Okay, let’s get things straight: I’m obsessed with cats. They are amazing creatures and truly one of my favorite animals in the entire planet earth. I’m the proud owner of two beautiful cats – Penélope and Chiquis -, and they are a very important part of my life. My goal since day one has been to offer these animals the best quality of life possible and, even though cats are pretty easy to take care of, there are a few things that took me a little while to figure out. That being said, today I want to share with you some tips and items that have helped me improve my cats’ quality of life tremendously.
Whether you are a new cat parent, or you are considering to become one (adopt, DON’T SHOP) this list should help you to understand the most basic needs that these creatures have. If you are a pro in the subject, then maybe this post will help you to step up on your cat game with basic items that are a just little extra.
*Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
FOOD AND WATER:
TIP 1: Consider feeding your cat grain free food (talk to your veterinarian first). Cats are carnivores by nature and they need food that’s rich in protein. Grain based – carbohydrates (corn, wheat and rice) are not part of a cat’s diet. Another thing to consider: wet food. It’s a must! Feeding a combination of dry and wet food will ensure that your cat is getting enough water.
TIP 2: I highly recommend to get your cat an elevated cat bowl. Cats do not like to eat in a standing position but, a raised feeder that’s approximately 4″-6″ high will promote a better digestion and can help preventing stress in their muscles, bones and joints. Get it here: https://amzn.to/2Fhtxk4
TIP 3: Get a water fountain. By nature, cats have a low thirst drive. In the wild, most of their water intake comes from the food (that’s why I mentioned the wet food above). Besides that, cats don’t like to drink from still water sources. A water fountain is the best alternative to encourage your cat to drink water. There are tons of options in the market but I personally would recommend the Premier Pet Water Fountain. I have had it for a little over a year and it has been a blessing. Get the 50 oz version here: https://amzn.to/2Rk4e5M or the 100 oz version here: https://amzn.to/31GcFNI
SLEEP AND RELAXATION:
Sleep is a physiological need that contributes to cat’s health. They spend approximately two thirds of their lifetime sleeping (between 12-16 hours per day approximately)! Now, we all know that cats sleep wherever they want; it can be your bed, your couch, your dinning table… the list keeps going and going. However, it’s important for your cat to have its own personal space. Beds allow them to always find a comfortable spot for resting without being disturbed. It also helps them get quality of sleep and improves their sleeping routines. There’s a lot of bed options out there, and most of the cats are not very picky about the styles (except Chiquis, OMG), so pick the one you like best.
Fortunately enough, cats are pretty easy when it comes to potty training. I don’t know the reason why but most of them automatically know how to use a litter box (thank God). Now, the two things you need to consider are: the type of litter that your cat(s) will be using, and the litter box itself.
TIP 1: litter! There are a lot of options in the market. I honestly don’t know enough about this subject so I don’t want to suggest or endorse one but, the litter that my cats have been using for a while is Purina Tidy Cats 4 in 1 Strength. I Like it because it clumps well (making it very easy to scoop), it’s 99.9% dust free (good for my cats health and my allergies), also it controls odors and it’s budget friendly. So far I have had no issues with this brand but I’m always open to suggestions so, feel free to leave comments below.
TIP 2: the litter box! Through the years, I’ve been obsessed with finding a litter box that’s not only convenient for my cats but also for me. I’ve considered getting one of those self-cleaning litter boxes but, after doing a lot of research, I just think the technology is not there yet. I personally don’t mind cleaning the litter box anyway; what bothers me is the mess around the outside. Thankfully, almost two years ago, I found what’s called a Top Entry Litter Box and it was life changing. I highly recommend it, unless your cat has mobility issues (like arthritis or something like that) since for entry it requires the cat to jump into the top of the litter.
TIP 3: other accessories that you might need are a Litter Genie and a litter mat. The Litter Genie is a little special trash for cat waste – works the same way as a Diaper Genie. I love it because it saves me from daily trips to the trash bins and it’s a lot more hygienic. The litter mat gathers the extra litter that sticks to the cat’s paws preventing it from getting all over the floor.
PLAY TIME AND OTHER NEEDS:
TIP 1: playtime is important! it helps them express their natural hunting instincts, it provides them exercise that can help them maintain a healthy weight, it can prevent behavioral problems and it helps you bond with your cat even more. All cats are different so there’s not really a universal toy that they will all love. In our case, Chiquis loves balls/pompoms and Penélope likes handmade catnip toys. My advice, if you haven’t identified yet what your cat likes, is to get a pack with that comes with variety of toys and let him/her pick.
TIP 2: scratching! It’s a natural behavior for cats. They do it for many reasons: to clean their claws, to stretch their bodies and paws, to mark territory… In any case, always remember that scratching is in their nature. I know it can be frustrating for us sometimes because they tend to scratch things like couches, chairs, carpets, etc. but the solution is simple: just get a scratching post. Cats are wonderful creatures and they are very smart; same as the litter box, they seem to know what a scratcher is for. Once they have it, they won’t stop using it and most likely they will stop scratching other surfaces. And don’t ever consider declawing a cat. It’s cruel, inhuman and it will cause health issues in the long term.
ANOTHER BASIC ITEM THAT THEY MIGHT NEED:
A pet carrier: I highly recommend getting one, even if your cat is 100% indoors and you never take him/her somewhere. I learned this a few years ago the hard way; my cats have always been indoors and I never thought I would need a pet carrier unless I was taking them on a trip. Well, long story short, one time the fire alarm at the apartment building where I used to live went off. The firefighters got there, people were evacuating… it was pure chaos. Of course, I didn’t have a pet carrier to put my cats in! What do you do in that situation? Thankfully it was just false alarm, but the experience taught me about the importance of having a pet carrier. I did a lot of research and found a very good expandable carrier (link here: https://amzn.to/2KozxM8). Now we are ready to face any emergency.
That’s all for this post! I hope the info is helpful and if you guys have any comments, questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them below!