Duty of cat caregiver: (1) keep them safe and (2) find ways to make them happy

There are many ways to make your cat happy. One of them is shown in the video which I’ve just made. A nothing video. It is not meant to be something great. It is just meant to be an example of how cat caregivers can make their cat happy. In this instance it is grooming the back of the neck with a flea comb. Cats can’t get to that part of their anatomy with their tongue to groom it. So, one way to make them happy is to do things for them that they can’t do but want to do themselves.

As is the case for my cat there may be no fleas there but the flea comb acts like a cat’s tongue. It massages the skin and feels great; as if their mom is allogrooming them (mutual grooming)


That area may itch because fleas tend to congregate around there. They may scratch the area with their hind paws but that is very unsatisfactory. It provides them with temporary relief but nothing else. Do what I do in the video and you get rid of the itch safely and for good if you do this daily and your home is flea-free.

Doing something for them they can’t do

So, this little nothing video shows us how we can make our cats happy by doing something that cats can’t do for themselves. I think that is a key aspect of making them happy. There are many other examples. Let’s think: building a set of stairs to allow an elderly cat with arthritis to climb onto the sofa to join you without feeling pain.

Mental stimulation

What about something bigger: building a catio for a full-time indoor cat so they can smell the outdoors, feel the wind, hear the birds, watch the goings on in the backyard and be happily mentally stimulated.

Or go further and build a full-blown garden enclosure. That’s what you have to do if you are a cat owner in Adelaide, Australia where all cats are banned from going outside.

My cat enjoying his outside cat enclosure
My cat Gabriel in his garden cat enclosure. He is very active. Photo: Me.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Treats

What about a few food treats (but no more) at the same time each day so that your cat ca anticipate the enjoyment about to happen. They can look forward to something. Cats are good at remembering human rhythms and habits.

A problem is that a lot of cat caregivers think that giving their cat a food treat is the only way other than petting them to please them. And petting should be limited as not all cats like it a hell of a lot. Humans sometimes like petting more than their cat. There is definitely a limit from the cat’s perspective to petting.

Disabled?

Using the guideline mentioned above what about adopting a disabled cat? They can’t do a lot of things as well as they would be able to if they were fully abled. Blind cats make great companions as you can keep them inside without feeling any guilt about it (if that’s what bugs you) because they have to be indoors to be safe.

Leash training

And what about leash training a full-time indoor cat? They can’t go outside unsupervised but you can do something for them that they can’t do themselves and take the time to leash train your cat and take them out supervised.

I know leash training looks daunting. It’ll be pretty hard. But I’m going to be provocative here and say that cat owners who keep their cats inside all the time by choice or because they have to under the law (Adelaide) have an obligation to leash train their cat to plug the mental stimulation gap that inevitably follows being confined to the home.

Saving cats

In saving a cat from the street or from a rescue center where they are slated to be euthanised is doing the ultimate thing for them that they can’t do themselves: survive.

Little Roo Rus – disabled cats can be the best cat companions

4 thoughts on “Duty of cat caregiver: (1) keep them safe and (2) find ways to make them happy”

  1. Hi Mike,
    Have you seen this? Maybe you could talk about it and link to the petition and get your readers to sign too. We cat lovers need to make sure this man goes to prison for what he did…Lets do it for Ellie…she deserved to live a happy, loved and safe life. I cried when I read what he did to her, it reminded me of poor little “Puppy Doe”….

    Demand Maximum Sentencing for Man Who Raped & Tortured Cat for Months Before Killing Her

    Reply
    • Tamara, I have checked out that story and I can’t do it. It is too horrible. Absolutely disgusting. I have to protect myself these days from the damage that one incurs from reading about gross animal abuse. And there may be issues for advertisers. I’d have to turn off advertising on the page. Thanks anyway.

      Reply
  2. It is tough to keep cats safe when they are outdoor cats; also, when so many household products and garden plants are highly toxic to pets and wildlife, most without even any warning to this effect ( for example, GERMOLENE ANTISCEPTIC CREAM – see https://Germolene.Org )

    Reply

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