Here at Lenox Hill Veterinarians it is our mission to keep our New York City cats happy all year round. The CATalyst Council recognizes September as Happy Cat Month! This is a special time for all cat owners to spoil their feline family members! We encourage all of our LHV family to post pictures of their happy cats on our facebook page!
CATalyst Council presents the top 10 ways cat owners can keep their pets happy:
1. Visit a veterinarian. Healthy cats are happy cats. While some owners may dread a trip to the veterinarian with their cat, there are many cat-friendly veterinary practices or doctors who specialize in felines and will gladly show owners how pleasant a trip to the veterinarian can be.
2. Get your cat acclimated to the carrier. Many cat owners find that the most difficult part about taking their cat anywhere is getting it into the carrier. Our Cats and Carriers video is a great resource for tips on how to get cats to love their carriers.
3. Provide preventive medications. No one likes fleas, ticks, mites or heartworms, especially your cat. Even if your cat is kept strictly indoors, they are still susceptible. Talk with your veterinarian about the best preventive plan for your cat. A parasite-free cat is a happy cat—and preventive care will keep your family healthier, too.
4. Ensure your cat is properly identified. In addition to a collar and identification tag, owners should microchip their feline friend. If a cat ever escapes or gets lost, having this type of permanent ID will make a reunion between you and your pet much more likely.
5. Provide enrichment. One of the easiest ways to make a cat happy is with a new toy or a new way to explore their environment. Every cat has a preference as to what they like best, and experimenting will be fun for both you and your cat.
6. Train and educate. Cats are smart and can be trained to do tasks — the mental and physical stimulation is great for them. Teaching your cat to sit, for example, is easy, and training your cat to sit on chairs instead of counters will make you both much happier. An added bonus is that training will strengthen the bond between you and your feline friend.
7. Find fun ways to work for food. Feline obesity is an ever increasing issue and one way to combat it is to make cats work for their food. Owners can purchase food toys that release kibble in small amounts or hide a cat’s food in different places so that they have to find it. Working for food is great physical and mental exercise.
8. Explore the outdoors (appropriately). Yes! There are ways owners can safely take their cats outside and allow them to broaden their horizons. Cats can be walked on a leash with a harness or confined in a special outdoor area — always under supervision, of course — so they can periodically and safely experience the world outside their window.
9. Ensure there are scratching areas in your space. Cats should have places they are allowed to stretch and care for their claws. Scratching is an important aspect of feline behavior. Providing a long and sturdy scratching post in a vertical, horizontal or angled position is a good way to keep your cat happy … and your sofa, too!
10. Think about getting another cat. Cats are social animals, so you might want to consider visiting the shelter and adopting a another cat. They love to play, and a playmate will make them happy—provided they are properly introduced and have the right places to eat, hide, play and go the bathroom. Visit your community animal shelter and see what feline friends they have to offer.
During Happy Cat Month, CATalyst Council is encouraging people without a cat to consider adopting from their local shelter. Many wonderful cats are in shelters all over the country waiting for someone to give them a forever home.