The Cat Whisperer’s Handbook: A Guide To Cultivating A Happy And Bonded Relationship
Before you get one, owning a cat may seem like a simple feat. However, just like any other pet, you will face particular challenges associated with owning a cat in your home. While cats require less time and energy than dogs, they still need attention and constant activity to maintain their happiness. Cats require close care and time spent training to enjoy a healthy relationship with them. With the right approach, you can train a cat to refrain from annoying behaviors like dropping litter in every corner. The experience may be more overwhelming after adopting the first cat but trust us when we say that it is worth it in the end. The more work you put into caring and training your cat, the more they will give back to you. This article explores forty crucial life hacks that will come to the rescue whether you are a first-time or experienced cat owner.
Give your cat a two-syllable name
Naming requires creativity and uniqueness to come up with an interesting identity for your child, toys, pets, and nicknames for friends. Instead of long names like Princess Rainbow Fluffypants for your cat, you may need a shorter nickname.
Given that most cats respond better to shorter names, one or two syllables may come in handy. Consider names ending with an ‘ee’ sound. For instance, you may shorten Princess Rainbow Fluffypants to ‘Fluffy’ for better and faster responses.
Invest in a scratching post
Cats are notorious for digging their paws into your furniture and other valuables they may find lying in the house. You can avoid the loss and damage to your property by acquiring a scratching post to keep your cats distracted most of the time.
You can use a solid scratching post with a shape that you prefer. Whenever your cat needs some scratching time to keep the nails shorter, they will retreat to their personal post. Consider scratching posts that you can position in almost every room to keep the cat’s claws at bay.
Reduce litter box odor using green tea or baking soda
Disciplining your cat entails toilet training to ensure it doesn’t drop feces or urinate on your furniture, bed, or clothes. Delays in emptying the litter box may translate into your furry friend doing their business in unwanted places, especially if you have more than one cat.
If your cats are dropping litter and it’s stinking up the room, consider green tea as a viable remedy. You may add tiny bits of dried green tea leaves or baking soda to the bottom of your litter pan to remedy the notorious smell and make your house less stinky.
After playing with a laser pointer, give your cat a treat
The cat needs some reward to keep any game livelier and more fun when playing. The laser pointer is a popular toy that you may use to pass the time and interact more with your cat. As natural hunters, cats may be frustrated and full of pent-up energy if they miss catching prey.
Before stashing away the laser pointer, give your cat a reward for their efforts running and jumping for you. Give the cat a treat of choice or one they prefer to compensate for the energy and hunter spirit. Reinforcement of behavior makes future games more fun.
Give your cat some climbing space
Some cats are more territorial than others. In due time, you may note that cats prefer higher ground. If you have a smaller home, you can creatively use the little space to give your cats more room to maneuver without knocking off various items in your house.
Higher ground is also essential for keeping your indoor cats more active during the day or night. You can put up towers or shelves creatively around the house allowing the cats to climb, walk, and run to dispense the extra energy they need to burn.
Put a box on your desk for the cat
When working from home, you are prone to constant distractions from the cat as they may tend to sit on your keyboard or in front of the monitor. If the cat keeps getting in your way, a box on your desk may be a worthy distraction for the cat.
If your desk is spacious, introduce a large box that can hold your cat as you complete your tasks free of distractions. Most cats love sitting in open boxes than jumping on keyboards. This simple trick ensures that you complete the assignment free of external distractions.
The best toys are simple household items
Playful cats are most likely to use various toys as a distraction and viable means for using their excess energy. Instead of expensive toys, you can use specific household items for your cats. Besides their love for boxes, cats are more fond of simple objects rather than fancy ones.
Instead of buying more cat toys, use readily available items to distract your cat. The cat may find simple pieces like crumpled receipts, toilet paper rolls, socks, straws, and worn-out kids’ toys more useful and a source of great fun.
Trim your cat’s claws or get claw covers
As natural hunters, you may argue that your cat’s claws should be left intact. However, you can reduce the amount of damage to your furniture and skin by regularly acting for your cat’s claws. You should learn to trim cat claws or seek professional cat grooming.
In areas that don’t favor cutting cat claws, you should lend a hand in cleaning them more regularly. You may also use claw covers available in different colors to keep the claws covered. A groomer or vet can help you put on the claw covers and teach you how to cut the claws to a favorable size.
Touch their paws
While cats love to hang out around people, they may show antisocial tendencies. When trimming claws or putting on claw covers, you may have a hard time as they tend to retract the paws. Spend more time with the cat to get them comfortable and willing to play along.
You can touch and play with paws as your cat gets more accustomed to the entire procedure. Once the cat relaxes, you may find yourself cuddling it more as it allows you to carry out the exercise of trimming the paws with minimal resistance.
Put food on a plate for cats that eat too fast
Same as humans, cats eat at different speeds. If your cats eat too fast, they are likely to throw up after each meal. A viable remedy includes changing the feeding arrangement. Consider a shallow plate to control their eating speed and reduce ‘whisker stress.’
Finishing food on a shallow plate takes more time than a deeper dish that ultimately prompts your cat to eat slower. A shallow plate also reduces the frequency of whisker stress occurring when the whiskers rub against the sides of a food bowl during mealtime.
Give your cat running water
Water is an essential commodity for every animal. While ensuring that you drink at least eight glasses of clean water per day, your cat should also have an endless water supply. Most cats detest stagnant water as they may have difficulty locating the water source.
Instead of stagnant water, you may introduce running water to keep your cat distracted and entertained as they drink or walk around the fountain. Your cat will be more alert and motivated to find running water as the pet water fountain keeps the water running even in your absence.
Feed your cat away from the water
When eating, you should have water readily available and easily accessible before, during, and after the meal. For the cats, you need to separate food from the water source. If the food bowl is close to the water, your cat will eat less or try dragging the food away.
Another repercussion is that your cat is likely to drink less water. Members of the cat family don’t prefer eating near water owing to the fear that it may pollute the water. Designate specific places in the home for the food bowl and water bowl or avail water long after eating.
Try to vary feeding times
In due time, your cat grows accustomed to a specific feeding routine. If living alone, you may prefer feeding the cat in the mornings or evenings after you leave work. After a short while, the cat learns to expect food at specific times every day.
If you prefer feeding the cat very early after waking up, the cat will soon develop a healthy habit of waking you up for its meal. Your cats will learn to wait for food at the designated time instead of hassling you around before the feeding time while reducing the chances of overeating.
Feed your cat more wet foods
Besides the running water, your cat should eat more wet foods to maintain hydration. If your cat eats more dry foods, they are more vulnerable to complications, dehydration, and diabetes. Dry foods may also contain more carbohydrates that aren’t recommended as healthy foods for cats.
You should toggle between wet and dry foods for the best outcome while ensuring that wet foods are more of a treat. Consider dry foods with lesser carbohydrates and a grain-free diet. Develop the habit of checking the nutritional composition of each meal before feeding it to your cat.
Store dry food in a cereal container or plastic jug
To keep the food healthy and dry, you can use cereal containers and plastic jars for additional protection. Exposing dry food improves the chances of going stale by increasing its exposure to adulterants. It may affect your cat’s health and digestion in the long run.
Another advantage of storing food in containers is that pouring the food into a food bowl becomes simpler. Develop the habit of reusing and recycling empty containers to keep dry food safe and free from going stale before the expiration date.
Use vinegar and baking soda to clean up accidents
The playful nature of cats and kittens makes them more likely to cause accidents in various rooms as they knock off products that aren’t stored properly. You will need to clean up once in a while or keep items away from the cat’s reach.
Instead of expensive cleaning products laden with harsh chemicals, consider a natural homemade solution to clean up accidents. Blend white vinegar and water to spray the area of interest for a few minutes to eliminate bacteria. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before vacuuming to reduce unpleasant odors.
Grow your own catnip
Catnip is loved among most cats as it gives a unique feeling that keeps your cat happier even in the absence of company. If you have catnip-loving cats, you may reduce regular expenses by growing catnip indoors or in the garden.
The minty plant acts as a stimulator when they smell it and a sedative when consumed. After consuming catnip, your cats will likely roll around and get hyper as they play around. Regulate catnip consumption to reduce complications like diarrhea and vomiting.
Place aluminum foil or masking tape on a surface to keep your cat off
Stubborn cats are more likely to explore various surfaces and parts of your house like the kitchen table, baby’s crib, and bed. The habit may become more annoying, especially if the cat leaves traces of cat hair and dirt on previously clean surfaces.
To reduce the habit, you can cover surfaces using aluminum foil. Cats tend to refrain from surfaces with aluminum foil because of its sound and its slippery nature. You can also put masking tape with the sticky side facing up, and the cats will learn to avoid such surfaces.
Remove cat hair with duct tape
Duct tape is an essential item with a number of uses in the house and office. Apart from tying down adversaries in movies, one can use the tape for the effective removal of cat hair stuck on various surfaces. Cats are notorious for leaving traces of hair on your couch, pillow, and sheets.
To reduce the amount of hair on various surfaces, consider grooming the cat regularly. If you come across cat hair on furniture and other areas, place the duct tape over the area of interest. The excess hair also peels off more easily when you remove the duct tape.
Play with your cat right before bedtime
Stubborn cats are likely to keep you up at night. Besides bonding further with your cat, playing with them helps you reduce stress after a tiresome day at work. You can choose various games to make the night livelier and keep your cat happier.
Choose various games that will keep you both involved and active before retiring to bed. For playful cats, choose games that will wear them out to the point of panting. Spend at least ten minutes each night before bed to build stronger bonds and use up their excess energy.
Train your cat with treats
Reinforcement is an ideal strategy for teaching good behavior or discouraging negative behavior for humans and animals. With the right approach, you will rectify the common notion that your cats cannot be trained like dogs. Your training should include rewards and treats.
One of the simplest tricks you can teach your cat is how to do a high five. For this, you will need a clicker that you click every time the cat’s paws touch your fist. Each click should be accompanied by a treat. After several attempts, the cat learns to high-five you after specific commands like holding out your hand.
Prevent shedding with frequent brushing
The rate and frequency of shedding may vary from cat to cat. If your cat sheds, you will come across a lot of hair on the furniture, clothes, bed, and other parts your cat frequents. Besides regular cleaning, you should consider viable strategies to reduce the amount of shedding.
Consider brushing your cat’s fur based on the rate of shedding. Brushing daily will ensure that your cat leaves fewer traces of hair on your clothes, bed, and carpet. Besides pet grooming tools, you may seek professional grooming to easily get rid of cat hair.
Buy an air filter
On the bright side, a cat gives you company while also bringing in vermin that can make your house inhabitable. Unfortunately, your house is more vulnerable to allergens, dander, and unpleasant odors. You may use an air filter to keep your house fresh and free of smells.
Leave the air filter running to purify the environment by eradicating airborne dust and dander for a better scent. Your air filter reduces residues that improve your vulnerability to allergens making your indoor air less breathable overtime.
Have a litter box per cat, plus one
Besides a water bowl and food bowl, your cat should have an accessible litter box. Each cat should have a designated litter box and an extra one to clear the confusion. While cats may share litter boxes, one may choose the wrong spot for short or long calls if they are all occupied.
Extra litter boxes ensure that each cat leaves the litter at designated points. It also reduces the chances of leaving your house dirty when the litter boxes are full. Including extra litter boxes also reduces the chances of accidents if some boxes are unreachable.
Leave your cat carrier out
While road trips are fun, your cat may feel otherwise before getting used to their carrier. You may need extra training to ensure that your cat feels more comfortable when you visit the vet or embark on a family trip with your furry counterpart.
Going forth, you can break the negative association of a carrier and a visit to the vet by allowing your cat to get more comfortable in the carrier. You can leave the carrier open in accessible places in your home that your cat can sniff out or even get in.
Get clumping litter
Cleaning out the litter box can be painstakingly demanding on your first or subsequent attempts. Besides cleaning the litter daily, you should use specialized equipment to remove every trace of the litter that could make your house smelly.
For the best experience, you will need a litter that clumps up to make cleaning easier. It makes your work less stressful by highlighting specific parts that you need to scoop. It also shows whether you have cleared all or most debris out.
Take your time introducing other pets
Most pets are territorial, making it necessary to introduce the cat to other pets. When bringing other pets into your home or a new cat, some introduction may help reduce the tension. The cats may need some time to get used to other pets and the new environment.
To help the cats get more familiar, take baby steps beginning with keeping the new cat or pet in smaller spaces like the bathroom or bedroom for a few days. You may also introduce them by letting them smell each other, allowing them to eat across doors, and designating short playtimes.
Use a pheromone diffuser
Once in a while, your cat is prone to stress, during which it releases pheromones. If you adopt a new cat, change environments, or get a new cat, stress levels may reach levels through the roof. Some remedies will help keep your cat’s stress levels at bay.
You can use a pheromone diffuser to help your cat adjust and get used to the new surroundings. A pheromone diffuser emits a fragrance-free vapor imitating the feline facial pheromones that help your cat calm down. Reducing stress levels ensure that your cat is safe and happy.
Buy pet insurance
Insurance ensures that you are safe from unprecedented accidents. Besides your health insurance and insuring your car and property, pet insurance may also come in handy in reducing stress levels. In the absence of pet insurance, treatment costs may overwhelm you.
To keep your cat protected, you may need to pay monthly premiums for comprehensive cover. Consider various companies and insurance plans to find the most favorable offers. Some institutions offer pet insurance as part of employee benefits
Two is better than one
From a glance, cats may pass for solitary animals. After spending more time with cats, you will realize that they tend to crave companionship. To avoid cat stress resulting from loneliness, you should consider getting two cats or more to ensure they have company when you’re away.
Besides the company and freedom for loneliness, your cat is less likely to exhibit destructive tendencies. If you have a matured cat, it’s best to adopt a kitten or go for littermates when choosing cats to add to your household for company.
Old hairbrush? Zip tie it to the leg of a chair for your cat to rub on!
If you have an old hairbrush, getting rid of more hair from your cat’s body may prove futile. You will need a creative approach to reduce the frequency of shedding for your cat and other pets. You can zip-tie the old brush to the leg of a chair for your cat to rub itself on.
When it comes to giving the paw, most folks believe that dogs are fast learners and better equipped to give paws as they are trained. Training your cat to do this strengthens your bond with them while improving their ability to learn new things.
Teach your cat to give their paw
When it comes to giving the paw, most folks believe that dogs are fast learners and better equipped to give paws as they are trained. Training your cat makes the time spend more time together while improving your short- and long-term relationship with the cat.
Your training will include some treats that your cat will fall in love with. It’s best to let your cat smell the treats in your hands and open the hand without any reward. Reinforce the process to help your cat respond better to commands for the paw by giving treats each time they respond.
Make a cat toy from an empty toilet roll
After your tissue runs out, you may be tempted to discard the empty toilet roll. Fortunately, you can reuse the empty toilet roll to make a cat toy. You can stuff an empty roll with treats before folding the cardboard inwards on both edges.
The end product is an affordable and cheerful cat toy that may keep your cat engaged throughout the day and night. If you have inquisitive cats, collect several toilet rolls to create a fascinating collection of cat toys that you can place in an empty shoebox.
Keep baby wipes on hand when cleaning up cat vomit
Your cat may throw up when sick or when in good shape. In most cases, a cat is likely to vomit after overfeeding or eating too fast. A change in diet may also promote the chances of your cat throwing up. If your cat vomits excessively, you should contact the vet for immediate assistance.
When cleaning cat vomit, you can use baby wipes to effectively remove all debris. Baby wipes are also effective for cleaning hands and surfaces. Avoid overfeeding the cat and use alternative plates to help your cat eat slower to ensure that they don’t get sick.
Use rubber Glove as Pet Hair Remover
Pets like cats and dogs are likely to leave traces of stubborn hair on your furniture and other parts of the house. You will need to undertake a regular cleaning schedule for various surfaces to ensure that your house is free of pet hair. You can use chemical materials or chemical-free hacks like rubber gloves.
A rubber glove can work miracles when removing pet hair from your sofa, bed, and carpet. You can wear a rubber cleaning glove and use your hand to clean your furnishings. You can also dampen the rubber glove and rub it over the surfaces with pet hair. Some gloves come with built-in scouring pads and scrubbers for easier pet hair removal.
Make DIY T-Shirt Cat Toys
To keep your cat occupied and busy, you need various toys for various games. Instead of expensive cat toys, you can employ DIY skills to prepare toys using readily available items. For instance, you can use worn-out t-shirts to make beautiful toys.
The colors will draw your cat to play with them all the time. Cut the t-shirts and tie the pieces together in simple knots to keep your cat occupied. Brighter colors like orange, yellow, and white may come in handy for the best experience. If you lack worn-out t-shirts, collect some from your friends or relatives.
Make a DIY cat ladder fort
A cat ladder gives your cat adequate space to rest higher while giving it space to climb up and down as an entertaining game. Instead of buying a ladder at the store, you can use readily available items to prepare a DIY cat ladder fort for a better experience.
You will need a hammer, nails, sisal rope, wooden step ladder, small cat bed, cat ‘wand’ toy, area mat, and non-toxic wood glue. Wrap the sisal rope around the ladder’s legs, cut the mat into squares, attach the cat bed to the top step, cut the feather part of your cat’s wand toy and glue it to the top step using wood glue.
DIY Hanging Window Basket Cat Perch
Cats are quite curious and tend to look outside the window more frequently to catch a glimpse of the outside world. Instead of leaving your cat bored during the day, you can create a window basket cat perch that offers a clear view of cars, people, and other pets outside.
You can customize the cat perch based on your interior décor and the color of the cat. Mount brackets beneath the window trim and screw pieces of plywood to the brackets to hold the basket atop the plywood. You can use ropes for additional support to hold the weight of one or more cats. Add a cozy fur blanket to the basket to make it more comfortable for your cat.
Grow Cat Grass Without Dirt
Indoor and outdoor cats are instinctively drawn to grass. Besides a healthy diet, you may need cat grass to make your cat healthier. Fortunately, you may grow cat grass without using dirt. Cat grass is grown from barley, rye, wheat, and oat seeds that can thrive indoors.
Cat grass can easily grow indoors with minimal light and less dirt. You will need grow stones, water (preferably filtered), organic wheatgrass seeds, coffee filter/unbleached paper towels, and a low-wide glass jar. The seeds sprout in seven to ten days, after which your cat may begin enjoying the delicacy.
Build a Catio for Your Cats
You can use the patio to cool down and catch a glimpse of your surroundings, especially in the summer. You can build a customized catio for your cats to grant them a unique space for cooling down and interacting with nature, even if they are indoor geeks.
You can attach the catio to your house and make it livelier by installing clear windows that allow your furry friends to watch birds and other pets in the proximity. Or, use metal screening to cover the catio frame so the cats can’t tear through. Make the space more fun for your cats by including various chairs and cushions.