I’m going to be honest with you – I never thought I would be a cat owner again. It’s not because I don’t love cats, or pets in general, because I really do. But when our beloved family cat passed away several years ago at the remarkable age of 21, I just thought that would be it. My daughter has asthma and allergies and for a period of time I was pretty sure she was actually allergic to cats. But as she got a little older it became more and more evident that she wasn’t allergic to felines after all. And then the perfect storm happened. On one end I have my four year old begging me to get a kitten, specifically a black girl like our late pet and on the other end I have my cousin the cat rescuer sending me pictures of an adorable little black, female kitten that needs a home. But of course, who comes home with just one kitten? Not us that’s for sure. Before knew it we were on our way home with a little black girl and a ridiculously adorable little orange boy. And just like that I was once again a cat owner.
Make the most of your time with your beloved cat this winter, whether they’re a long-standing family member or recently adopted like our additions, your cat may need the extra love and care – and what better time to cuddle with your cats than in these long, cold winter months. Sadly, according to the Ontario SPCA, nearly one-fifth of cats were returned to shelters in Ontario in 2013, post-holiday. The top three reasons included cats conflicting with other pets in the home, allergic reactions, or facing behavioural problems, including litter box issues.
The decision to add a cat to your family is a big one and I know it’s one that we didn’t take lightly. We have a busy family but it’s important to take time for our cats. Not only is it essential for them but spending time with pets is also good for us too! Ensure you spend quality time with your cat to make them feel at ease and part of the family, consider the following:
Treat their tummies:
Make sure your cats maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This may require consulting your veterinarian (and since you are taking them in for their vaccinations anyways it’s a great time to ask). Just like humans, cats have different nutritional needs depending on their age and health (our elderly cat flourished on a diet specifically designed for older cats). Otherwise, stick to quality food and fresh, clean water. Despite popular belief, milk shouldn’t be their main source of hydration and may actually cause stomach discomfort.
Set the stage:
Just like we want to curl up during the cold winter, so do our cats! That’s why it’s important to make sure your cats are comfortable. Cats are naturally very clean (you know when they’re not shredding paper) so an untidy litter box won’t do. Try Arm & Hammer™ Clump & Seal™ Complete Odour Sealing Cat Litter, the only litter that forms a tight seal around their mess and destroys it with unique odour eliminators and Arm & Hammer™ Baking Soda.
Also, be sure to place litter boxes far from food areas and use the North and South, East and West rule. Putting food and litter at opposite ends of your home encourages proper practices.
Toy with trinkets:
Cats are incredibly curious about their surroundings. They’ll pounce on anything that moves, rolls or sways. Pair a scratching post with a ball of string, a feather teaser stick, or even a stuffed mouse – any of these will do the trick! Just be sure the items you bring are safe for your cat and cannot be swallowed or easily torn apart.
Cozy up with your furry little feline(s) this winter and enjoy a lasting companionship!
For more tips and information on taking care of your pets, visit OntarioSPCA.ca.
Disclaimer: This post is part of the C&D Ambassador Program and I have received special perks to participate.