Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: January 25, 2023 by Crystal Uys
This post is sponsored by Darwin’s Natural Pet Products and contains affiliate links*
Being treated like royalty comes naturally to cats. Most of us have been trained by our feline family members to be their loyal servants and cater to their every whim. If there’s ever a question about who’s really in charge, cats are quick to remind us that it’s certainly not us!
Perhaps this expectation of royal treatment dates back to ancient Egypt, where cats were worshipped as gods. Perhaps it’s simply ingrained in their DNA. We know the first evidence of companion cats dates back to 7,500 years BCE (Before the Common Era) to the island of Cyprus. As cats evolved from pest controllers and hunters to beloved companions, perhaps they figured out that humans are pretty easy to train to be at their beck and call.
It’s up to us humans to do what we can to give our felines the royal lifestyle they deserve. The following seven tips will help you give your cats their best life for all of their nine lives.
1. Feed a species-appropriate diet
Nutrition is the foundation for good health. Cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to thrive. If you’re not already feeding a raw or grain-free canned diet, consider making this the year you make the switch. Your cats will thank you for it.
Embraced for decades by holistically oriented pet parents and holistic veterinarians, raw feeding is becoming more mainstream as pet parents look for alternatives to feeding highly processed commercial pet foods. And raw feeding doesn’t have to be complicated. With the variety of frozen raw diets available today, it’s as easy as feeding canned food. The only difference is that instead of opening a can, you’re thawing out food.
Darwin’s has been our preferred raw food for several years. Not only do we like everything that’s in it, it’s also comes in easy to portion out 8 ounce packs, and most importantly, Allegra and Ruby love it.
You’ll find a wealth of information on feline nutrition, and on how to switch your cat to a healthier diet, right here on The Conscious Cat. From recommendations on what and how much to feed to tips on how to transition your cat to a healthier diet, we’ve got you covered!
2. Regular veterinary check ups
The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends a minimum of annual wellness examinations for all cats in its Feline Life Stages Guidelines, and more frequent exams for older cats. Changes in health status may occur in a short period of time. Cats are masters at hiding illness, and sick cats often show no signs of disease until a condition has reached the latter stages. Earlier detection allows for earlier and less costly treatment.
3. Keep your cat’s teeth healthy
Dental disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for cats, and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health problems including heart, kidney and liver disease. The most effective way to prevent dental disease is to brush your cat’s teeth. Ideally, you get your cat used to this when she’s still a kitten, but even older cats can learn to accept having their teeth brushed. The 4-week training program developed by the Cornell Feline Health Center makes getting your cat used to having her teeth brushed simple.
4. Regular playtime
Cats have a reputation for being low maintenance, which is probably one of the many reasons why they have surpassed dogs as the most popular pet in America. Unfortunately, because of this reputation, many people think cats don’t need as much attention as dogs do. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Play is vitally important to a cat’s mental and physical health, and it’s especially important for indoor cats. Even though cats may sleep up to 16 hours a day, when they’re awake, they need stimulation, and the best way to accomplish this is with play. In the wild, when lions, tigers and other wild cats aren’t sleeping, they’re either hunting, or teaching their young to hunt. And play is nothing more than channeling your domestic tiger’s hunting instinct into play.
5. Provide an enriched environment
Creating an environment that stimulates your cats’ senses and gives her opportunities to exercise her natural instincts is especially important for indoor cats. Cats need to have plenty of toys, places to hide, places to climb and perch, and things to watch. All of these needs can be met with environmental enrichment. Think vertical space in the form or cat trees or wall shelves, hiding places such as covered cat beds, cat cubes, tunnels or even simple cardboard boxes, and plenty of scratching posts. Environmental enrichment not only makes her happy, it can also prevent serious behavior problems ranging from scratching and inappropriate elimination to aggression toward other cats in the household.
6. Meditate with your cat
Meditating with your cat is a wonderful way to spend some quiet time together and to increase the bond between both. The benefits of meditation are endless: from helping us handle stress better to getting in touch with our true spiritual nature, meditation has been proven to make our lives better. In fact, there is so much evidence that meditation is good for you that it seems like meditation should be as much a part of our daily lives as breathing.
Cats are the original Zen masters, and they make great meditation companions. They can help us get comfortable with meditation. If you feel resistance to getting started with a meditation practice, try meditating with your cat. Focus on your breath, or even better, on your cat’s soft purr.
7. Educate yourself about cat health
You are your cat’s advocate when it comes to health issues, and the more you know, the better off your cat will be. From helping you choose the best veterinarian for your cat to understanding simple and complex feline health issues, you can count on The Conscious Cat to bring you the latest information on everything you need to know to keep your cats happy and healthy.
About Darwin’s Natural Pet Products
The folks at Darwin’s believe that all pet owners should have the opportunity to feed their pets a healthy meal made from high quality ingredients. Their goal is to make feeding your pet fresh, healthy, quality raw meals convenient and affordable.
Darwin’s Natural Selections uses only free-range, grass-fed beef, cage–free poultry and organic vegetables. All of their meats are hormone-free, steroid-free and antibiotic-free. They visit every farm that raises the animals they use in their meals to make sure they employ good farming practices and treat both their animals and employees with respect. For more about Darwin’s, please visit https://www.darwinspet.com/cat-food/
*FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that I believe are of interest to our readers. FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in Darwin’s affiliate program. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.