September is Happy Cat Month!
Created by the CATalyst Council, an organization committed to cats’ health and well-being, September kicks off a month of celebrations and discussions about what cats want and need.
Here are some SAGE tips for keeping your cat happy:
It’s All About Them… No, Really
Every cat is unique, and knowing your cat’s preferences is perhaps the best way to keep it happy. Though some breeds may be predisposed to certain behaviors and preferences, always remember to give your cat what it needs as an individual. For example, some cats like to have a buddy; some don’t. Some cats just want to sleep and lay around; others are active. Some cats want to be petted, while others want just enough attention… and no more. If you pet these cats too much, they may bite. Don’t take it personally—simply take note and respond to their limits.
Indoor cats may seek more attention than outdoor ones. No two cats are the same.
Make Time for Play
Cats of all ages love to play, so giving your cat a toy is a reliable way to make it happy. And cats can turn anything—a paper sack, a feather, a pen, or a ball of yarn—into a toy. Some cats love to chase a laser beam. It’s all about giving them what they love best. Whatever it is, toys help your cat engage in play, which is important for keeping them stimulated and happy. If your cat is a climber, posts give them a way to explore, climb, hide and play. If you have an indoor cat, make sure it has enough toys to keep it busy and exercising throughout the day.
If your cat is stressed, pheromones could help. Cats emit pheromones when they rub their faces against objects or people. These pheromones reinforce their sense of safety. There are several products on the market, like diffusers, sprays and wipes that mimic cats’ safety pheromones and help to keep them happy.
Fun for the Whole Family: Catnip
Who enjoys catnip more? The cat or the audience? Cats are instantly drawn to nepeta cataria, a member of the mint family, and the effects can be hilarious. A whiff of catnip can make your cat run, jump, flip and appear very happy indeed. Or, it can make them lazy. It just depends on their unique make-up.