If you follow my instagram feed you will know that I share my home with an adorable elderly orange tabby, Samson. I got Samson when he was just a few weeks old, so tiny I carried him around in my housecoat pocket for fear of stepping on him. I love Samson more than I have ever loved another pet. He’s been my constant companion through so many important transitions in my life.
Whether you are a new cat owner or have an elderly cat like I do, it’s time to make the most of your time with your beloved cat this winter. February is a month dedicated to love and what better time for extra TLC for your fur baby than the season of love? Unfortunately for many cats this is the time of year they are returned to shelters. 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.
To 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. Just like humans, cats have different nutritional needs depending on their age and health. 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. You can find specialty cat milk but it’s better to just stick to water.
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 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, 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 this winter and enjoy a lasting companionship!
For more tips and information on taking care of your pets, visit OntarioSPCA.ca.