Although your feline household king or queen likely demands year-round love and attention, February 20 is a marvelous day that highlights the love you hold for your pet. On National Love Your Pet Day, cater to your cat a little bit more to make their day extra special. Whether you give them homemade cat treats, additional play sessions, a new toy, a prized catnip mouse, or simply some cuddle time, shower your feline friend with extra attention so they will know how much you love them. To help you get started, here are five ways to show your cat the love.
#1: Share a slow blink with your cat
While a hard, direct stare in the animal kingdom is typically considered a threat, a soft stare paired with a slow blink means the opposite in the feline world. When your cat is relaxed and comfortable, they may turn a soft stare and almond-shaped eyes your way. Gazing deep into your eyes, your pet may reward you with a slow blink, which is the equivalent of “I love you” in cat speak. Return the sentiment with a slow blink of your own, and your cat will feel especially loved and comforted.
#2: Provide plenty of scratching opportunities for your cat
Scratching is a cat’s natural behavior that is often suppressed, which can lead to a multitude of behavior issues. Let your cat express their inner beast and practice nail care by providing plenty of scratching opportunities and letting them find a favorite spot. Cats generally prefer vertical scratching posts made from sisal material, but you can try other rough scratching materials. You can also add horizontal scratching surfaces for variety. No matter the scratching surface, ensure the post is equal to your cat’s fully stretched length. After all, what good is a full-body stretch if it ends halfway?
#3: Create hiding spots for your cat
As both a predator and prey species, your cat needs hiding spots to survey their territory. Whether they plan to hunt or hide, cats need multiple locations, ideally up high with two escape routes, where they cannot be seen. Make your cat’s hiding spots extra cozy with a fleece blanket, a favorite toy, and a small treat or two, and you may not see your kitty for days. A hiding spot is no good if your cat feels enclosed and trapped, especially if you have intercat tension in your household.
#4: Use interactive toys to play with your cat
Gift your cat with interactive toys that will provide an outlet to stalk, pounce, and “kill” their prey. Robotic mice, feather wands, and fishing pole toys are great choices for your cat to practice their natural predator instincts. With such environmental enrichment, your cat gets not only physical exercise, but also mental stimulation, which is critical for their overall well-being.
#5: Give your cat’s whiskers a break
While you may enjoy stroking your cat’s silky whiskers, they’d probably prefer that you focus your attention elsewhere, like under the chin. These tactile hairs are highly sensitive and can be overstimulated, causing whisker fatigue, a common condition in cats fed from small bowls, especially connected bowls. When a food or water dish is too small, your cat’s whiskers are constantly brushing against the dish’s sides, leading to fatigue. Avoid this condition by providing wide, shallow dishes for your cat’s food and water. Also, consider placing a cat water fountain and an anti-whisker fatigue bowl at opposite ends of the room to give your cat’s whiskers a break as they eat and drink. Cats prefer not to eat and drink in the same location, so these changes will show your feline friend you really understand them.
National Love Your Pet Day is typically celebrated all year long, but on February 20, make an extra effort to worship your cat. Your feline friend deserves special attention, and what better way to show how much you care than by scheduling a wellness visit. Keep your cat in tip-top shape for a lifetime of love by contacting our Just Cats Clinic team for an appointment.