit may save you tons down the road, preventing issues like periodontal disease.
6. Work on Tricks
You know what they say about old dogs, but what about cats? If you have always wanted to teach your cat tricks, this might be a perfect time to test it out.
Cats are actually very teachable. It might be very entertaining for both you and your buddy to try some new moves. Don’t forget your cat is highly food motivated, so a tasty snack to help things along never hurt anybody.
7. Don’t Go Overboard on Snacks
Having ended with the talk of scrumptious treats in the last section, don’t forget moderation. It’s tempting to want to spoil your kitty—and they won’t complain. Just remember to monitor the frequency and quantity of treat-giving.
Your cat still has an ideal weight to maintain, and obesity is a major health concern. Try to be more active, not less—and break snacks in half if you have to in order to keep calorie intake under control.
8. Ask for Help
If you fall ill or just need a day to yourself (we all know lockdown can get daunting), you may need a helping hand. Depression levels seem to rise during isolation, so, if you’re feeling unable to make it through the day, focus on your mental health and get someone to help out!
Whether it be a neighbor, friend, or family member, reach out to them for assistance. As long as you’re taking proper social distancing precautions, they can tend to your pet while you take the time you need for whatever reason you have.
Your pet may also end up being the best medicine you can get your hands on when it comes to the feelings that are associated with long-term isolation and lack of socialization. You know best where the balance is.
We’re all going to get through this pandemic together—furry and human folks alike. Anytime you’re facing another lockdown, it’s so important to keep you and your pets occupied, healthy, and positive. Whatever works for you and your cat—just try to keep your head above water as best as you can.
Let’s face it—no one knows what they’re doing right now. So, between you and your best bud, you might as well keep it interesting.
Featured Image Credit: Sean Corcoran, Pixabay