Friends Fur-Ever: 40 Tips To Help Cat Owners Bond With Their Feline Friends
To many non-cat owners, owning and taking care of cats might not seem like much, but such a person would be mistaken. The challenges that cat owners face are not so different from those of other pet owners. While raising cats might not be as time and energy-consuming as raising dogs, they still require attention and playtime to keep them happy.
To keep a happy relationship with your cat, you need to spend time with and take close care of them.
Dogs are not the only pets that can be trained. You can train your cats to use a litter box instead of doing their business around the house. You can also train them to listen to simple commands. Getting used to these activities might be a bit overwhelming when it’s your first cat – but trust us when we say it is worth the effort.
The more care and affection you put into taking care of your cat, the more they will be comfortable with you. This article will share with you forty essential life hacks that will make taking care of your first cat easier. It might also have some new tips for experienced cat parents!
Buy Scratching Posts
Cats are known for being notorious furniture destroyers. Cats will claw at couches, coffee tables, and other valuables that might be around your house. The best way to prevent your property from being destroyed by your pet cat is to buy a scratching post.
You can choose a solid scratching post in almost every shape you can think of. This object will save you from your cats whenever they feel like shortening their claws, so you might want to buy one for every room in your house.
Give Them Treats
Like most other pets, cats also deserve some rewards to keep their games more fun and interesting. Laser pointers are the most popular toys that are used to entertain cats. The treats will placate the cats because they might be full of frustration and extra energy if they don’t catch their ‘prey.’
Before putting away the laser pointer, give your pet cat a reward for its efforts in trying to hunt the red dot. Giving your pet a treat that they like will encourage their hunting spirit, and it will give them a sense of reward that will reinforce the behavior and make future games fun.
Get Rid Of Litter Box Smell
One of the important lessons to teach your cat is potty training. This usually entails making sure that they do not urinate or poop on your furniture, bed, or clothes. You also have to frequently empty out the litter box so that your cats don’t look for another place to do their business.
If your cats keep filling up their litter box quickly and keep stinking up your house, you might want to consider using a green tea or baking soda home remedy. Adding bits of dried green tea leaves or baking soda to the kitty litter’s base reduces the awful smell.
Pick Simple Names
Coming up with a name for your child, pet, toy, business – or anything, really – requires some creativity and unique thinking. Instead of coming up with a long name like Lumpy Space Princess for your cat, you might want to consider something shorter.
Names that have just one or two syllables come in handy because cats seem to respond better to shorter syllables. Names that end with an “ee” sound should also be considered. For example, instead of “Princess Fluffy Pants,” going with “Fluffy” will be better.
Get Your Cat A Box
For some of us that work from home, you would know that having your cat come and sit in front of your monitor or on top of your keyboard is kind of distracting. For people in this situation, keeping a box on your desk might be what you need to distract your cat.
If you have a large desk, keeping a box big enough to house your cat while you work will save you from their distractions. Many cats would rather sit in a box than on your keyboard. Using this life hack will make working from home with your cat less bothersome.
Mind Their Claws
While you might think that your cat’s claws are essential for their hunting nature, trimming them will save you from unnecessary nicks and cuts and scratch damage to your furniture. If you cannot trim them by yourself, you can hire a professional cat groomer.
If you cannot trim your cat’s nails for some reason, you should try to keep them as clean as possible. Claw covers are another good way to keep your cat’s nails covered. You can learn how to trim your cat’s nails and how to put on claw covers from your vet or cat groomer.
Don’t Spend On Expensive Toys
Playful cats will most likely prefer to use toys as a way to distract themselves and get rid of excess energy. Instead of going for some more expensive toy options, you can use simple household items to entertain your cats.
Cats seem to love simple toys. Rather than buying a lot of toys that your cats won’t play with, you can use items around your house to distract them. Your cats might find some socks to play with or worn-out stuffed toys. Simple items will save you money and be a great source of fun.
Repurpose Empty Toilet Rolls
When you run out of toilet paper, what comes to your mind first is to throw it away. What if we told you you could use that as a toy for your cat instead? You can put treats in the center of the roll before giving them to your cat.
This will give your cat a good distraction for a few hours and will save you some money. If you have more curious cats, they might even collect the empty rolls and create their very own empty toilet rolls collection.
Arrange Enough Climbing Space
You’ll notice that your cat might be climbing high places in your house, like your shelves. That’s because cats like to be on higher ground. If you live in a small space, you can use a climbing space to give your cats room to move about without knocking items off your cupboards.
The climbing space is also a good way to keep indoor cats active whenever they need to move about. You can put up shelves, ledges, and towers to give your cats room to run, jump, and climb to dispense their pent-up energy.
We have already said that using household items as toys for your pet cat might be more effective than buying expensive toys you see on the internet. One of the simple household items you can convert into toys for your cats is your old t-shirt.
T-shirts with bright colors will attract your cat’s attention, so cutting the shirt into strips and tying the pieces into simple knots will keep your cat busy for hours. Colors like yellow, orange, and white work best for these toys, and lucky-worn shirts are easy to source for.
While cats might seem like they like to cling to people, they can sometimes show antisocial tendencies. Getting your cat used to things like trimming their claws or using claw covers might be stressful as they will tend to pull their paws away from your reach.
Spending time to play with your cats and touching their paws is the best way to get them used to the steps to trim their claws. Once your cat relaxes, you’ll find that it will be easier to trim the claws with little resistance.
…And Shake “Hands”
When it comes to teaching a pet to give its paws, many people think that dogs are faster learners as they are easier to train. Teaching your cat to give its paw increases the amount of time you spend with your cat and improves your relationship with your pet.
The training will involve smaller exercises and treats that will reinforce positive responses. A good practice is to let the cat smell the treat before the exercise so as to help it understand that once it does what you expect, it’ll get a delicious treat.
Keep Your Friend Hydrated
Water is essential to all animals and plants. Usually, it is recommended for humans to drink about three liters of water a day. You might also want to consider giving your cat an endless supply of water. Most cats dislike stagnant water because they can’t tell the source.
Instead of putting water in a bowl for your cat, you might want to introduce running water to your cat for rehydration purposes and also for entertainment. Using a fountain as a source of running water will keep your cat entertained for hours, even in your absence.
After a while, your cats will get used to a specific feeding time. For those who live alone, you can feed the cat in the morning before leaving for work or in the evenings when you return. The cat will soon begin to expect food at certain times every day.
If you feed your cat early in the morning after waking up, your cat might develop the habit of waking you up early so it can get its meal. Using varying feeding times will prevent your cat from developing a habit like waking you or disturbing you for their food.
You Got To Keep Them Separated
While your cat is eating, you want to make sure that there is water easily available for your cat before, during, and after the meal. Unlike most other pets, however, cats prefer it when you keep the water away from the food.
If the food is too close to the water, your cat might drag it away or stop eating before they’re full. The cat might also choose to eat the food and drink little water. Neither alternative is ideal! The best thing would be to designate a place for water and another for food.
Use Feeding Plates
Like some humans, cats also tend to eat at varying speeds. If your cats eat too fast, they are prone to vomit after their meal. A good way to prevent this from happening is by feeding your cat on a shallow plate.
Eating food from a shallow plate takes more time than from a deeper dish, and that makes the cat eat slower. A shallow plate will also reduce the frequency at which your cat’s whisker will rub against the side of the bowl, reducing whisker stress.
Wet Foods All The Way
Besides the running water tip that makes rehydration easier for your cat, you should also introduce wet food to maintain hydration. If you give your cats more dry foods, it will make them more vulnerable to complications like diabetes and dehydration.
Dry foods also tend to contain more carbohydrates, which are not healthy for cats. We recommend you toggle between dry and wet foods for the best results. Grain-free dry foods with fewer carbohydrates should be considered. It is good to check the nutritional composition of your cat’s meals.
Easily Clean Up Their Mess
Kittens tend to be very playful, and this can cause them to break things in various rooms and leave a mess behind. Cleaning up these messes your cat makes will become an endless task as far as these items are within their reach.
While these messes might be a little annoying to clean, the cost of the cleaning products might be more annoying. Instead of opting for expensive products, a natural homemade solution might be what you need. Sprinkling baking soda on the spot twenty minutes before vacuuming reduces unpleasant odors. Vinegar and water will also kill bacteria.
Clean Their Vomit With Wipes
Your cat might vomit due to sickness or overeating, so they don’t necessarily have to be sick to vomit. A change in diet and eating too fast can cause your cat to vomit. If the vomiting becomes excessive, you should contact your vet for immediate help.
Cleaning cat vomit is most effective with baby wipes to make sure that all the vomit is cleaned up properly. Baby wipes are also suitable for cleaning most surfaces. Using this helpful tip also helps to reduce your cat’s vomiting.
Keep The Cats Away From Surfaces
If you have stubborn cats, they are most likely to want to explore different surfaces and places in your house, like your bed or the baby’s crib. This habit may be more annoying when they shed or put dirt on a clean surface.
To break this habit, you can place aluminum foil on the surfaces that you want them to keep off. Cats will stay away from places covered with aluminum foil because of the slippery surface and the noise it makes. Keeping masking tape with the sticky surface up will also discourage your cats from those surfaces.
Catnip is known for being loved by most cats as it gives a certain feeling that keeps them happy even without company. If you have a cat that likes this plant, you might want to consider planting it in your house or in your garden.
The minty smell of the plants stimulates the cats when they smell it, and it acts as a sedative when it is consumed. After eating catnip, your cats will be likely to roll around and play around the place. Regulate how much catnip your cats eat to prevent negative side effects.
Growing Cat Grass
Most cats are drawn to grass, even indoor cats. Besides planting your own catnip, you might want to consider growing your own cat grass as well. Having cat grass in your house will improve the overall health of your beloved pet.
Luckily it is possible to grow cat grass without using dirt. You can grow them from wheat, oat seeds, barley, and rye. Cat grass does not need too much light and soil, making it easy to keep indoors. The seeds sprout within ten days, after which your cat can start enjoying it.
Storing Foods Safely
To keep your cat’s foods dry and healthy, you can use plastic cereal containers and jars for extra protection. Exposing dry foods or any foods to the environment improves the chances of the food going stale and starting to go bad.
This kind of food is bound to adversely affect your cat’s digestive health in the long run, which is why this tip is precious. Using plastic containers and jars for your dry food also makes it easier to transfer the food from storage to food bowls.
Getting Rid Of Cat Hair
Duct tape is an essential household item due to its various uses both in the home and outside. Aside from using it to hold together broken appliances and holding bad guys hostage in movies, one of the uses of duct tape is removing cat hair.
Your cat will probably shed its fur all over your couch, rugs, pillows, and bedsheets. Getting rid of the hair can be stressful without the right tools. Using the adhesive side of duct tape over the places where you find cat fur will make it easy to clean up
Use Rubber Gloves to Clean Cat Fur
Having a pet with furs, like a cat or dog, will have you cleaning up fur from furniture and other places in your house. You will have to regularly clean your house to keep your house as pet-hair-free as possible. One of the best ways is to use a rubber glove.
A rubber glove works almost like magic when it comes to getting rid of cat fur from carpets, couches, and bed sheets. Dampening the rubber glove before rubbing it over the surface with cat fur will make it easy to pick the fur strands.
Brush Your Cat’s Hair
The rate at which different cats shed differs based on different things like their breed, diet, and environment. When your cat sheds, cleaning up the hair from your belongings and furniture can be a chore, especially for a cat that sheds a lot.
Brushing your cat’s fur regularly will help in reducing how much hair your cat sheds around the house. Besides owning pet grooming tools that make it easier to groom your cat’s fur, you might also want to consider hiring a professional cat groomer.
Cats are nocturnal creatures, which means they are active at night. If you have a stubborn cat, it is likely to keep you up during the night. The best way to prevent this is to play with them. Playing with your cats before bed will help you to reduce your stress after a long day.
Games to play at this time will be games that will keep both of you occupied and active before going to bed. For cats that are energetic or playful, games that will wear them out will be best. The game could be done about 10 minutes before bed.
Air Filters Are Really Helpful
While cats can be great for their company, they also bring in a lot of germs and vermin that can make your house unlivable. While owning a cat makes your house more susceptible to germs, and bad odors, owning an air filter will keep your house smelling fresher.
Use an air filter in your home to purify the air in the environment by getting rid of airborne dust for a better scent. The air filter reduces the foul residues that make you vulnerable to allergens that make your living space less breathable.
Use Clumping Litter
Cleaning out your cat’s litter box is something that you might not look forward to as it can be demanding, especially for the first few attempts. Apart from cleaning the litter daily, it would help if you used special equipment to remove all traces of litter that can make your house smell.
The best products to clean litter are usually those that clump up to make cleaning easier. It makes cleaning up after your cats less stressful by highlighting specific places that you need to scoop. It also shows if you’ve cleared out all the debris.
One Cat, One Litter Box
Besides a bowl for water and a plate for food, your cat should have a litter box. Each cat should have a different litter box and maybe an extra one to avoid confusion. And while it is possible for cats to share a litter box, things might get messy.
The extra litter box is to ensure that each cat uses the litter at the designated points. It will prevent full litter boxes and reduce the chances of your cats dirtying up the place. It’s better to spend a little more on getting multiple litter boxes than spending hours cleaning after your cats’ mess!
Training With Treats
Reinforcement is one of the best ways to teach positive and negative behaviors in children and animals. With the right approach to rewards and punishments, you will notice that training your cats is not that different from training dogs or other house animals.
One of the simple tricks to teach your cat is the high five. To teach your cat this trick, you will need a clicker that you will click when your cat touches your fist. Each click usually follows with a treat. After some practice, your cat should have learned to high-five you after your command.
Carry Your Cat With Plenty Of Space
It might take a while for your cat to get used to staying in its carriers for road trips. You might need to train your pet to make sure that it feels comfortable when you’re going on trips that require it to stay in the carrier.
You can dispel the negative association of the cat carrier and the stress of the vet visit by allowing the cat to get used to the carrier. You can also leave the carrier open in places that your cat can sniff or even enter.
Pet insurance makes sure that your pets are covered in case of accidents. Besides getting car insurance or health insurance, you might also want to consider getting insurance for your pet. Pets, like people, also get sick or have accidents, which can be really stressful to deal with.
Having pet insurance will reduce the cost of these treatments, reducing your stress as well. You will likely have to pay a monthly fee to get good coverage. While some companies offer pet insurance with their employee benefits, you might want to look into the various insurance companies available to you.
Get Them Used To Other Pets
Most animals are territorial, not just wild animals – but our pets as well. Their territorial nature makes it necessary to introduce your cats to other pets in your home. An introduction will help reduce the tension from seeing an “intruder.”
Your cat might need some time to get used to other pets or new environments. The best way to get them to adapt to the new pet and environment is to keep them in a small room together, like the bedroom or bathroom, so they get used to each other.
Two Is Company
At first glance, cats might seem like solitary creatures. However, after some long observation, you will notice that your cats tend to crave companionship. To prevent your cat from getting stressed out due to loneliness, you might want to get two cats or maybe more.
Your cat will be less likely to show destructive tendencies if it has the company of another cat. They will also play with each other. If you have an older cat, you should consider getting a kitten so that its natural instincts kick in.
Diffusing The Pheromones
It is not unusual for cats to get stressed once in a while. While it is stressed, it will release some pheromones. This will often happen when there’s a new pet around or when you move houses. The best way to get your cat to adjust is to use a pheromone diffuser.
A pheromone diffuser is an electronic device that releases an odorless vapor that imitates the feline facial pheromone that will help your cat to calm down. Owning one of these will make sure that your cat is stress-free and happy.
A Cat Also Deserves A Patio
Patios are a good place to cool off and enjoy a view of your surroundings during the warmer months of the summer. Building a patio for your cat to cool down and explore their surroundings, even if their indoor cats, is one of the best things you can do to make your cat happy.
The cat patio can be attached to your house. Installing clean windows with metal screening will allow birds and other small critters in the surroundings to be seen by your cat from the patio. The metal screening will prevent your cat from tearing through.
Let Them Take A Peek At The Outdoors
We are sure that you probably must have heard the phrase ‘as curious as a cat’ before. The phrase is used to describe the ever-curious nature of cats. Your cat will tend to frequently look outside to catch a glimpse of the world around it.
If you live in a small space or an apartment building, you might want to build a window basket perch for your cat. The view from the window basket perch will keep your pet entertained, and the basket will provide a good lounging spot.
The Good Ol’ Hair Brush Trick
If you have a cat that sheds all over the place frequently, even after your regular brushing, we have something that might be helpful to you. If you have any old brush lying around your house, you can use it to get rid of your cat’s excess fur.
Attaching the brush to the leg of your furniture will give the cat access to the brush so it can rub itself on it and brush its fur. You can use a zip tie or duct tape to attach the brush to the furniture.
Build A Fort For Your Cat
A cat ladder is a good playground as well as a resting place for your pet cats. As you are aware, cats are known to like high places. Building a small ladder instead of buying one can save you some money.
Using materials available around your home to build a cat ladder is bound to be a fun experience. You will need some non-toxic wood, an area mat, a small cat bed, a cat wand, a wooden ladder, sisal ropes, nails, and hammers.