Monday, July 23, 2012

King of the House

by Beau Dove

Playful, energetic, instinctual, and interested; these are all words that describe a typical house cat. “The cat is the king of the house” seems to be a universal understanding among indoor cat owners. They jump from chair to chair looking for laps to claim and pounce on any opportunity to start a playful reactionary game.

But what if your indoor cat seems to have lost his/her delightful spunkiness? I have seen how cats blend into the house to which they lay claim. We as humans are constantly occupied, running in and out of the homes, overlooking the cat as it becomes one with the furniture. The routines that we practice in order get comfortable and wind down can make for a very boring environment. The term “fat house cat” is a well-known generalization of those indoor felines that have become ever-so content with their seat in the sun. If you prefer a cat that shares the characteristics of a big pillow, no harm against you. However, there are a few simple ways to regain that kitten constantly on an adventure in their newly claimed kingdom. 
A good scratching post allows your cat to stretch fully
  • Turn on some music when you’re out of the house.
  • Put a bird feeder next to their favorite window. 
  • On tame weather days, open a screened in window to give them a taste of the outdoors.  If possible, allow access to a safely screened in porch.
  • There are a variety of fun toys and obstacles that are specifically designed for indoor cats. Balls with food inside are a sure-fire way to keep your cat entertained. Laser pointers are another big hit for many cats.
  • Switch up your cat's toys every so often, even if this just means a new ball of paper or string.
  • Try growing a little cat grass - many cats love to chew on this edible toy.
  • If you have enough room, an obstacle course or play space would give them a specific place to cure their desires for climbing and perching. Cats love to be up high looking down on us mortals.
  • Invest in a good scratching post that is tall enough for the cat to stretch out fully. If your cat ignores the post, spread a little catnip on it to get his attention.
Consider adding wall shelves for your cat to perch on.
Remember, if you are gone a lot then the time they get to spend with you is very precious! Although you may have had a long day, I am sure that the both of you will benefit from a little playtime. I suggest that you challenge your house cat for dominance of the throne! With toys and games, make them prove that they are indefinitely more agile and witty than you. Make some noise! Cats are fully interested in what you have to say and they definitely are fans of your favorite Pandora station. Of course, invite friends over as much as possible to allow your cat some time to mingle and show off their house.

One final suggestion is to find them a friend. Having another cat or even a dog present will be some extra effort but it would definitely add some excitement to the home. Just make sure that you are ready to take on the additional responsibility, and read up on how best to add a new pet to the household. Don't rely on the new addition to keep your pet company - they still want attention from you as well. But for the right cat and the right house, a second feline can sometimes be just the solution to kitty boredom.

I hope that these suggestions help in the efforts to maintain or regain your house cat’s interest. As you can see, there are many solutions to this problem.  Good luck, and may you all fulfill your duty to entertain the “king of the house”.

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