Boost Your Cat's Happiness
It's natural to wonder if your feline friend lives a comfortable, joyful life. There are several ways you can go beyond the basics to make your cat happy. From grooming sessions with a damp toothbrush to growing cat grass, you can easily improve your cat's life with simple yet enriching additions. These nine activities are a great way to make your cat as happy as they make you.
1. Engage in Petting
Nuzzling, rubbing, and grooming are all ways cats show affection to each other, and they're things you can do to make your cat happy. Engage in some TLC by stroking your cat's head and cheeks. Just be sure to avoid their "off-limits" areas and stop if you notice any signs that your feline friend is about to give you a love bite.
Giving your cat love doesn't just increase their happiness; it's also beneficial for you. Studies show petting a cat for as little as 10 minutes can decrease cortisol stress levels.
2. Take a Cat Nap
Cats love napping, and taking a snooze with their favorite person is sure to increase their happiness. Pressing their body up against yours or laying on your lap or chest provides a cat with warmth and safety, among other positive things.
Decode your cat's mood by paying attention to the way they sleep.
3. Play With Toys
Break out the toys and engage in a play session. Most cats have their own preference for toys, so pay attention to which ones your cat gravitates towards. Try out wands, crinkle balls, pompoms, and laser pointers, or even make your own toys. Playing serves as a form of exercise for your cat and allows them to unleash their natural instincts, which is a great form of enrichment.
4. Scratch it Out
Cats love scratching, and it's actually a really important activity for them. It keeps their claws healthy and is a form of stress relief. Of course, you'll want to have a designated scratching post so they don't unleash their claws on your furniture. Have some fun with your cat by mimicking the scratching action on their scratcher and praising them when they do the same. This is also a great way to train them where to scratch while getting in some bonding time.
5. Grab the Brush
Some cats run away at the mere sight of the brush, whereas others love being groomed. If your cat is one who likes a good brushing, you can use this activity as a way to make them happy. Plus, keeping their coat free of loose hairs can prevent hairballs. Win-win!
Stroking your cat with a damp, clean toothbrush can mimic being licked by their mother's tongue.
6. Get Hopped Up on Catnip
Offering your cat a bit of catnip can have a calming or even euphoric effect on them. Sprinkle a bit on their scratcher or a blanket to enrich your petting or play session.
7. Watch TV Together
Cats with a high prey drive can enjoy watching fast movements across the TV. Studies involving shelter cats show that visual stimulation through moving images can reduce a cat's stress and boredom. You can find thousands of videos created especially for cats featuring birds, fish, rodents, or other fast-moving creatures. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the funny sounds your cat makes while watching TV.
8. Nibble on Cat Grass
If your cat keeps trying to take a bite out of your houseplants, you can offer them something else to nibble on. Cat grass is packed with beneficial fiber and minerals that can improve your cat's gut health while providing them with the joy of chewing.
9. Explore the Outdoors
Just as taking a walk outside can boost your mood, taking your cat outside can make them incredibly happy. This doesn't necessarily mean you should allow your cat to roam outside alone. Outdoor cats have significantly shorter lifespans compared to those who remain inside. But indoor cats can safely explore the outdoors through a catio or controlled leash-walking. Just be sure to weigh the risks and benefits of bringing your cat outside before pursuing this activity.
Elevate Your Cat’s Happiness and Your Special Bond
Engaging in activities to make your cat happy can also strengthen the strong bond you two share. It doesn't take special accessories or tons of time to make your cat happy. Simply being there for them and providing them with affection and interaction will increase your happiness as well as theirs.