This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.
How to Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors
Every time I mention Luna on this blog you guys ask me to feature more of her pretty whiskers, so today’s post will be dedicated to the little things I do to keep her happy. If you are a cat-mom, then you probably know that even though these fabulous felines are much easier to care for than, say, dogs, it’s also a lot harder to keep them happy.
“You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The phrase above is from a children’s book Le Petit Prince, which is my favorite book of all time. When I read it as a child, it was an adventure story. When I read it as a teenager, I learned about being responsible. And finally, I read it again as an adult to remind myself that everything that depends on me, defines me. I didn’t get Luna because I wanted someone to snuggle with, I got her because I felt like I was ready for the responsibility to care for her for the rest of her life, and for the fun times we can experience together.
How to catch a mouse (according to Luna). Step 1: Stalk.
Step 2: Pounce.
Step 3: Roll.
Step 4: Show off your trophy.
Cats are natural born predators and are meant to be living outdoors, which is why they sometimes feel bored and constrained if they’re always kept inside the house. Truth is, keeping your cat indoors is actually a lot better for her. Indoor-only felines live longer and healthier lives than cats who spend any time outside. That is why it is very important to stimulate their senses, so your kitty can enjoy the fun of hunting and living in the “wild” without feeling like she’s missing out.
If you’ve been wondering how to keep your cat happy indoors, here are a few tips that worked well for Luna.
1 // GAMES. Cats love to play! Chasing little objects thrown down the stairs or a dangling plushy on a string is as fun as it is satisfying. Laser pointers are a popular cat’s toy, but they are actually not that great, since your kitty can’t “catch” it, which leads to frustration. A frustrated cat will often sneeze quietly when things don’t go her way. That’s why it’s important to ensure the toys are engaging and satisfying for the cat – she will love anything she can sink her claws and teeth into once it’s caught. By the way, Luna is obsessed with her collection of felt and straw toys that come in various shapes and sizes.
2 // TREATS. Animals often bond with humans over food, and treats are a great way to win over any kitty. Just a few kibbles a day can help strengthen the bond between you two! For Luna, I always choose dry treats that taste great and help support her dental health. Also, I often turn treat-giving into a play time by throwing the treats down the hall and making her chase them like it’s prey. She loves it!
3 // FOOD VARIETY. Cats need to eat a variety of proteins to stay healthy. In the wild they would eat rodents, birds, bugs, lizards, and sometimes fish… Which is why I buy many different kinds of cat food for her to enjoy, and to make sure she doesn’t get bored eating the same thing every day. Last week while shopping for groceries at Walmart I bought some Meow Mix Simple Servings with Real Tuna, Shrimp & Whitefish in Sauce and Simple Servings with Real Chicken and Turkey in Gravy for her to try, and she’s loving both kinds! These new premium single-serving cups with real seafood and poultry are perfectly portioned for maximum convenience. If you don’t like having leftover wet food sitting in the fridge, you should give Meow Mix Simple Servings a try.
4 // CATNIP. Catnip can easily and effectively cheer up your cat if she is feeling a little down. When I know I won’t be able to spend quality time with Luna [usually around the holidays when Mr. Glamorable and I are gone most of the day], I sprinkle ground catnip on her scratcher.
5 // OBSTACLES. Cats love to climb anything and everything, and they generally feel safer in elevated spaces. You could buy a tall cat tree at any pet store, or build your own if you are crafty [there are many tutorials available online]. Either way, your kitty will be impressed! Another great way to make your place more cat-friendly is to install little ledges and mounted shelves on the walls for your kitty to hop on [she will think she’s climbing trees]. Luna and I live in a rented apartment so we can’t drill holes in our walls, but I do leave the tops of our bookshelves empty so she can sit and observe her surroundings from up high. It’s one of her favorite places to nap, too.
Toys and treats will make you a cat’s best friend.
New Meow Mix Simple Servings pre-portioned cat food is made with real seafood and poultry to provide a variety of protein types for a happy kitty.
Om-nom-nom! Mess-free, single serving cups are very convenient.
There are many ways to make your cat happy indoors, but the most important of them are love and respect. Treat your cat as a friend and a companion, and she will do the same in return.
Are you a cat or a dog person? Do you have a pet; why/why not? How do you keep your pets happy indoors? Let me know in the comments below!