Happy Cat??

By Dr. Karen Becker and comments by Diane Weinmann


How to Create a Happy Cat

In addition to feeding a nutritionally optimal, species-appropriate diet, keeping kitty at a lean-and-healthy weight, and providing exercise incentives, there are several components to her indoor environment that you’ll need to consider from her uniquely feline perspective. These include:

  1. Litterbox location — In the wild, cats not only hunt prey, they are prey for other animals. Certain activities make them vulnerable to predators, including eliminating. This vulnerability is what causes anxiety in your kitty when her litterbox is in a noisy or high traffic area.

Your cat’s “bathroom” should be located in a safe, secure location away from any area that is noisy enough to startle her or make her feel trapped and unable to escape.

  1. The opportunity to “hunt” for meals and snacks — Your cat, while domesticated, has maintained much of his natural drive to engage in the same behaviors as his counterparts in the wild, including hunting for food, which also happens to be excellent exercise. A great way to do that with an indoor cat is to have him “hunt” for his meals and treats.

Separate his daily portion of food into three to five small meals fed throughout the day in a variety of puzzle toys or indoor hunting feeder mice (available for raw and canned food, too!). You can also hide his food bowls or food puzzle toys in various spots around the house.

  1. Places for climbing, scratching, resting, and hiding — Cats are natural climbers and scratchers, and those urges don’t disappear when they move indoors. Your cat also needs her own resting place and a hiding place where she feels untouchable.

Cats prefer to interact with other creatures (including humans) on their own terms, and according to their schedule. Remember: well-balanced indoor kitties are given the opportunity to feel in control of their environment. Jackson Galaxy has written several books on creating feline environmental enrichment around the home that I highly recommend.

  1. Consistency in interactions with humans — Your cat feels most comfortable when his daily routine is predictable, so performing little rituals when you leave the house and return can help him feel more comfortable with your comings and goings. A ritual can be as simple as giving him a treat when you leave and a nice scratch behind the ears as soon as you get home.

Playtime should also be consistent. Learn what types of cat toys he responds to and engage him in play, on his timetable. Of course, while you can encourage him to play, it’s pointless to force the issue. Oh, and when he’s had enough, he’s had enough!

  1. Sensory stimulation — Visual stimulation: Some cats can gaze out the window for hours. Others are captivated by fish in an aquarium. Some even enjoy kitty videos.

Auditory stimulation: When you’re away from home, provide background noise for kitty that is similar to the ambient sounds she hears when you’re at home, for example, music or a TV at low volume. Olfactory stimulation: You can stimulate your cat’s keen sense of smell with cat-safe herbs or synthetic feline pheromones (e.g., Feliway).

All in all, paying attention to your kitty, interacting and talking with them will go a long way to ensure their happiness. Provide stimulation—you get bored right?  Well, they will to!   If they seem upset or sad consider what may have changed in their life or environment to have caused their issue.  When all else fails, contact Diane who is an animal communicator at dianefortheloveofanimals@yahoo.com.


Animal Communication… Let’s Try It!

Nico On the PhoneAnimal communication takes a lot of practice. You must clear your mind and open it to someone else’s thoughts, which is hard work for a busy individual in today’s world.

For a beginner, I would suggest a quiet meditation prior to trying the process. This will relax you and put you into the correct frame of mind to receive information. Try to communicate with   a close friend’s pet when you first begin. Do not try this with your own pet. You know too much about them to put this exercise to the test!

To start the process, sit in a quiet place, clear your mind, look softly at the animal’s picture or envision them in your head (if you know them well, this should be easy). Introduce yourself to the animal, tell them you’d like to ask them a question and see if it is okay that you talk with them. Wait for a response. This introduction is performed out of respect for the animal.

You may “hear” a reply or just get a sense of knowing what the response was. If you receive the go-ahead, ask the animal a question in your head and the first piece of information you receive, either by “hearing”, “knowing”, or “seeing visually in your head” will be your answer. You should experience the response flying into your head very quickly. Sometimes it seems you didn’t even get the entire question out of your mind and you’ve already received an answer – it’s that quick! Once you receive the answer, thank the animal for speaking with you, it’s only common courtesy! Your “thank you for speaking with me” will indicate to the animal that your session is ended and you are disconnecting from them.

Do NOT tell the pet’s owner ahead of time what question you will be asking but be sure that the answer will be easy to obtain from the owner. Write down the response of the pet, thank the pet for speaking to you then call the owner to tell them the question and the answer that you received. Don’t be disappointed if what you heard doesn’t match the owner’s reply. Just keep practicing and believe in yourself!

Listed below are some easy questions to ask your pet friend when you first start communicating:

What is your favorite toy?

What treat do you like the best?

Where do you sleep?

As you practice your animal communication skills, remember to not say anything that is not true or did not come from the animal. Have fun with the process and you will learn a lot. Our animal companions have a sense of humor and will say the funniest things, much like children! Be aware, they may decide to open up to you and tell you some very personal information regarding their home life. Please be sensitive to all individuals involved and only repeat disclosures that will not embarrass your friends or relatives. By the way, some animals may not wish to communicate with you and that is okay. Simply tell them ‘thank you’ maybe they will wish to talk at another time. Be honest if the animal declines to talk and tell your client/friend that their companion did not wish to communicate at this time.

Have fun, practice and be open to what you will hear! Our pets say the darnest things!