Owning a cat can be relatively low-maintenance compared to looking after their canine counterparts. Those little purring machines make great companions for people who prefer subtle affection and a quiet household.
However, cats can sometimes misbehave if they’re stressed or if you don’t provide them the essentials they need. If you own one cat or more, these are 8 Essential Items Cat Owners Should Have.
8 Essential Items Cat Owners Should Have
Scratching posts or Cat Trees
If you don’t already have at least a couple of scratching posts around, then your furniture is likely completely destroyed. The thing is, clawing, to cats, is not something they do when they misbehave, and you should never raise your voice at a cat kneading on your furniture.
Cats need to file their claws, or else it can be very uncomfortable, and in some cases, painful for them to go on about their days when their claws are long enough to carve into their paws.
Scratching posts will keep your cat’s claws away from your furniture, and will also keep those claws filed. Some products also come in the shape of self-adhesive pads, which you can stick to the parts of your furniture that your cat is used to kneading on.
Treat dispensing toys
While it’s nice to keep treats handy whenever your cat displays good behavior, it’s also an easy way to get your chubby fur baby to exercise. Dispensing toys are hollowed balls that can be filled with the treats of your choice.
The more your cat tosses the toy around, the more treats escape the holes in the toy. This will have your cat chasing the ball for hours on end, which can help heavier cats lose weight.
For your dispensing toy, make sure you check the label on your treats, making sure you don’t feel your cat more than the daily recommended amount.
Self-cleaning litter box
If you ask any cat owner what the hardest part of owning a feline companion is, they’ll likely tell you it’s cleaning the litter box. If you don’t clean out your cat’s litter on a regular basis, this can be a cause of a foul smell in your home. It’s also dangerous to both your cat and your household members to inhale the fumes that emanate from dirty cat litter.
An easy way to make sure your pet’s little private toilet is always clean is to purchase a self-cleaning litter box, which takes the hassle off your hands by cleaning the box automatically.
Many of these automatic options also run better on less litter, so you’ll be saving money in the long run. Besides, they can work for multiple cats and are usually suitable for different sizes.
The second worse thing about owning a cat is having to choose from hundreds of cat litter brands, and still ending up looking for a miracle brand that doesn’t make your bathroom smell like cat urine all the time.
Wood pellets are a very affordable option. Each package could last you as long as three months, depending on how many cats you have and the capacity of your litter box. You should never fill your box to the brim, and a little goes a little way.
When those pellets are wet, they turn into a powdered form and completely absorb the liquid. They’ll only start to smell if you don’t scoop out the litter for several days in a row.
When kittens are young, fabric carriers work great. But as your feline friend grows older and fussier, they’ll only claw at the fabric and will likely learn how to open the zipper on their own.
Some owners also believe they can just place their cats in the back seat, and while some felines are quite calm and well-behaved in vehicles, you can never predict their reactions under stress. A moving vehicle is often quite stressful for cats, especially because they likely know they’re heading to the vet.
Carriers also work like a baby car seat; they make their trips safer.
Ever wonder why your cat always prefers to drink from the toilet bowl or a dripping faucet? Most cats are finicky by nature, and they naturally opt for the freshest sources of water they can find. While your toilet probably isn’t really the best source, the flowing of water gives them the impression that the water they’re drinking is fresh from the stream.
Water dispensers come in shapes and sizes; some of them are even shaped like mini toilets to trick your cat into thinking it’s a similar source. These dispensers are also great ways to ensure that your cat gets its daily recommended intake of water.
While dry food can be nutritious enough to your pet, it can also be quite dehydrating if they don’t consume enough water. Dehydration can cause serious complications like bladder stones, which can be extremely painful as well as life-threatening to your feline companion.
To prevent medical complications as such, make sure you introduce natural, fleshy food into their diet once every couple of days. Fresh boiled chicken or meat cubes in gravy can be easy to digest and will keep your cat hydrated.
If you don’t have the time to cook for your cat, you might want to keep some wet-food packets around.
Collar with tags
It’s not unlike cats to dart through an open door. It’s not because they hate you or want to run away; cats are naturally curious and adventurous. They go outside to explore, thinking they’ll be able to find their way back, but a lot of them fail to follow the scent that leads to their home.
Make sure your cat’s collar has a slide-on tag with your information, so people can contact you when they run into your lost pet.
For extra security, talk to your vet about microchipping your cat. Or opt for a collar with a built-in chip so you can track your cat if you let it wander in the outdoors.
Despite seeming a little aloof, cats are loving companions who express their sentiments differently than other pets. If your cat is acting up, and you have all the essentials that we’ve listed, head to your vet for an immediate check-up.