A Cat’s Wish List
Cat: “I have a problem eating my meals next to my litterbox. It’s gross!”
Note: No one wants to have dinner in the bathroom. Food bowls & water should be in a separate room from the litter box
Cat: “Wider dishes so that my sensitive whiskers don’t touch the edges would be awesome”
Note: the whiskers serve several functions and are highly sensitive. Thicker than the cat’s normal hair, the whiskers are really touch receptors that are rooted more deeply than normal hairs and are rich in nerve endings. The food dishes should be saucers or wide dishes. This will allow the cat’s whiskers to “be free” and not bump into the sides of the bowls.
Cat: “Give me only what I normally eat that day. I hate stale dry food”
Note: Only give the amount of dry kibble that your cat(s) will/should eat that day. Any leftovers should get thrown away and replaced with fresh kibble daily. If you simply top the dry food off the kibble on the bottom will go stale.
Cat: “Please replace my water daily. Would you like to drink an old, stagnant glass of water?”
Note: A domestic cat’s sense of smell is about fourteen times as strong as a human’s. Cats have twice as many receptors in the olfactory epithelium (i.e. smell-sensitive cells in their noses) as people do, meaning that cats have a more acute sense of smell than humans.
Cat: “Cats are picky about cleanliness and I’m no exception. I like my litter box cleaned at least once daily. My nose is very sensitive, as you now know. I would prefer if the litter was 2-3” deep as well so I can a little. And since I have a brother, we need our own litter boxes.
Note: Provide a box that is at least as long as the cat’s body and wide enough so that he or she can turn around easily. They must be cleaned DAILY. Check to see if the sides of the box are too high. This is particularly important for kittens and older cats that may have arthritis. Pour the litter approximately two to three inches deep for adults and one half to one inch deep for kittens. (Cats don’t like litter that’s too deep—a good sign that you’ve got the depth or texture right is if your cat scratches around in the litter.) Use an unscented, clumping litter that is fine-grained. Find a litter the cat likes, and then don’t switch brands (cats don’t like change). Liners are useless. You cannot scoop out of a liner. The automatic litter boxes are very difficult to keep clean. A nice deep Rubber Maid container is good. It helps keep the litter in the box. For a multi cat household the rule of thumb is to have one litter box per cat up to five cats.
Cat: “I’m losing my hourglass figure. Won’t you play with me?”
Note: Even if you don’t think that your cat seems bored, there are a number of good reasons to provide enrichment opportunities for your feline friend. Play is very important to cats – from kittenhood right through to old age. In fact, playing with your cat is one of the most enjoyable things about owning one. It also offers great health benefits, encouraging your cat to be active, keep supple and maintain a sleek body condition. More importantly, play can help to encourage cats to express their natural hunting instincts. Cats who lack enrichment can be aggressive in play, both with people and with other animals in the household. Young cats without planned enrichment opportunities often pester their pet parents for play at inappropriate hours of the day and night. They may also interact destructively with furniture, plants or other objects in the house. Cats lacking enrichment can become reclusive and are more likely to retreat from new people or objects that enter their homes than cats who are frequently exposed to a variety new sights and sounds.