I've been studying Purina ONE's True Nature of Cats movement for a few weeks now and making changes in the way we treat our cats as a result of my learning. While I've had cats as pets ever since I was a little girl, I have just recently begun to really understand all of the things that cats need to be happy and fulfilled.
I was just telling Chris the other day that Tarzan and Gizmo are the most well-adjusted cats we've ever had - and it's all because of the way we have been raising them! They were both spayed and neutered at a very young age (when they were just a few months old), and it seems that most of the negative behavior we had in other cats was prevented by doing this. While working with the Humane Society fostering kittens over the last year, I learned so many things about the proper way to treat our cats that I never knew before!
For instance, we had never had any cat furniture before last year, and just having this scratching post and play space for the kittens has prevented them from scratching up our furniture!
As I am studying the True Nature of Cats feeding material at PurinaONE.com, I am learning more and more about creating a more natural cat environment for my kitties.
For instance, I have always fed my cats in bowls and I just learned that because cat's whiskers are so sensitive, it can actually cause them stress when their whiskers brush against the side of a bowl! I used to joke around that Stripes and our other cats would meow at us when their food bowl started to run low, and I thought it was because they liked a full bowl.
Now I realize that they were probably meowing at us because they didn't want to lower their face down into the bowl because it bothered their whiskers!
Purina ONE provides these helpful tips for choosing a dish that works with your cats whiskers:
- Use a shallow bowl that a cat can grab food from without impeding her whiskers.
- Choose a dish large enough to hold a day's worth of food, with a lip just tall enough to keep the food contained while letting her easily observe the room.
- If you constantly find yourself cleaning up after your cat, consider a wide plate large enough to catch stray kibble or canned food.
We've been playing with our cats so much more and they all seem much calmer and just happier and more snuggly! Even Stripes has begun to get in on the play, though he isn't as interested as the kittens. Purina ONE sent me a Da Bird fishing pole-style cat toy and we're already on our fourth set of feathers - the cats love this toy so much that they get obsessed with the feathers and hunt down the toy to chew on them!
One of the challenges presented to me as part of the Purina ONE True Nature of Cats program was to try to walk my cats on a leash...as most cat owners probably deal with, our cats always seem to want to go outside.
Truth be told, Gizmo and Tarzan are the first cats that we've successfully kept indoors - though when they were younger, they rushed the back door every time I let the dogs in or out! We've tried really hard to keep Stripes indoors lately, and he's getting better at it. I think that the play and cat perches we've invested in help in this, as he's able to exert more energy than he was in the past.
Yet Tarzan still has times when he gazes longingly into the backyard...
I tried to walk him on the leash.
I really did, but he would have nothing to do with it!
As soon I get the leash on him, he immediately goes limp and lays down!
I couldn't even get the harness onto Gizmo, she fought me tooth and claw!
Stripes was easier to get the leash on, but he still had no interest in walking around the yard.
Hey, I tried...
If you are a cat lover, I strongly suggest that you check out the True Nature of Cats section of the Purina ONE website! There is so much information there, and I encourage you to begin with reading Understanding Cat Behavior.
The Purina ONE Cat Journal is a great way to learn tips and techniques from the experts at Purina ONE, and you can join the Purina ONE community, where it's free to join a devoted community of cat owners and chronicle your journey as you discover the true nature of your beloved kitty!
I wrote this post while participating in the True Nature of Cats blogging program with Purina ONE. I received complimentary Purina ONE food and cat toys to help me bring out the true nature of my own cats!