ANITA’S ANIMALS – September 2010

ANITA’S ANIMALS

By Jean Sutherland

Keeping the Cat Happy

 

Many of us here long for the days when we could go to the local pet store and buy a nice scratching pole for our cat. The lack of a good pet store has led many of us to invent different ways to satisfy our cat’s need to scratch. Scratching is a natural way for them to leave their mark on the world. Without something to scratch you shouldn’t be surprised to find them using chairs, couches and woodwork.

Even if you have one of those fancy store bought scratching poles, many cats quickly tire of them. One of the easiest things to do to keep them happy is to get a small piece of carpeting and start attaching it to different places and surfaces. You can attach it to walls with nails or glue, attach it to a piece of wood that’s slanted or get creative and think of different things that will help to keep your cat amused.

Use a number of different things and change them out every month or so. This will keep the cat happy and occupied. Then start attaching articles to the surfaces so that the cat can also play. Feathers, balls with little bells in them and of course, the occasional treat of catnip on the surface. We are lucky here at Lakeside, in that we can get fresh catnip from Great Greens in Jaltepec. Just don’t plant it outside or it will disappear overnight.

Consider having a local carpenter make you a cat amusement center. This can be done easily and with the addition of different surfaces, holes to hide in and ledges to jump on, your cat will be entertained for hours. Have a carpenter make you a special window ledge for your cat and put up some hummingbird feeders just outside of it. Your cat will be entertained for hours. Nothing is more special to a cat than a great place to have a nap with the sunshine landing on their bodies. A window ledge can be something they will sleep on as well as being entertained. Add a piece of lambs wool or rabbit fur to cover the ledge and you’ll have one happy cat.

One thing our cat used to love was a cat video we brought back with us from the USA. She would perch on the table in front of the television and sit there listening and watching the action on the screen. Remember entertaining your cat does not have to be expensive. They can have a lot of fun with just a brown paper bag. Put a little catnip inside it and watch the hijinks that ensue. If you’re going to be out for the day, take some newspaper and make a dozen or so balls from the paper. Crunch them up good and put them in different places around the house. It will help to keep kitty entertained while you’re not home.

Last, when the cool winter months are upon us, consider a small heating pad that can be put under their bed to give them a bit of extra warmth at night. If you’re lucky enough to be going to the USA you’ll find a wide selection of heated cat beds. Nothing is more satisfying than a happy cat.

Ojo Del Lago
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