Credit: Anna Dudkova (Unsplash)
Sharing our home with our special family members is a wonderful experience; they offer companionship, a meow at the door when you turn the key and endless supply of affection.
However, being a pet owner isn’t always has easy at it seems and sometimes our friends can raise some challenges along the way in the form of bad behaviour, fussy feeding, home wrecking and many more – after all, our furry friends have adapted to living their life with us and in our homes.
GET TO KNOW YOUR LOCAL PET SPECIALIST
At Canagan, the home to experts in grain-free pet foods. We have over 40 years’ experience of working within the pet trade, some of us have even worked in pet shops along the way before hanging up our collar and leads at the Canagan headquarters.
Pet shops not only offer you a unique and individual experience when you visit with your companion, but you’re often met with passionate and educated team members who can offer guidance on their products and really help you and your pet get to the root of any issues you may have. Don’t worry, if you’re looking for a quick answer now, we’ve already made a start for you.
KEEP YOUR CAT HAPPY IN THE KITTY-ROOM
Though our feline friends may have the advantage to canines when it comes to convenience and needing the loo, our cats are particular about it – and who can blame them! When considering our cat’s littler tray there are a few key areas to contemplate.
- Placement — It’s important to make sure that the litter box isn’t positioned in a busy walkway or popular area; that being said, too much privacy can make your cat unhappy too as being in an enclosed space makes our friends feel susceptible to ambush. If you have chosen to put the tray into a cupboard space and your cat seems happy with the idea, be aware of air flow and make sure that the tray is cleaned up often. If you have more than one cat it is advised that you provide them with their very own tray.
- Litter Choice — Any human who has the privilege to own a cat knows that this can be tricky business. We’ve found that in our years of owning cats and advising pet owners, finding the right kitty litter can help when it comes to smell, convenience and even cost. We recommend trying a clumping litter to save money and reduce odours and one that you can dispose of easily. Did you know that you can now even buy flushable litters? Speak to your local pet specialist today and find out how they can help.
- Don’t poop where you eat! — Just like us, cats aren’t going to be too keen on using the litter tray close to their food and water bowl. This could deter them from having a good experience when using the littler tray and or put them off their feeding and drinking habits. Best to be safe and keep them apart!
CATS DON’T LIKE CHANGE!
You may find yourself spending hours catering to your feline’s requirements, only to find that they’re still not happy. Studies show that cats don’t like change and they can exhibit strange behaviour to let you know that they’re stressed. This can manifest in refusing to eat, not using their litter tray or even playing sick, and that’s just to name a few. So, if your cat is acting differently, try to think of any changes you may have made – no matter how big, or small. For a cat, it could mean a change to their entire world, but there are a few things you can do at home to help.
- Consider a Pheromone Diffuser — If you’re dealing with a stressed cat, we recommend popping to your local pet specialist and talking about the possibility of adding a Pheromone Diffuser to the home. These will naturally work to help your pets in distressing times and create a more relaxed environment – purrfect for a stressful event that could be on the horizon. For example, fireworks.
- Provide a scratching post — Scratching is important to our feline’s psychological and physical health; frustration may appear in your cat if they do not have the ability to perform this natural behaviour.
- Climbing space — Scratching posts come in all shapes and sizes, and some are big enough for our companions to climb and hide in; providing our felines with a safe and stimulating perching ledge to watch the world go by. Some owners go one step further and build in lots of leaping spots for their cats – if you have the ability to provide this, your cat will be sure to show their appreciation and may even stop knocking off those ornaments (no promises)!
- Don’t pack away the cat carrier — We know how hard it can be to get your cat into a cat carrier and off out of the house, into the car and on a journey. Consider leaving your cat carrier out so your cat can associate it with positive activities like sleeping and leave behind that negative association of something else, like the dread V word… VET!
TOP HACKS IN CAT BEHAVIOUR
Working with our friends in pet shops and from the days of doing it ourselves, we used to hear tales of strange cat behaviour; some funny and some distressing. Signs of a stressed, bored or even sick cat can show in many ways including: over grooming, altered feeding habits, hiding and even spraying indoors – to name a few. There are many ways you can live a happier and healthier existence alongside your cats, for the simple yet highly popular questions we received sometimes the advice was really quite straight forward.
Why does my cat ignore me?
It’s an age-old question and one pet shop owners hear a lot. One way you can start this process off positive is by naming your cat something simple, short and with two syllables to the name. We also hear that ending the name with an ‘ee’ helps too. If you share your home with a ‘Fluffy’ and you’re still not getting a response, a little more training could be what is required.
How do I train my cat?
You may be more used to training the hound of the house, but you can apply rewarding commands to your cats too. Keep it simple, ignore the behaviour that you don’t like and provide a treat for your cat when they do something you do like. This practise is one of the best ways to harmonise your life with your cat, and it’s fun too – start training with your cat today!
My cat has lots of energy
If your cat’s energy levels still remain high, especially at nighttime when you’re winding down or worse, you’re trying to sleep. It could be that your cat spent his entire day napping, awaiting your return and undivided attention. When you’re home try to be ready with your treats or clicker on the side to continue positive training habits, then just before bedtime play a game to use up some energy. If your cat seems to be frustrated, try a reward at the end of play. As hunters, not catching the prey at the end of the game could cause our friends to continue the need to keep playing – so you may need to let them know that they achieved their goal with something delicious. Of course, their food could be the source of hyperactivity, read up on why our diets are a healthy option for your cat.
I’m trying to work, help!
Working from home can be difficult when you have a cat who wants to spend all their time with you, after-all who doesn’t want to be stroked and petted all day? If your cat likes to sit on your desk, try placing a box by your computer. Your cat may just find the curiosity irresistible, especially when their favourite human is sat right beside them – how entertaining!
TOP FIVE TIPS FOR CATS WHEN EATING AND HYDRATING
There are many pros and cons to the varying ways you can water and read up on how to feed your cat, and really it does come down to your cat as an individual – so it’s best to watch and understand their body language whilst sharing your home together. Cats are extra cautious when it comes to eating and drinking and this can have a negative effect on their health, most commonly showing itself in illnesses such as cystitis. When speaking with cat owners and lovers, we find ourselves often covering the same tips and simple solutions in the home.
- Keep things clean — cats don’t enjoy stagnant water and prefer it to be clean and fresh. So, it’s best to wash the water bowl often to help with this and also bacteria build-up too. However, some cats can find your cleaning products offensive – so best to consult with your local pet shop who can help to advise you on their products. Some shops even stock dishes that are made from melamine, which helps to lower the presence of bacteria.
- Try a water fountain — instead of worrying about the above, why not try a water fountain to entice your feline to drink more. This hugely popular choice may take some time to get used to, so introduce it slowly and leave it in your home for a few weeks to let your cat become adjusted (don’t forget to keep it clean).
- Feed wet & dry together — another way to hydrate your cat is to offer a meal of both wet and dry together. When feeding this way, you can simply work with percentages. if you wanted to feed 50/50 you would cut the recommended amount of wet by 50% and the dry by 50% and feed, same goes for 20/80 and so on.
- Soften the kibble with some warm water — this popular option not only helps make the kibble more manageable for tender mouths, but it will also cook the fats and make our diets smell even more delicious – make sure the food has cooled enough before you feed.
- Find the right bowl — sometimes finding a bowl that suits the needs and personal taste to our companions can be hard. Our cats don’t enjoy getting their whiskers dirty and will sometimes avoid a bowl that’s too narrow. Work with your pet and have patience, they’re not sure what it is they need until you find it for them.
Cats bring our homes so much joy and companionship, they’re a welcomed distraction on our down days and a loving, warm and soft friend on the chilly ones. We understand the importance of keeping them in full health, if you notice a continued change in your cat’s behaviour and it’s worrying you or your family, it’s important to seek help from your vet or your local pet specialist. If you would like to learn more about your cat’s behaviour, you can visit our blog.