5 Ways to Be a Better Cat Owner

They say dogs have owners, cats have staff. And what better way to serve your favorite feline than to make a commitment to being a better cat owner? Oops, we meant being a better cat servant!

From regularly seeing the veterinarian to enriching your kitty's environment, doing the five simple things in the slideshow below can dramatically improve your cat's everyday life.

Easy Ways to Improve Your Cat's Life

Petting Cat


Succeed at Socialization

When it comes to raising a confident cat, few things are more important than socialization. Taking the time to introduce your feline to friends, family and other pets, plus pairing these interactions with treats and praise, can help her become comfortable around varying types of people and animals. And the term "socialization" includes so much more than your cat's new friends — allowing her to experience things like new smells and the sounds of household appliances will ideally help her be less fearful of unfamiliar situations in the future.

Cat at Vet


Visit the Veterinarian

Speaking of people your cat should meet, here's a very important one: the veterinarian! Sadly, cats see the vet less often than dogs do, even though they need (and deserve) those checkups just as much as canines do. Take the stress out of your cat's vet visit by getting her accustomed to her carrier and comfortable with having her paws, ears and other sensitive areas handled. Ask your veterinarian about other ways to keep your kitty's stress levels low during her exam.

Cat Walking on Leash


Emphasize Exercise

Of course, your mind is on your cat's health when you're at the vet, but how about when you're at home? Exercise should be part of her daily routine, because a fat cat is no laughing matter. While not every cat will enjoy learning to walk on a leash — although it can be done! — be sure to set aside time for some kind of active play every day. Whether it's batting around a feather toy or chasing a laser pointer, there are plenty of fun ways to get your cat moving.

Cat Enrichment


Embrace Enrichment

Just as active play is important to your cat's physical health, other kinds of play are critical to her mental and emotional health. Enrichment is a necessity that even well-meaning cat owners sometimes overlook. Spice up your cat's life with interactive toys, scratching posts, climbers, cat-safe plants, food puzzles, window perches and more. If you really want to take enrichment to the max, you can even build your own catio!

Cat at Litterbox


Look for Litterbox Issues

Keeping a close eye on your cat's typical litterbox routine can quickly clue you in to a problem if one arises. Cat litterbox issues can signal an underlying health issue like kidney disease or diabetes. If your cat's litterbox is already a proper size, in the right place and cleaned often enough, that's a great start — just be sure to pay attention if your cat starts having accidents or seems reluctant to use the litterbox, and contact your veterinarian right away.

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