20 Things Every Cat Owner Should Know

1. Keep Your Cat Cool

It may be fall, but for some, temps are still high. Keep fans or AC on during the day (even when you’re gone) for indoor cats to keep cool. If you have an outdoor cat, be sure your yard has shady spots or you have a pet door for your cat to escape the heat. When it’s extra hot, a washcloth moistened with cool water can be refreshing.

2. Add Window Perches

Cats enjoy surveying their surroundings. Open shades and blinds on at least a few windows, so your cat can see what’s going on outdoors. Consider adding a bird feeder for a fun “show” to watch.

3. Visit the Vet

Make an annual appointment with the vet. For older cats, consider two exams a year. Cats are adept at hiding signs of illness, so getting a physical exam and bloodwork can ensure problems are caught before they get too advanced.

4. Brush Your Cat’s Teeth

Start brushing your cat’s teeth as a kitten, so he/she becomes accustomed to the process. Clean teeth can be key to preventing serious health issues down the road.

5. Talk to Your Cat

Just like us, cats want attention when they “talk.” Take note of cat noises and watch ear and tail movements, so you know what’s play time vs. a possible call for help.

6. Avoid Harmful Poisons

Some items we enjoy need to be handled with caution for cats. To prevent poisoning, keep these items out of your cats’ reach: avocados, chocolate, detergents, glues, grapes, liquid potpourri, nicotine and tea tree oil.

7. Maintain Healthy Weight

Since dry food is high in carbs, unless cats are very active, they’re at risk for weight gain and increasing the chance of health problems. Explore canned cat food or other foods that are naturally packed with more protein. Plus, with products like the Pet Safe® Brand Feeder, you can monitor your pets portion control.

8. Groom Your Cat

Keep a pretty kitty with regular grooming. Fifteen minutes once or twice a week can prevent matting, reduce hairballs and give you a chance to check on overall health. It provides bonding time too!

9. Get IDed

Even indoor cats need a collar with ID and contact info. An open window or door can peak the curiosity of even the best-behaved. The Humane Society reminds that this is the way to help others return cats to their home.

10. Treat with Healthy Cat Treats

Too many treats or high calorie food can lead to heftier kitties, putting them at risk for diabetes, hypertension and other health issues. Make sure treats are healthy and given sparingly.

11. Create “Tree-like” Spaces

Being natural climbers, encourage cats’ instincts to find the perfect perch with cat trees, which provide a view from the top and exercise to get there. Cat shelves can also be placed throughout the home in high places that only cats would go.

12. Stimulate Your Cat

Keep things interesting by moving around climbing trees and scratching posts. Provide new toys or introduce new games to play so that cats are stimulated and happy.

13. Play More

Dedicate at least 15 minutes a day to interactive play, which keeps cats active and can help satisfy their hunting instinct. Whether it’s a laser toy, balls of catnip, feathers or a game of hide and seek with some empty boxes, cats and owners will benefit from the fun of a play date.

14. Satisfy Your Cat’s Hunting Instincts

As predators, cats enjoy stalking, hunting and pouncing on their food. “Feed” that instinct by moving their feeding bowls, if only a few feet. Alternate feedings from high and low spots as the extra jumping and climbing encourages exercise as well.

15. Have Access to Water

Just like us, cats need to stay hydrated to stay healthy. Keep at least two water bowls in different areas of the home. Encouraging cats to drink water helps lower the risk of some diseases and helps flush toxins from the kidneys. With some cats being more likely to enjoy running water, you can even consider a cat fountain.

16. Set Indoor Boundaries

Keep your feline away from fragile items, so everyone stays safe and happy.

17. Have a First Aid Kit

Just like we keep basic meds and bandages on hand, cats need a first aid kit for emergencies too. A basic kit should include contact info for your vet, the nearest emergency vet clinic and animal poison control, along with basic medical supplies.

18. Clean the Litter Box

Cats are known neat freaks, so clean your cats litter boxes daily. This will help with hygiene as well!

19. Provide Catnip

Many cats love catnip, which can be found in most pet and garden stores. If cats are prone to munch on greens, this is great to keep around for them to enjoy as opposed to eating houseplants.

20. Scratch That Itch

Don’t suppress cats’ urge to scratch. Place posts and pads near favorite nap spots, where the family spends time and near objects you don’t want them to scratch.