I read the most depressing statistic today:
According to the Ontario SPCA, nearly one-fifth of cats were returned to shelters in Ontario in 2013, post-holiday.
Ugh. I found that stat, that nearly one fifth of cats were returned to shelters after the holidays, simply appalling. I’ve read time and again that experts suggest that a new pet should never be given as a Christmas gift. I’ve heard that people are often overwhelmed by the reality of what it takes to take care of a new cat or puppy after that initial Christmas morning excitement wears off. But the idea of 1 in 5 cats being returned after Christmas, brought back like a sweater with a rip in the seam or a hat that didn’t fit right, just sits really poorly with me.
I wonder if maybe some of those people who “returned” their furry gifts after Christmas didn’t just need a little help understanding what it takes to live with a cat. Shelter cats rock, says this adoptive mom, and cats, all cats, deserve to know they are loved.
So here’s a few tips to help show your furry friend they’re loved, on Valentine’s Day and every day:
1. Cat’s love attention. There’s a reason Fluffy comes and wakes you up at 3am with their favourite plastic mouse in tow. Life is busy these days, and bonding can take many forms, but nothing says “love” like spending time with them. If you’re cat is a lap cat sit down and give them some cuddle time. If they’re more into active play indulge them with a little fun with a laser pointer or a favourite toy.
2. The other form of attention cat’s need is litter box maintenance! A clean, easy to access, litter box of their very own makes for a happy cat; while a stinky untidy one can account for why your cat seems nervous and agitated. Experts suggest you should have at least one litter box per cat, preferably uncovered and that they are easily accessible. To keep your cat happy, clean the box often and use an odour neutralizing product like Arm & Hammer Clump and Seal Complete Odour Sealing Clumping Litter. Their revolutionary cat litter first seals, and then destroys odours for a 7-day odour free home, guaranteed! (We used to sprinkle Arm & Hammer Cat Litter Deodorizer into our litter box, then we swapped to this when it first came out a few years back. It makes for a seriously stink free super clean litter box. We love it, and so does kitty.)
3. Cat’s love to play. They need to hunt and pounce, it’s in their nature! Sure sometimes it can seem like all they do is sleep all day, but trust me cats get bored too. Provide your kitty with a variety of spots to perch, Give them something to do by making sure their environment is stimulating. Leave out a few fun things for them to bat around when you’re not around, and be sure to engage them in plenty of active play when you are home.
|Sometimes, love can be found on the end of a string attached to a stick.|
4. Like all pets cats love a tasty treat now and again. Experiment with different cat treats to find out which one your feline will flip for. Some pet owners even go so far as to bake their own – bonus point for Valentine’s Day if they’re heart-shaped! Just make sure not to overindulge your kitty’s appetite.
What about you folks? Have any tips on how best to show your affection to your cat?
For more tips on raising a happy and healthy feline visit the Ontario SPCA.
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Arm & Hammer. As always my words and opinions are my own.