The nine lives of a cat

And tips for (mere) humans on how to share their lives with them.
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Table of Contents

Life Number 1 – Grand Designs with the feline Purr-chitect

Essentials for a happy home

nine lives of a cat
Casting an eye over the house plans

Litter trays:

  • We like to have one litter tray for each feline resident, plus one more.
  • Locate litter trays in quiet, non-busy areas where we can see all around while we’re using them (after all, who wants to get caught unawares when they’re caught short!)
  • Solid matter should be removed daily by human helpers 

Going outdoors?

  • A lockable cat flap is probably best. We don’t like our people thinking they’re in control. But if we’re not well, we probably ought to stay in. And we’ll want uninvited visitors kept out!

Playtime:

  • We’ll be looking for scratching posts (or your sofa, your choice!), climbing trees, boxes, tunnels, and those feathery chasey things (but just because you humans seem to enjoy them). 
  • Plenty of entertainment to keep our bodies in great shape! So we’re less likely to get obesity and all the nasties being overweight makes us more prone to like diabetes, cystitis, arthritis and heart disease. 
  • Play, cuddles and fun distractions also keep our brains active and help to delay and slow down dementia in cats.
cat asleep peaceful
Wake me up when I’m hungry

Peace and quiet:

  • Everyone needs a peaceful place to rest and sleep after a busy day. Or before a busy night! 
  • A warm, dry, draft-free and quiet place to sleep is essential. 
  • Sometimes, us cats like to sleep high up, so we can see what’s going on around us, just in case.
  • Other times, we’ll slum it in our human’s bed, purely for their sakes, of course.
  • We also like to have a place somewhere out of reach of dogs, puppies, kittens and children, especially for us older cats, who need a bit more ‘me’ time.

And if all else fails…

cat asleep on park bench


Life Number 2 –  Feline peckish?

Rustling up a Catsu Curry or a quick Cattuccino

Handy human tips for feeding us cats


nugget wok 1
Sometimes I just don’t trust these humans
  • Feed us good-quality cat food that’s suitable for our age, lifestyle and general health.
  • Water: make sure we drink enough, especially when we live indoors. Water bowls, human tumblers (!), dripping taps, water fountains, even the sink (our choice!)
  • Food bowls: stainless steel are least likely to give us itchy chins. And please make sure they are wide enough to get our whiskers in!
  • Please keep our food and water bowls in a quiet area, far away from where we toilet, to reduce stress. 
  • We indoor cats do best on wet food or a special urinary health diet. Those helpful folk at Joii explain why in their guide to blocked bladders in cats!
  • Weigh us regularly, since we can’t do it ourselves. And help us stay slim by adjusting our food if the pounds are creeping on.
  • More than half of us UK cats are overweight or obese. And that means more risk of diabetes, kidney disease , heart disease and arthritis.
Suggestion:

Call the friendly folks at Joii for any advice on the best food for us. They’re at our beck and meow 24/7 and are a nice, well-informed bunch (for humans…)

Life Number 3 – The Fearless Explore-purr

Handy human tips for letting cats go outdoors safely

  • Give us a month or so to settle in with you before we go outdoors. Just so we know what home and our people smell like.
  • Vaccinations. A prickly subject for us cats. But much as we may dislike vet visits, those injections protect us against diseases that could make us really ill – or worse. Especially Feline enteritis and Feline Leukaemia. Mind you, even our indoor pals need that enteritis jab. Since you humans can carry it into the house on your feet, we don’t even have to go out to get sick.
cat getting jab
Did somebody just say, “Don’t look at the needle”?
  • Maybe we’re best indoors if you live next to a busy road. Those metal monsters are terrifying.
  • If you’re worried about where we’re going, you can get pet trackers that tell your phone where we are – clever! No more getting lost in sheds and new territory.
  • OK, so you don’t have to (legally, yet!) microchip us cats, but why on earth wouldn’t you? Gives us more chance of finding one another again when you humans get separated from us (for the record, us cats never get lost – Oh, no, we don’t!) 
  • Us pusscats of female persuasion don’t get much choice where having kittens is concerned. So spare us all that noise, stress and exhaustion. Get us and our brothers neutered before we start going outdoors! (It’ll make those boys spray and fight less too!)
cat cliimbing a tree fluffy
OK. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea!

Oh and one more thing. Whilst the odd ear mite or flea may go unnoticed, we’re really not fans of creepy crawlies, or the things that wriggle and squiggle inside us! OK so we may not like it, may spit the tablets up behind the sofa on occasions, even nibble a few fingers.  But don’t you love a challenge? Ok. If it’s like ‘that’, ask those vet-people about spot-on wormers or other options.

Life Number 4 – The Feline Gardener – Pussy Willow(?)

cute cat in grass min
Who needs flowers when you’ve got me to admire?
  • We cats like eating grass, it’s good for our digestion. So if some of your houseplants get a bit chewed up now and then, it’s only ‘natural’ collateral damage. 
  • Why not grow us some nice tasty cat grass? Growing it indoors works just as well!
  • Some plants aren’t good for us. Some flowers too. And we can’t always tell the difference. So keep us safe. Check if you’re not sure. And definitely no lilies! We don’t even need to eat them to be poisoned. Getting pollen on our coats is enough!
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Life Number 5 -The Company Clawyer  

Searching for the get-out claws?

scary ninja
Have I got your attention people?

Now, we cats don’t want to get all ‘we know our rights’ on you humans. But under the ‘Animal Welfare Act‘ of 2006, our humans have something called a ‘duty of care’ to look after us properly.

 Basically, that means 5 must-haves for our welfare:

  1. Health: protect us from pain, injury, suffering and disease. And getting proper treatment for us if we get injured or sick.
  2. Behaviour: let us behave the way cats should, prowling, pouncing, hiding, running, bagging the best lap to sit on. (OK so I added the last one myself, but hey)
  3. Companionship that suits us. Sometimes we just want a human and a house to ourselves. Sometimes we need a pal.
  4. Diet: we need the best diet for our age and lifestyle so we don’t get overweight or too skinny. And fresh water always available.
  5. Home environment: especially a safe, comfortable place to rest.

Not much to ask for. And you know we’re worth it. (We certainly do!)

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Any arguments?

Life Number 6 – Purr-fect Relaxation with the Yoga and Meditation Guru

We cats know a thing or two about relaxation. We can do 18 hours a day of solid sleeping. 

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It’s purrfectly easy when you know how…

But there are some things that can bother us, like change. Visitors, house moves, catteries, trips to the V-E-T and, worst of all, new additions to the family. So here are a few ideas to smooth things over and help us maintain our customary ‘chill’.

  • Calming diffusers: You plug them into the wall. They release an airborne hormone. Same one our mum’s share when we are new kittens. Makes us feel more secure again. Like a warm cuddle with mum. Feliway, Pet Remedy or Cat Comfort.
  • Food supplements and treats: Not drugs, but natural ingredients to help us feel calm and relaxed. Things like Yumove Calming Care for cats.
  • Special diets: Stress can cause us some serious health problems. Like cystitis and blocked bladders. Special diets like Hills Prescription Diet c/d Multicare Stress help treat and prevent this and provide everything we need to stay healthy longterm!
  • Give us space and a calm place for some ‘me time’ away from noise, bustle, bright light and excessive attention from our small adoring fans.
cat human yoga edited
I think she’s finally getting the hang of it!


Life Number 7 – The Health and Safety Paw-ficer

We cats are pretty good at taking care of ourselves… most of the time. Accidents happen. But our humans can help us stay safe around the house.

nugget on cooker rotated
Now people, what do we think the problem is here?
  • Cookers and hobs: tempting smells may get the better of us. So please don’t leave these unattended.
  • Safety latches on high windows: sometimes curiosity gets the better of us. And we all know how that ends if curiosity takes us out of a tenth-foot window after a butterfly!
  • Candles: OK, so you humans love smelly candles. But we cats love exploring shelves. And the combination is a bit of a fire hazard!
  • Dangly decorations: these are a great invitation to climb and swing. But anything dangly can also get wrapped around our paws or necks.
  • Dangerous flowers, plants and food. Whatever you bring into the house or garden, please make sure it’s not dangerous to us. And definitely no lilies!
cat at window
Catches secure – Pawsitive report!

Life Number 8 – The Therapuss

Always there when you need me (unless I’ve got something better to do, of course….)
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You can have 10 seconds of have my undivided attention. OK, maybe 8…

Not only are we the most intelligent companion, we’re also a 4-legged health spa. 

Did you know owning a cat:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety in humans
  • Provides you with something to stroke, make a fuss of, worship (the human editor didn’t like that bit – can’t think why not)
  • Reduces the risk of having a stroke or heart attack by a third

A reassuring paw….

Scientifically-proven too! It’s all down to a hormone called oxytocin that stroking us releases in humans. Apparently, this hormone reduces levels of stress hormones, makes humans more relaxed and sociable and even helps to combat pain. 

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You’re my all. Who are you again?

They even call oxytocin the love hormone. Read on

Life Number 9 – Your Purrfect Valentine

“That Lovin’ Feline”
cat receiving adoration 2 sides
You may adore me.

Ok, let’s get one thing straight here folks. We cats don’t do that waggy tail, slobbery kisses, big soft eyes nonsense of certain other lesser species (you know who you are!).

However, we are prepared to show our affection (ownership) with a few ‘tell-tail’ signs. You just need to know what to look for.

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Raspy?- you’re just feline the lurv
  • Bunting: when we rub our head or cheek against you. Be honoured! We’re showering you with affection, and marking our territory.
  • Kneading: just showing you how happy and content we are, we’ve given you the chance to be our lap for the evening (What’s a few nail puncture marks between friends?).
  • Purring: as long as we’re not at the v-e-t, if we’re purring we’re content (At that other place it may mean we are ‘slightly concerned’)
  • Ignoring you: it just means we feel confident and secure in your presence (and maybe take you for granted… just a little)
  • Bringing you little presents: toys, socks, dead things, not-so-dead things. Sharing is caring. And you can’t show you care more than with a half-eaten mouse (and I even left you the best bits!)
  • Rolling over: can you believe that sometimes we trust and…ok. L-O-V-E you enough to roll over for a tummy tickle. A world-dominating hunter on their back for a tummy tickle. Be honoured. Be very honoured!
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Happy Valentines Day!  Love you Meow and Forever. No kitten….

cat looking adoringly at owner

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