You want to do right by your cat, so you pull string toys for him, leave a scratching post in the living room, and set up a seat by a window where he can stretch in the sun and watch birds. But did you know there are some other really simple things you can do to make your pet feel good? Here are five of them.
1. Keep food and water in separate places. You probably instinctively keep food and water away from the litter box. Cats don’t want to eat where they void. But were you aware they also don’t like to eat where they drink? To cats, standing water is potentially contaminated, and they don’t want “stagnant” water tainting their food. At the same time, they don’t want pieces of food to drop into the water and render it “unclean.” Some cats learn to have their food and water side by side, but their natural instinct would be to have the two bowls in separate areas, perhaps even separate rooms.
2. Purchase a drinking fountain. See number 1. Cats much prefer to drink water that is flowing. Their instinct tells them it is free from germs. That’s why many cats run to the faucet as soon as you turn it on. You can satisfy your pet’s urge to drink flowing water by setting up a drinking fountain. One popular one is the Veken Pet Fountain Automatic Cat Dispenser, which comes with a mat to handle spills. Almost 9,000 reviews on Amazon give it a 4½-star rating (out of 5). Available for $26.99.
3. Avoid citrus scents. Cats really do not like the odor of citrus. Of course, if you want to eat an orange, your cat can just go into another room. But a citrus-scented candle or air freshener is a particularly awful odor to feline nostrils on a 24/7 basis. Imagine not being able to get away from the scent of something you couldn’t stand.
4. Keep cat-friendly plants to chew on. Cats enjoy munching on plant material, but some plants in your home may be toxic to felines or off limits. Put any of the following in a spot that’s easy to reach provided you don’t mind your cat snacking on them: valerian, spider plants, rosemary, parsley, basil, dill.
5. One cat, two litter boxes; two cats, three boxes. It’s an oldy but goody. Cats are fastidious creatures. They don’t want to use a litter box that gets too soiled too quickly. Having one more litter box than the number of cats you own will make not only your pet(s) happy but also you. The litter boxes will be easier to clean.