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What Do Cats Like? 10 Ideas to Make Them Happy

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

Cat playing with stuffed toy

Owning a cat enhances our lives both mentally and emotionally, and it makes sense why you would want to return the favor. Like humans, house cats have a wide range of emotions. You might prefer them to be all positive, but negative emotions are common in cats as well. Between depression, loneliness, and boredom, these negative feelings can make our cats’ lives more complicated than they need to be.

Providing them with the basics, like food, shelter, and water, isn’t always enough. Our cats need both mental and physical stimulation to keep these felines happy with us and their environment. In this article, we’ll look at 10 easy ways to make our cats happy.

Top 10 Things Cats Like

1. Offer Plenty of Affection

person petting a cat
Image Credit: Nitiphonphat, Shutterstock

There are always rumors going around about cats being self-sufficient animals. Some might be perfectly happy spending every day by themselves, but this isn’t all that common. Cats love their humans more than they let on. The more you can cuddle or snuggle up with them throughout the day, the more they will feel connected to you.

2. Decorate with Cat Furniture

Catification is a term coined by cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy. It simply means to make your cat’s environment richer or better suited for them. Our kitties spend a good portion, if not all, of their day inside the house. Lacking furniture that allows them to perform normal cat behaviors will only lead to trouble. Offer multiple scratching posts for them to dig their claws into around the house. Find a bed or a hammock that they’ll love. Cat towers are also a perfect way to “catify” your home if you can fit them in your space.

3. Provide Entertainment

young bengal cat playing an interactive toy
Image Credit: Evdokimova, Shutterstock

Cats that are stuck inside with nothing to do all day will get bored sooner rather than later. The best way to keep their bodies active and minds sharp is to bring out their wilder instincts. You can achieve this by offering plenty of cat toys to encourage their hunting instincts. Cat toys like fake mice, lasers, and feathers can help bring out their inner wildcat!

4. Offer Safe Access to the Outdoors

Not all of us have outdoor cats. In fact, many veterinarians suggest keeping them indoors to keep them safe and prevent any unnecessary accidents or illnesses. However, there are ways to safely bring your cat outdoors without putting them in harm’s way. You may or may not be able to build a catio—an enclosed outdoor space where cats can enjoy the wilderness without being put in harm’s way. If that isn’t an option, then training them to walk on a leash or cat-proofing a balcony are both excellent choices.

5. Create A Nice View

cat looking outside the window
Image Credit: maigrey42, Pixabay

Cats spend a good chunk of time resting or snoozing, but that doesn’t mean they’re always asleep. Cats can spend hours looking out of a window and watching the birds and chipmunks run by. As long as you give them a decent view of the yard, this is one of the simplest ways to keep them entertained. You might even consider putting a few bird feeders in view for some extra entertainment!

6. Focus On the Litter Box

We all know that our feline companions can be a bit finicky at times. One area that you don’t want to change too much is the litter box. The location and cleanliness of their litter box are very important. Cats prefer to use the bathroom in a private area away from their food bowls. They also despise standing in their own waste, so try to clean their toilets at least once per day.

7.   Grow Cat Grass

tabby cat savoring catnip in the garden
Image Credit: Badon Hill Studio, Shutterstock

Nibbling on grass is normal behavior for cats that live outside; why not make it possible for indoor cats as well? There are quite a few interesting plant options that are safe for cats and easy to grow in a container indoors. They include:

  • Catnip
  • Cat thyme
  • Licorice root
  • Wheatgrass
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass

Please be aware that, while all of these plants are safe, it can sometimes be common for cats to vomit the grass back up if they’ve consumed too much. If you do grow any of these plants indoors, make sure that you never treat them with chemical sprays that could put your pet in danger.

8. Always Monitor Their Health

If your cat isn’t acting like its usual happy self, then you need to take them to the vet to have them looked at. An unhappy kitty could mean that they are sick. Unfortunately, cats aren’t always the best at communicating that something is wrong, so any change in their behavior might be their only way of letting you know they aren’t feeling well.

9. Challenge Them

main coon playing
Image Credit: Nils-Jacobi, Shutterstock

Mental stimulation is just as important as physical stimulation. Don’t assume that cats aren’t smart enough for a challenge, either. Try purchasing a few cat puzzle toys from your favorite pet store or website. You can encourage your cat to figure out the puzzle with some of their favorite treats. They’ll only become more intelligent and happier in the process.

10. Purchase Your Pet a Pet

We won’t lie; some cats prefer being the sole receiver of your love. However, cat parents who spend a lot of time away from the house might consider bringing home their cat a new companion. It’ll take them a while to warm up to each other but having another animal in the house means that they can entertain each other while you’re off making money to buy them new toys and treats.


To some of us, our cats are responsible for bringing us joy even when we’re in our darkest times. It is only fair that we make some effort to pay them back and make them feel happy as well. There are numerous ways to make a cat happy, and we hope this list of potential solutions has helped you find a suitable one!

Featured Image Credit: guvo59, Pixabay

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