Last updated: December 23, 2016
There is something very aristocratic about a cat. They combine majesty and affection in equal measures, and they are such paradoxes. No other animal can ignore you in such style one minute then love you with such devotion the next. How can anyone resist a purrrrr? Or a whiskery kiss? Or a warm furry body curled up in your bed at night? They are purr-fectly awesome! But, in order to take care of you little feline aristoc(r)ats, certain basic needs must be catered for, plus a few extras to pamper his delicate sensibilities. One really ought to take into account that Felix, Fifi, Fluffy, Rex or Rascal expect the finer things in life. So here are some of them!It’s one of Mother Nature’s rules that cats gotta scratch, so in the absence of trees growing through the bedroom floor, a cat scratcher is the next best thing. Cats need to scratch for various reasons, but not to annoy you – they are just obeying their instincts. Your moggy needs to strengthen his forelimbs and flex his body so that he can put on those bursts of speed he needs to kill small prey, as he would in the wild. He also needs to slough off the outer layers of claws to keep them in shape and deposit his scent, both to warn other cats off and to mark his territory.
Of course, some of them just enjoy it – they like anything with a coarse or nubbly texture, so if you want your furniture and carpets to stay pristine – get one! Scratching posts are usually made from sisal, a plant fiber, which is definitely the best. They can also be made with carpet or even cardboard, but carpet can catch his claws and cardboard wears out. They should be tall so that Kitty can stretch to his full length, and if possible have a perch at the top. Being of the upper class, cats like height!
You can invest in the basket type or the one with soft fluffy sides, padded cocoon types and even ones with heating pads. Heaven forbid that kitty should ever get a cold tummy! Lovely padded cat blankets can be placed anywhere. Whatever you choose, don’t throw the receipt away till you know that he DEFINITELY likes it! They really are fussy so-and-sos!
Litter itself can be made of clay, silica, and biodegradable plant materials, each of which has its own pros and cons. Whatever you use, change it at least once a week. If kitty’s not partial to what he parks his bum in, you may have little “accidents” everywhere! Eee-yow!
These days there are lots of different types. I have a hard plastic one with a secure lock, but there are nylon ones with see through netting sides so that kitty can see through them. This should keep the little darlings from panicking – much! For the cat who has everything, there is a cat stroller! This looks just like a baby stroller – but for cats! My cat wants one. (Oh, all right then! I want one!)
There are nylon ones with see-though panels in lots of different shapes; teepees, pyramids, cubes – even ones that come in pairs with tunnels in between! (What will they think of next???) There are tents with cats’ ears, and there’s even one that you can get in too and enjoy some catnaps together. And for the pampered pussy – a padded one! Now tell me you can’t find one of these your moggy will like!
As if that weren’t enough, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and lungworms are all getting in line to infect your kitty’s insides. They can cause weight loss, vomiting, bloody stools, coughing, and a host of other symptoms. However, there are many commercial preparations that are pretty effective against the evil little blighters! You can usually buy these at your pharmacy or shop online for them.
Fleas, especially, are determined, little so-and-sos. Not only do you need to treat the fleas, but the whole house – several times over, since they like to take up lodging in your furniture! And they’re quite partial to human blood too! Prevention is better than cure, so if you want to avoid fleas, medicate before they move in! Buy preparations with active ingredients. “Natural” products are not very effective.
Cat treats are usually available boxed in biscuit form or in pouches. The pouch variety can be safely given instead of their evening meal OCCASIONALLY. If your cat is trying to lose weight, catnip is best once every two or three weeks only as most cats develop a tolerance for it. Treats should only be given now and again and should be given as part of their daily calorie intake. You can give them things like bits of cooked liver, cheese or bacon once in a very long while but the commercial treats are safe and nutritionally balanced – especially for fat cats!
There are great feathered toys which resemble fishing rods with feathers attached to them which mimic birds flying. Cats love to swat at birds! Even something as simple as a ball can keep a cat amused for hours, particularly if it has something twinkly inside! There are chew toys, (catnip filled or not) which keep kitty’s teeth clean and remove tartar and prevent dental infection, thereby killing two birds with one stone! Try a crinkle ball made of crinkly pieces of shiny foil which make a crackly noise when pounced on. Cats are best entertained by toys which mimic their prey – you can’t tame a cat!
There are also some very fancy bowls which dispense food in measured amounts, so that no matter how much Acme De Luxe Kibble for the Discerning Cat your moggy wants, he will only get as much as he needs! This is particularly handy for tubby tabbies who are trying to shed a few pounds! To keep your kitty’s feeding area pure and pristine, moreover, he desperately needs a placemat to keep his kibble off the carpet!
For the cat with exquisite good taste, there are DESIGNER collars patterned with whatever design your kitty finds attractive. Does your cat wander? Make sure to get a collar with a phone number and his name on it. Life-threatening illness? Special diet? Make sure no well-meaning friend accidentally gives him some “forbidden fruit” by advertising his condition on his collar. Does he enjoy a midnight stroll? A reflective collar can help you find the little blighter in the dark no matter how clever he thinks he is! Yup! For every cat, there is a collar!
I could go on and on about cat products. There are thousands of different foods, toys, treats and medicines to keep your moggy in the style to which he’s accustomed, but you don’t really need all these things to keep your cat happy. However, it’s good to know that he’s enjoying the best products to give him the best quality of life possible for as long as possible. You’ll live with your moggy for around fifteen to twenty years, and of course, you want him to be well fed and in good health with a well-stimulated mind. (Yes, cats have minds too!) But even if you don’t get any of these products, or if you buy all of them, your cat will love you anyway!