The whole month of September is all about CATS! Last week we talked about vet visits, food, water, and a little something called “hunt, stalk, kill, eat, clean sleep.”
If you missed it, you can read that blog post here: https://jessicalfisher.com/september-is-happy-cat-month-part-1/
This week, we will continue the conversation on raising a happy, healthy cat!
Last week, we talked about the “hunt, stalk, kill, eat, clean, sleep” routine and how play is a very important part of this. While I know your cat will appreciate the stalk and kill routine every day, I really want to hit home the importance of playtime with your cat every single day, even in addition to the killing routine.
Indoor cats lead very sedentary lives which leads to obesity which leads to other diseases and mobility issues. Playing with your car for 10-15 minutes a few times each day can make a huge difference in your cats’ health both physically and mentally!
Playtime can also be used as confidence-building sessions for cats that need it. The act of catching their “prey” is a great way to help your kitty become more confident and less fearful, so get up and play with your cat!
SUPERVISED OUTDOOR TIME
I understand that this may be easier for some than others, and I will be the first to admit that I haven’t always been great at this, I will also admit that I am open to learning. I used to think that a cat needed to be indoors to be safe from humans, pests, chemicals, etc. While I still believe that is true, I have also learned that connection with nature is incredibly important and another way to honor your cat.
You can either find mesh tunnels or catios that are built specifically for providing a safe outdoor environment to your cat, leash train your cat, or have an outdoor space where you feel safe and comfortable letting your cat explore while you enjoy nature with them.
I don’t have a fancy catio, so I can’t recommend one to you, but I am working on setting up a routine for allowing my cats individualized outdoor time in our fenced-in backyard. I have 2 cats that I feel could be allowed out (with me) to roam and lounge and 2 others that I think I will need to leash train. The Texas heat has prevented me from doing much of this, but fall is approaching so I will share more on these outings as we partake!
If you’re interested in learning more about safely providing your cat outdoor time, you can search “adventure cats” and find yourself in a rabbit hole very quickly!
2 CATS ARE BETTER THAN 1
I can say that while this may not be a 100% steadfast rule, since cats are sentient beings and are very much individuals, but in general when adopting a cat it is better to adopt 2 together!
A single cat can become lonely, especially if you are gone for long periods of time each day. When you adopt 2 cats together, they can bond and become great friends, keeping each other company.
Again, some cats may actually prefer to be only cats, but most cats love the company of other felines. It is still important to provide each cat with their own space, their own beds, their own food and water bowls, playtime, etc., so they can live their best life!
FELINES ARE NOT HUMANS
Always remember that cats are not humans. Yes, we are both mammals, but felines and humans are two separate and different species.
It is important not to anthropomorphize them and not to impose your thoughts and feelings onto them. One very common example is by thinking that your cat is trying to get back at you for something. Cats are smart, yes, but the idea that a cat is stewing with resentment (a human emotion) and waiting to exact their revenge (a human behavior) is not terribly likely.
Will cats react to their environment? Yes. Have there been instances with me and my cats where I have considered this scenario to be true? Yes. But am I imposing my own thoughts and beliefs and behaviors on them? Also, yes.
The overarching theme throughout the month of September and Happy Cat month is to honor your cat for the incredible feline that they are. They are felines, not humans. Put yourself in their place and try to think like them a little bit more.
We will continue these cat tips all month!