Tips for Keeping the Cat Happy

When the cat is happy, we are all happy.

Okay that may not be completely true but in my house the opposite sure is: if she’s not happy, nobody is.

In and Out

If you have an indoor cat, and I have heard they exist, you have everything covered. If, as I’ve always seemed to have, you have a cat that must go out, you have learned that they must go out, then in, then out, then in. They will drive you nuts unless you have a cat door. Ours is actually the corner of the patio screen that she tore out and I just left it that way. Now she can come and go as she pleases and I can sit for more than ten minutes at a time and get some work done. Now a little disclaimer here: she always comes in before dark. It’s not always her choice but we insist. Plus we bribe her; see the part on treats.

Food is Paramount

You must supply the perfect food, but don’t worry if you’re not sure what that is: they will let you know. Quality is of the utmost importance, not just for their health but because, and here’s a little secret, cats are a tad bit finicky. Natural, quality products just like The Honest Kitchen provides are not only better for your cat’s health, you will have a much easier life. Like we said, when the cat is happy, everyone is happy.

Everybody Loves Treats

If you have a cat that goes outdoors, there are times such as nightfall or when you are leaving the house, that you want her to come when called. This may also be news to some, but cats only come when they darn well feel like it. To get around this little flaw in their character we revert to bribery. Our cat is hooked on cat treats that come in a small bag that we call “Kitty Crack.” I have learned to wean her off her treats until the time of day I need her inside. One shake of that bag and she comes running. The secret is to not overdo it and only use it when absolutely necessary. She hounds me (probably not the best word to use when talking cats) to no end during the day but I stay strong. Okay, I usually give in but it is a good thought anyway.

Naptime Anyone?

Cats are the masters of sleep. They can nap at a moment’s notice and are the envy of humans for this. Not only can they sleep at the snap of a finger, they can assist you in one big time. When our cat crawls on my lap it can knock me out in minutes. She also sleeps on the bed with us, but boy does she get irritated when I roll over. You see, you’re not only supposed to provide a lap or leg to sleep on, you are supposed to remain motionless for the duration. It’s not that she is going to physically attack me, but when I roll over once too many times, well, all I can say is: if looks could kill….

A Window to the World

If your cat is an indoor cat she will stare endlessly out the window, even if she doesn’t want to necessarily join it. If she is also an outdoor cat, she will still spend hours watching what seems to be an empty yard for hours, especially at night. While this may seem strange to you, imagine what your pet thinks when you spend hours every evening staring at that strange box in the corner that makes all that noise. Make sure they have a window sill to perch on, and if you can open the window, so much the better.

Take a Stand

Kitty stands are not only functional but practically a requirement. Ours not only provides a scratching post that takes the place of my nice leather recliner, but it gives her something to climb and lay on. Cats seem to enjoy having a perch that places them above the action. Part of this may be for the view, but I personally think she believes it’s her throne and it places her where she belongs: above everyone else.

Rubs for Everyone

Cats, just like all of us, need to show and receive affection; they just need more than most. While some cats are adverse to rubs, most revel in them and will purr away in enjoyment. Most cats enjoy our company; they just don’t care to admit it. Our cat will throw herself on the floor and practically beg for belly rubs, then just as quick try to bite the hand that feeds her, literally. This is to show that while you may feed them, shelter them, keep them safe and watch out for their health, you are nothing to them and only here to serve.

Meet the Author: Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan is a full-time musician along with a humor, travel and outdoor recreation columnist. He's also an avid skier and golfer and has traveled extensively around the U.S, the Caribbean and Europe. His musical career takes him all over the U.S. and his wife drags him everywhere else. His weekly columns “The Life of Ryan” ran in the Transcript and Sentinel newspaper chain for several years and have been featured in the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Mile High Magazine. He is the co-founder, editor and humor columnist for and currently resides in Morrison, Colorado.

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