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What Makes Cats Happy? 10 Things They Love

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

Happy cat tabby christmas playing on pillow

If you think cats are aloof creatures with hearts of stone, think again! They are full of love, energy, and wonder. For those who have a feline companion, you surely know all of this, and you make great efforts to keep your pet happy. This is best done by avoiding boredom and providing plenty of enrichment opportunities, but it can be difficult to figure out what really gets our cats’ hearts racing. If you’re hoping to brainstorm ideas to make your cat happy, this article examines 10 things cats love that you can try today.

hepper cat paw divider

The 10 Things That Make Cats Happy

1. Interactive Toys

Interactive toys are a great way to make your cat purr. The best interactive toys mimic your cat’s prey and allow your cat to engage in his natural hunting sequence. Your cat will stalk, chase, catch, and bite, which can be extremely rewarding for your feline.

There are plenty of interactive toys to choose from, such as mice, feathered toys, and moving treat dispensers. Your cat likely has preferences for the toys he likes to chase best, so try to stick to the ones you know he loves.

2. Lots of Space to Climb

Have you noticed that your cat spends a lot of time on the countertops? This could be a sign that your cat is craving places to climb. Cats like to perch on high surfaces to observe the world below. It gives them a feeling of safety since cats are natural prey as well as natural predators.

While you can clear out space on your bookshelves and tables for your cat to climb, most people don’t want to get rid of their things so their cat can jump on higher surfaces. Instead, you may consider purchasing a cat tree or building one.

two cats on a cat tree condo
Image Credit: Christopher Teixeira, Shutterstock

3. Places to Scratch

No one wants their cats clawing up their furniture, but cats need places to scratch. Your cat scratches to mark his territory, making him feel more secure in his surroundings. This security provides an important boost to your cat’s health and happiness.

Therefore, designated scratching spots are essential. Most cats prefer upright objects to scratch, such as a post, but others prefer horizontal models. Knowing what your cat enjoys will help you to provide him with a scratching spot that makes him happy.

4. An Excellent Litter Box Set-Up

A healthy cat is a happy cat, and one way to ensure a good quality of life for your cat is to tidy up his litter box. The set-up and maintenance of your cat’s litter box are essential for his happiness. It is best to find a litter box that makes your cat comfortable and happy, even if it is less convenient for you.

Large, uncovered litter boxes are a good go-to, but they are not right for every cat. Also, it’s vital to regularly clean your cat’s litter so that he has a tidy, hygienic place to go potty.

two cats and several litter boxes
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

5. Training Time

Not only can you train a cat, but you can also provide plenty of mental stimulation for your pet by doing so! Training is a great enrichment tool to teach your cat desired behavior. It is also an excellent opportunity to bond. There are many effective ways that you can train your cat. One is to use a clicker; clicker training helps shape your cat’s behavior in small, manageable steps.

Targeting is another method you can use, in which you gently place something against your cat’s nose and give him a treat. Eventually, he will associate the target with the reward and approach to place his nose on it himself.

Regardless of which methods you use, always provide positive reinforcement. Rewards, praise, and treats are much more effective than punishments, and punishments tend to destroy bonds, not build them.

6. An Outdoor View

Making your cat happy can be as simple as opening up the window curtains. You’ve probably noticed that your cat loves to perch near the windows and watch the outdoor world. If you want to make this even easier for your pet, you can install a window perch for your cat to get the perfect view. Even better, you can invest in a bird feeder or bird bath to lure more birds into your yard.

Dark photo of a young gray cat looking out the window as it rains in the yard
Image Credit: Natali9701, Shutterstock

7. Hunting

You can take advantage of your cat’s curiosity and natural hunting skills by setting up a treasure hunt. You can stash toys, treats, or both in different areas of the house, allowing your cat to work for what he wants. This will keep him entertained for a long period. If you want to extend the fun, you can put your cat’s treats in a puzzle feeder to encourage him to problem-solve in order to receive his reward.

8. Catnip

Cats go crazy for catnip, and if you want a quick way to make your cat happy, you can buy catnip and catnip toys. Catnip produces a mild, harmless high that is enjoyable for your cat to experience and for you to observe.

Unfortunately, not all cats are affected by catnip. If your cat is one of those few who turns his nose up at it, catnip alone may not be the right fit for you, However, catnip toys may still entice your cat simply because they are toys.

Our Pick for Best Catnip Toy

Hepper Stick Catnip Cat Kicker Toy
  • No Filler - Like all the best cat toys our is stuffed with 100% organic catnip. Cheap cat toys with...
  • Flexible Play - Simple plush shape is great for biting, scratching and pawing. It can start life as...

Catnip toys are a lot of fun for most cats, but you do want to find a high-quality version. Our Hepper Catnip Stick Toys are double-bagged and bite-proof, perfect for even the sharpest claws and teeth. They’re also full of 100% organic catnip, shaped like your cat’s natural prey, and hand-made in the USA.

9. Taking Walks

Now, you may be wondering if this is a joke. We promise it’s not! Cats can be trained to go on walks, and many enjoy it. As long as you have a feline collar and leash, you can spend quality time outdoors with your cat. While it is easiest to leash-train your cat while he is still a kitten, it is possible to train him as an adult.

When helping your cat adjust to walking on a leash, start with short, simple walks and slowly graduate to longer strolls as your cat grows more comfortable.

10. Lots of Love

This may be the easiest way to keep your cat happy: give him attention and love. Cats are social creatures that crave attention from their favorite human beings. Whenever you shower your cat with affection and praise, you make him the happiest kitty on the planet.

Spend dedicated time snuggling, petting, and playing with your cat each day. This will allow you to bond with your cat and give him an even happier life.

grey sphynx cat sitting on owners lap
Image Credit: Nata Bene, Shutterstock

hepper cat paw dividerConclusion

There are many things we can do to keep our cats happy. We can provide them with new and exciting toys, keep their belongings clean and tidy, and give them safe opportunities to engage with the outdoors. But most of all, we can dote on our favorite feline companions and give them plenty of affection and attention. The more time you spend bonding with your cat, the happier he will be.

Featured Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

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