When you bring a pet into your home, their happiness is something you consider very frequently. After all, our pets make us happy, and we should always reciprocate the favor. Cats are definitely unique domestic pets, requiring much different care than a dog. But what exactly makes a cat happy?
Ultimately, happiness depends on the individual cat and its overall personality. But there are some constants to consider. So, like cats have nine lives, here are nine things you can do to enrich your cat’s daily living experience.
The Top 9 Tips on How to Make a Cat Happy
1. Give Your Cat Lots of Attention
A cat’s need for attention varies based on their overall personality. But most cats want affection from you from time to time, even if they’re slightly less social than some. The best thing you can do is get to know their overall needs and match them.
If your cat is the kind that would love to snuggle up with you on the couch, make sure you spend adequate time with them in a day to meet their needs fully. This will help the bonding experience flourish and set foundational blocks in your relationship.
If your cat loves to play, carve time every day to enjoy the fun. Your cat will love chasing a teaser, having scavenger hunts, or learning tricks – you heard that right!
Also, cats are not dogs. Responding to your cat with harsh punishments is likely to yield a poor result. Always use discipline measures designed to meet a cat’s personality rather than swatting, spraying, or yelling at your cat.
Unlike dogs, cats can be less forgiving. If you are harsh toward your cat, it can result in a strained relationship and lead to unsavory behaviors. Always use proper correction tactics to avoid unwanted outcomes.
2. Give Your Cat Daily Enrichment
Just like you would, your cat will get bored if they have to experience the same basic day repeatedly. You should always include enriching activities in your cat’s daily life. Spending lots of time with them is equally important, ensuring you interact regularly.
It would help if you had a large supply of toys and other forms of entertainment. Here are a few to mention, along with their benefits.
It’s no secret that our cats love to play. They are natural hunters, so anything that moves can trigger their prey drive. To channel this energy, it’s crucial to have a decent supply of toys. You can select both interactive and solo play toys.
You can even create some DIY cat toys at home for next to nothing.
Cat trees provide a multi-purpose source of entertainment in your household. Your cats can climb, scratch, and nap all over it. You can select from multiple sizes, depending on your home space and number of cats.
Some cat trees and condos are made better than others, so always be sure to read reviews. Since these pieces can be expensive, getting a quality product is crucial. If you feel up for the challenge, you can make a well-constructed cat tree for your own home.
If you cherish your furniture at all, scratching posts are a must! You can get them very cheaply or pay a high dollar depending on the materials and quality.
You can have one or many of these materials to provide variety and texture to your cat.
Can you ever have enough cat beds? Rest assured, if you don’t, your cat will create spaces of their own—whether it be a laundry basket, the back of a couch, or a pillow. So, it’s best to stay ahead of the game.
You can buy cat beds at virtually any department store or pet shop. You can also find an endless sea of supplies online. You can also create your own cat beds out of old T-shirts and other items you might already have on hand. You can even crochet or knit a variety of patterns.
Wall attachments are becoming more and more popular for cat owners. These entertainment items for cats are designed to channel climbing instincts, and many would agree that they really work! You can choose from a wide selection of options.
If you have a lazier cat that doesn’t really jump onto any high surfaces, you might only get a little use out of these items. But if you have a cat that needs to be on higher surfaces of the home, these attachments can benefit your household.
3. Transition Your Cat into Changes Gracefully
Life never stays the same. But cats are creatures of habit. If something changes drastically in the household, it can disrupt their natural patterns and throw them off. These drastic changes can result in momentary changes in behavior and trouble adjusting.
Changes are coming; you should always introduce your cat slowly to whatever new chapter is on the horizon. Make introductions with new pets and people with ease. If your cat is very stressed out, it can cause all sorts of adverse reactions and behavioral changes, like:
- Excessive vocalizations
- Eliminating outside of the litter box
—and many more.
If you’re looking for how to make a cat happy, constantly adjust the environment based on their personality and comfort where you can will help. Most cats will acclimate to new changes given the right introductions and time.
4. Make Sure Your Cat Is Well-Fed
Making sure your cat is fed on time with correct portions is of utmost importance. If you have yet to refill the food bowl on time lately, you’re definitely going to hear about it. You’ll certainly hear about it if you slack in the feeding department.
Feeding appropriate portions is necessary with cats. They might act like they’re starving, but they need portion control, especially after cats get fixed; overfeeding can cause unnecessary weight gain and requires frequent monitoring. There’s always a happy medium.
A proper cat diet includes a high-quality, protein-rich food source. Here are the different diet options, along with their benefits and downfalls.
Wet Canned Food
Canned food is an excellent food source for many cats. This food type adds an extra kick of hydration to your cat’s daily diet and is typically higher in protein content. However, it can cause issues with their dental health, as it does lead to an increase of build-up like plaque and tartar.
Dry kibble is the most common type of food for cats. It provides a well-rounded, species-specific selection of ingredients and has a longer shelf life. However, dry cat food does not give your cat any additional hydration, so many families add wet food as a topper.
Fresh food is becoming an increasingly popular option for pet parents. Often, fresh foods come with subscription-based services where meals are tailored specifically for your cat and delivered to your door. These options can be more expensive, but they are more species-specific diets.
Always make sure you offer fresh water to your cat. Many folks find that offering fountains inspires cats to drink more often. If you don’t have a fountain, make sure to change your cat’s water daily, providing clean, crisp drinking water.
5. Help Your Cat with Grooming
Grooming is a very important part of your cat’s day. Cats will get together to groom each other to bond and promote cleanliness. If you assist your cat with grooming, this can create a bonding experience between the two of you.
Cats do a wonderful job not bathing themselves. However, you can bathe your cat every 4 to 6 weeks. Do not make it any more frequent than this, as it can deplete their natural oils, which leads to skin dryness and irritation.
Always use cat-specific shampoos that are pH balanced and formulated for felines. Acclimating your cat early will help with control during shower time, too.
Many short-haired cats don’t have a problem when it comes to brushing. However, medium to long-haired cats need some help from time to time. Daily brushing prevents mats and tangles from forming in your cat’s fur.
We don’t recommend declawing cats. It’s an excruciating and unnecessary process that interferes with their overall comfort. However, you can trim your cat’s nails and buy nail covers. Nail covers protect furniture and skin from sharp claws.
6. Plant a Patch of Cat Grass
Do you have a plant chewer on your hands? If your cat can’t seem to stay out of your house plants, cat grass is an excellent solution to the problem.
Cat grass provides roughage in the diet. It contains healthy folic acid, which benefits the overall function of your cat’s bloodstream. Because of the high fiber content, it also soothes upset stomachs and helps your cat stay regular.
The cat grass is completely safe for your feline to consume, even in large quantities. Even though cats are obligate carnivores, it still provides some bodily benefits and saves your cat from eating potentially toxic houseplants.
Cat grass is usually comprised of common grasses like barley, oat, rye, and wheat. Usually, these pods have a combination of grasses, but some might only contain one type. Cat grass is growing in popularity. You can purchase it at virtually any pet store or online on sites like Chewy and Amazon.
7. Give Your Cat Lots of Outside Places to Explore
It’s no secret that our cats love the great outdoors! You can’t ever have too many comfy spots for your cat to kick back, groom themselves, and get a little shut-eye while appreciating the outside.
People can put cages on their windows that allow access to the outdoors. These are called cat balconies, and they’re increasingly growing in popularity. If you own your own home, you might even be able to let your cat enjoy the great outdoors without actually going outside.
Granted, an apartment complex might not be the best place to set one of these up, but in owned homes, they can be extremely beneficial. You can also set cat playpens up so your cat can go outside, smell the smells, and enjoy nature’s elements without roaming freely.
8. Use Multiple Efficient Litter Boxes
Getting to know your cat’s litter box habits can prove a little challenging at first; however, it is something that shouldn’t take a whole lot of time to figure out. Some cats prefer to have privacy, wanting a quiet room with not much chaos.
Others prefer openness, where they can see what’s happening around them. For this reason, open-concept litter boxes might work best in your home. Granted, these might require cleaning more often due to lack of smell containment.
Multiple litter boxes prevent overcrowding in multi-cat homes. It also prevents household accidents. Plus, if a litter box is getting too stuffed, your cat might try to eliminate another place in the home instead, which can be quite problematic.
Cats are very clean animals that take hygiene seriously. Some cats simply don’t like to go where another cat uses the litter box for territorial reasons as well.
Even if you only have one cat, offering multiple litter boxes will ensure your cat can eliminate anytime they know too, regardless of where they are in the home.
9. Have Multiple Cats
You might get one cat and want to leave it at that. But the truth is, domestic felines are social animals that thrive better when they’re in pairs. So regardless of if you’re buying from a shelter or getting your pick from a litter of kittens, you might want to snag two.
These companion animals can have a strong lifelong bond and provide each other with happiness and enrichment. These cats will play together, enjoying hunting, chasing, and pouncing. They also make perfect grooming buddies, continually ensuring the other is clean.
Cats also learn a lot from one another. Humans just can’t fulfill the ways cats can stimulate and learn from one another. Plus, it provides an added source of entertainment that is quite hard for humans to fulfill, especially if you have hectic work schedules.
So, cats are the same, much like you want your own species around.
Keeping your cat happy is generally an easy thing to accomplish. Giving them lots of napping spots, chin rubs, and toys to play with makes a satisfied feline. Don’t underestimate the power of cat duos, either. In some cases, the more the merrier.
Just remember, if you live in a multi-cat household, you should have multiple litter boxes. If you keep these tips on how to keep cats happy in mind, you should have very content little kitties.