Anyone who has ever cared for a cat can tell you that cats are very particular animals. Although some may seem independent or withdrawn, a happy cat can be one of the most affectionate, playful beings out there.
Dr. Leah Montgomery, the veterinarian at Meadow Brook Cat Clinic, knows a thing or two about keeping cats happy and healthy, and what their owners, or guardians, can do to facilitate this.
1. When your cat feels under the weather, try bringing it to a cat-only clinic. At Meadow Brook Cat Clinic, everything from the design of the exam room to the size of the equipment used is tailored for cats. Montgomery says this can help cats feel more comfortable, relaxed, and can even help your cat’s recovery.
2. Give them lots of toys. Cats are hunters by nature, so giving them a job or something to do is critical. Montgomery says food puzzles are a great way to get your cat to ‘hunt’ or work for its food.
3. Start thinking high. Montgomery says cats are three dimensional creatures, meaning they like to use vertical spaces as well. Cat trees are a good start, and perhaps think about hanging benches or shelves for your cat to play and rest in.
4. Feed them the appropriate food. Montgomery suggests incorporating wet food into your cat’s everyday diet. It can help with digestion, hydration, and weight control.
5. Making sure the litter box is something your cat is happy and comfortable using. Try to put it in a place where the cat is relaxed and feels safe. “Also use litter boxes that don’t have covers – ones that have them are like cat outhouses, and no one wants to use an outhouse,” Montgomery said.
Cats are a lot smarter than people give them credit for, Montgomery said. Bad behaviour, she continued, is often a result of stress or boredom, which can lead to health issues. In what can be a potentially vicious cycle of stress and health issues, Montgomery said it is important for your cat to be under the care of people who understand it. That is why Montgomery opened Meadow Brook Cat Clinic, the only clinic you and your cat will ever need.