Having happy cats is usually quite easy. They are very self sufficient. I have had cats since I was a toddler. My parents had a Siamese when I was little. I had a few rescue kitties during college. Now we have two Abyssinian (Aby) cats who have been part of our family since 2004.
To be quite honest, one of my best friend’s is not a fan of cats, yet she’s about to move into a home with two cats. Plus there is a big urinating out of the box problem. I found myself getting to work sending her all sorts of information, when I realized I could post everything to help more people. However, girlfriend, you know who you are and I hope this helps. I will certainly be able to get your testimonial on how things go!
INDOOR, OUTDOOR OR BOTH
Choosing whether to have an indoor feline or indoor/outdoor is the beginning of two different paths for supporting happy cats. With outdoor cats, collars (I like the breakaway kind) and identification are helpful in case of loss. Vaccinations need to be weighed and considered since cats come in contact with other cats and other animals. This is not so much of an issue with indoor kitties. I am not an expert, however I do have strong concerns regarding vaccinations, so it’s best to do your research and consult with an expert.
CHANGE CAN DISRUPT
Any sort of change can disrupt the comfort of happy cats. They can become anxious or their behaviors and activities show their frustration. They may scratch things they never used to, urinate in places other than their litter box, or vomit frequently. The latter is what we have experienced with our two kitties. We have moved a few times in the last few years, which may have been the catalyst. We also brought our baby girl into the world a few years ago, which clearly disrupted the existing flow of our lives.
CLEANING THE MESS
Messes happen. It’s part of life. Thank goodness there are safe products out there that help clean, as well as eliminate odors. Nature’s Miracle Cat Stain and Odor Eliminator has worked well for us through the years. Granted, we have not had a huge urine issue, so I’d love to hear some stories.
I love that this product includes enzymes that break down the spill and it’s much more natural than other options. Our issues were mainly around our cats vomiting barely digested food frequently. Gross! They are indoor cats so they do not get to chew outdoor plants and vomit outside, which is a normal part of cat health. There are lots of tips out there and you must be willing to do the work, both in cleaning the mess and in solving the problem.
SAFE DEODORIZING CLEANERS
The Nature’s Miracle Oxygen formula is another option and I’d have both on hand to work on urine issues. For those who have serious issues, try the Nature’s Miracle Cat Urine Destroyer and perhaps go for the 128oz bottle option.
If you’re in a situation where walls need treatment and sealing, then you may also need some major odor killing sealing paint.
Humans have access to all kinds of stress relief products and activities. It makes sense that every creature has times of stress, even if kitties don’t clock in and out for a pay check. They too may need some supplements to welcome calmness.
Drops like Rescue Remedy can be helpful. Trying hemp oil for cats is another option. I’ve heard great things and have yet to try this on our cats. There’s a lot of options on the market. I found this hemp oil for animals made with organic ingredients.
Cat’s release pheromones when they rub up against something and this releases a trace of their scent. When these scents are located around the home, they are more comfortable since they have literally marked their territory. Sometimes, this is not enough and external help is needed. We put a pheromone product to the test recently and noticed a change in out cats within a few weeks. This product mimics the feline facial pheromone which reassures and comforts. One of our cats vomited almost daily, which dropped to only two times in one month since using the pheromones.
We started with the Feliway starter kit which gets you one plug in and one month’s use for a small area. Multiple plugs ins are needed to cover a large home. For your sanity and you home’s safety, they are worth it.
A LITTLE INGREDIENT RESEARCH
Because I am concerned about ingredients, I did research on the isoparaffinic hydrocarbon liquid that the synthetic pheromones are transmitted though. As a vapor, which is how this emits into the air, there is no toxicity issue for humans or cats. I really wanted to be sure since we have a toddler and our own health to consider, as well as the cats. Just don’t drink it! Duh!
Then the Feliway refill pack is a great way to go to keep up with the pheromone system.
FOOD AND WATER
There is an endless supply of wet and dry, even raw, food options out there. We fed our current cats raw food when they were kittens. As they grew, we moved to dry and canned food. I look to find organic products, or as close as possible, without breaking the bank. I also look for grain free food without fillers. It’s important to find good nutrition and be sure taurine is included, an essential amino acid for cat health. We have used the I and Love and You dry cat food, but are now using the Halo Holistic Game Bird Medley dry food. For wet food, we are using the Whole Earth Farms canned food.
We use a ceramic water fountain since long ago retiring a basic bowl of water. I find the running water reduces the slime build up from saliva. I refill the fountain every few days. Then once every 2-3 weeks, I wash the parts, except the pump, in the dish washer with the safe dishwasher packs I love. There is also a round ceramic water fountain and a smaller raindrop water fountain similar to the one we use.
HEALTH AND VITALITY
I have to tout this product. It’s amazing! For pets with joint issues, Liquid BioCell for Pets shows results with a few weeks of use. Often pet owners see their cats or dogs spring back to life with more movement and vitality. It is easy to see the signs that the animal is feeling better. This is a highly bioavailable liquid formula featuring a matrix of collagen, hyaluronic acid and condroitin sulfate.
This is truly a magical mixture of ingredients that support joint health, hair, nails, skin, gums, connective tissue and more. I take the human formula daily and feel the difference. I have also seen friends’ pets make incredible health improvements with mobility and spunk, which also indicates they feel better.
It’s also worth really considering the hemp oil, cannabis oil, route for pets with severe issues. Here’s some helpful tips from a holistic vet.
With two cats in our household, I clean the litter daily and sweep up any litter debris. We found the top access litter boxes to be the least messy. Since they climb over a mesh roof, most of the litter falls back in the box.
My husband did a cool hack to ours and made an extra piece of lid that raised our lid about four more inches. This enabled us to add more litter so the cats could do their business on a decent amount of litter without cramming their heads in the box.
CAREFUL WITH FRAGRANCES
I am very conscientious about added fragrances and chemicals in products. They are not good for our health as we breathe in these toxins daily which adds to everything our body must combat as it works to stay healthy. The same goes for litter. Plus added chemicals and fragrances may also cause allergies in cats or a disdain to use the litter box. I use Costco’s Litter Purrfect Natural Litter. It can be a little dusty when you pour it in the box. I am willing to deal with that considering the other benefits.
We’ve had out little box for years, so my husband’s hack job filled an unmet need. Now you can actually buy a taller walled litter box! I empty our littler daily, especially with two cats sharing the same box. Cats are clean animals. It’s important to keep their spaces clean, so they keep ours clean too. I used to empty the litter in a lidded trash can I kept in the bathroom and emptied weekly. I now have moved to a system of using eco-friendly dog poop bags and daily empty the litter box into our big kitchen trash bin that I empty weekly. This keeps the bathroom fresh. And since I’m knotting the daily bags, there is no odor issue in the kitchen.
I believe in keeping cats claws. If I am to bring a feline into my domestic experience, I believe in keeping their nails as is. It’s my responsibility to train a cat to know what is appropriate and to provide the tools a cat needs to be a happy cat in my home. We used a water spray bottle early in our cats lives to show them it was not a good idea to claw furniture. We also provided a gigantic cat tower with two tall scratching posts. To this day both cats still sleep in the bunks and use the scratching posts. Trimming their nails with a nail trimmer regularly is also important.
Cats are also quite self sufficient in the bathing department. I’ve only needed to bathe our kitties when they’ve been ones who had outside activity and got a flea issue. Diatomaceous earth is a great natural way to combat fleas plus it’s also an amazing supplement. I always go for the natural products first and give them ample time to work their results. The flea drops do work fast, but constant use of these chemicals are very detrimental to a cat’s health. I also brush my cats frequently and since they have short to medium length hair, I find a flea comb removes loose hair easily.
Humans and animals love to play so having toys is important for happy cats. Our cats love the laser light. We also have a basket our cats can go to and pick their toy of choice. We have dried organic cat nip available and a cat nip spray to squirt on one of their favorite toys so they can lick and groom till their hearts’ content. Having fresh wheat grass for cats to eat is also super helpful and healthy. You can grow it regularly from seeds. You may need have an area sectioned off for this eating activity as it also usually involves some vomiting from chewing the grass.
YOUR TIPS WANTED!
If there is something you have tried and you’d like to add to these recommendations, I’d love to hear from you. Also, dogs are not my expertise. If you are a dog lover and would like me to interview you for a similar article about dogs…please post in the comments.