Cats are pretty self sufficient. They are also good at covering up when they are not happy or experiencing stress. Many cat owners feel that things are hunky-dory in the kitty happiness department. After all, they have a warm place to snuggle, a bowl of food, and a clean litter box. What’s to be sad about?
Many cats are not as content with life as their owners may believe. In honor of Happy Cat Month, Godspeed Animal Care wants to share with you a few ways to assess if have a happy cat (or if you have some work to do).
Five Indications of a Happy Cat
When it comes to determining whether or not you have a happy cat, it’s not as easy as simply asking kitty if they are feeling blue. There are a few telltale signs that you have a content cat on your hands, however. Take a step back and evaluate if your cat is:
Using the litter box constantly – Urinating or defecating outside of the litter box is a universal sign that your cat may not be as happy as you think. If this is happening on an ongoing basis, it is time to call us to evaluate your cat’s overall health and to discuss potential stressors in their environment.
Keeping up appearances – A healthy, well groomed coat is the pinnacle of feline pride. Dullness, matting, flaky skin, or bald spots are a prime indicator that something isn’t right.
Fostering healthy relationships – Cats are not always as social as their canine counterparts, but they should be able to tolerate other people and pets in their midst. If your cat constantly acts out towards other cats, dogs, or humans in the home, there may be an issue.
Maintaining a healthy weight – A happy cat is one that is active and keeping at a healthy body weight. A feline who is too skinny or too fat may be experiencing health or mental issues that affect quality of life.
Showing a zest for life – Any proper cat is going to spend a decent part of the day sleeping in a sunbeam, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t show interest in things at least some of the time. A healthy, happy cat is inquisitive, playful, and observant of the surrounding environment.
Cheering Up an Unhappy Kitty
If you feel that your cat may not be as happy as you once thought, don’t worry. There are plenty of things that you can do to get things back on track.
Our expert staff is here to help you troubleshoot ways to make your cat a happier camper. We will want to start off with a wellness evaluation to be sure things like orthopedic pain, urinary issues, or other systemic disease aren’t playing a role.
Most times reducing stress and increasing quality of life in our feline housemates involves multimodal environmental enrichment. Simply put, this is using our resources to create a stimulating, safe cat-friendly environment. It can include things like:
- Litter box optimization
- Inclusion of vertical space in the home
- Appropriate scratching areas
- Play and exercise
- Creating a safe retreat
We would love to take the time to get to know your pet’s individual situation so that we can help create an ideal environment within your home. Your cat’s health and well-being hinges on a safe and comfortable existence. Happy cats are healthy cats, and we are all about helping to make that happen!