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Purr-fect tips for keeping kitty happy

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Purr-fectly happy cat

Aside from serving as excellent fodder for hilarious clips on YouTube, cats are wonderful pets. As long as they have opportunities to bond with their humans and explore a safe environment, they are usually easy to please.
Couple playing wiht cat

Cats can make great pets because they are independent enough to afford their owners with freedom in daily scheduling but spirited enough to bring many years of memories and companionship to the home. A cat owner's main tasks are to ensure that kitty is loved and provided with ample opportunities to play safely.

Environment tips

There's a reason why cats are said to have nine lives. Cats are notorious for cheating death when the odds are against them. But why even play those odds? As macabre as it is to say, the first step to make sure that your cat is happy is to make sure that she remains alive.

  1. If your cat is an outdoors cat, try your best to make her an indoors cat. If she is an indoors cat, do everything you can to keep her that way. Although it's fun to watch your kitty use the backyard fence as a balance beam, the outdoor world is full of dangers from predators, poisons, cars and other risks.
  2. Cat-proof your home. A typical home is full of poisons and strangling hazards. Remove drapery cords, lock up cleaning supplies and make sure poisonous plants are removed. Spray Bitter Apple on any item you are worried about.
  3. Provide a nurturing environment by keeping the litter box clean, offering food and clean water, providing stimulation and giving your cat a place to nest comfortably.

Bonding tips

Cats have gained a reputation over the years as aloof, but cats actually enjoy human companionship. Owners can reasonably expect to draw even aloof cats out of their shells with a little attention to detail and patience with the bonding process.

  1. Pay attention to who your cat is and what he likes to do. Just like no two children have the exact same interests, all cats are wired differently and will likely want to bond differently with their owners. If your cat isn't into cat nip, don't worry about it. If he likes his chin scratched but not his belly, then just stick with the chin. Pay attention to who he is, and he will begin to seek you out for his personalized affection.
  2. Groom your cat to bond with her. Cats don't usually need their owners to bathe them, but a cat's fur coat does need to be brushed. Brushing is good for both her skin and coat and provides a great opportunity for bonding.
  3. Provide a wide variety of toys for your cat. This does not mean, however, that you need to purchase many toys for him. Cats enjoy ping-pong balls, boxes and paper sacks, and you can bond with him while playing a version of fetch or hide and go seek with these props. Of course, you can always purchase cat toys if you just can't resist.

Cats are easygoing companions as long as they are safe and nurtured. Now enjoy that kitty!

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