We all know cats rule the roost in pet-owning households, but sometimes, cat owners miss the mark when trying to keep their indoor cat happy. Cats who live outdoors have a rich and varied life—albeit one that is full of dangers—whereas indoor cats have a safe, yet often boring, life. To spice up your house cat’s days and grant them health and happiness, follow the seven rules to feline joy, as told by the spokescat for indoor cats, Fluffernutter the Persian.
Rule #1: Let your cat scratch
Nothing is better than a good scratch, especially when I don’t get scolded and can stretch out to my full length. When I first arrived at my kingdom, the human inhabitants were displeased when I scratched the most desirable of surfaces in areas that needed marking. However, they learned to provide scratching surfaces in my favorite material—sisal—next to their cushy furniture, doorways, and windows. Cats need to scratch to practice nail care, and I must say, my nails look fabulous with all my scratching on my horizontal and vertical scratch pads.
Rule #2: Let your cat gaze out over their territory
Keep in mind that cats are the rulers of their domain, who need to view their territory from on high to ensure all is well. I spend a large portion of my day surveying my kingdom from the feline-friendly shelving anchored to the walls, the window seat overlooking a bird bath and feeder, and several climbing towers.
Rule #3: Entertain your cat
As king, I should have a court jester at my beck and call, but mostly I’ll settle for a robotic mouse. Toys that cater to my predatory nature are intriguing, especially feather wands and fishing poles. And, while I won’t heed your commands like a dog, I still enjoy short training sessions. I’m quite agile, and I can give high-fives, leap through hoops, and twirl in a circle, provided you offer the right reward.
Rule #4: Keep your cat’s litter box clean
Nothing disgusts me more than dirty facilities. I demand that my litter box be scooped twice daily at a minimum, and thoroughly disinfected every week. Additionally, I will use only my favorite substrate—unscented, finely granulated litter. I also prefer options, so set me up with at least two litter boxes in different locations. After all, how can you expect me to run to a downstairs toilet that is tucked away next to that horrendously loud, clanking set of machines. Of course, I also want privacy when I’m doing my business, so don’t put my box where you watch that other box—the TV.
Rule #5: Keep your cat well-fed, but not too well-fed
I expect nothing but the best when it comes to my diet, and only a variety of canned foods with a base of dry crunchy pieces will satisfy my hunger. I also prefer a unique plating style, which means skip the boring bowl, and dish up my meals in something that requires me to use my brain. After all, I’m a lean, mean, hunting machine, and I expect to have to work for my food. Puzzle feeders are great for dry food, since you can hide pieces in cardboard tubes, crumpled paper, or interactive puzzles. You can spread my canned food on a specially designed mat that requires me to get into each groove and ridge. You can also stuff a rubber Kong with a mixture of canned and dry food. Puzzle feeders help me maintain my sleek physique, since I’ll admit that I tend to gorge when confronted with a full food bowl. No obese cat looks good, and I certainly don’t want the increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or cancer that comes with obesity.
Rule #6: Brush your cat regularly
As a Persian, I take great pride in my appearance, and I groom myself regularly. However, I need help reaching those tricky spots, like behind my ears, and under my armpits. While I rarely need a bath, I do need frequent brushing to help remove my loose fur and dead skin—and minimize the number of times I hack up a hairball.
Rule #7: Schedule regular wellness care for your cat
While car rides are not my favorite activity—after all, I’m not a dog—I know they are a necessary evil to get me to the veterinarian for my essential preventive health care services. Despite being a house cat, I can still contract infectious diseases and parasites, so I need regular wellness care from my Staples Mill Animal Hospital team to stay healthy. They check me over for any illness signs, administer vaccinations, and monitor my health status through screening tests. I want to stay in tip-top shape for years to come so I can continue to rule over my kingdom.
Although Fluffernutter is a fictitious cat, his rules will keep all indoor cats happy and healthy. If you need help fulfilling your house cat’s needs, or they are due for their wellness screening, contact our Staples Mill Animal Hospital team for an appointment.