Naturally our cats get the best of our attention, support and affection, but do we sometimes tend to take Kitty for granted. Are there times when she just becomes part of our scenery? Even if cats are famously independent, they crave—and deserve—the full focus of their human companions. If you are guilty of any of these seven signs, you may not be showing your cat enough love. Raise your paw, and the solemnly swear to love them more.
1. You’ve Bought The Same Cat Food for Years
The cat food package design has evolved several times, but because your cat eats it without comment and you keep bringing home the same brand/flavor/life stage diet that Kitty’s grown accustomed to seeing in her bowl. A cat’s nutritional needs change along with their health and age. In fact, the ASPCA suggests special focus on senior nutrition.
2. When Your Cat Crosses the Kitchen Floor, Her Claws Click
Sounds like Kitty’s tap-dancing as she walks on the tile or linoleum surface, because her untrimmed claws clickety-click with every move. Even though you’ve provided her with a scratching post and a scratch pad of corrugated cardboard, both of which she uses to exercise her paw muscles, her claws grow quickly and if left untended, can snag surfaces, such as your sofa, jeans and even Kitty’s own bed. Regular manicures to clip the claw tips keep them comfortably blunt, and if you need a little extra assistance, check out the ASPCA’s step-by-step guide.
3. Your Cat’s Toys Are As Old As She Is
You think she just loves her catnip mouse so much that you couldn’t possibly replace it, right? Cats do love their toys to bits, but the novelty and joy of a fresh catnip critter every few months adds more bounce to the ounce for any feline. Tired, tattered toys do not inspire energetic play to keep your cat moving and engaged, so act like Santa and bring Kitty some fun new playthings, including an interactive choice, to keep her interested and happy. To prevent feline boredom, “The Cat Coach” Marilyn Krieger recommends that cat parents enhance their pets’ environment with interactive toys and daily quality playtime for physical and mental stimulation.
4. You’re Neglecting Dental Visits
Even the idea of visiting a dentist is enough to get your stomach flipping, and you don’t want your poor cat to experience that queasy sensation. Except you can floss in a daily attempt to keep your pearly whites, well, pearly. Even if you diligently brush Kitty’s choppers with special feline toothpaste, professional dental checkups are crucial. A dental exam/cleaning can be Kitty’s best friend. Take it from Dr. Brad LeVora of Little Seneca Animal Hospital, who performs feline dental cleanings twice weekly. He says that the signs of tooth or gum disease may be noticeable (bad breath, a lack of appetite) or very slight, and if left untreated it can lead to chronic mouth infections, which can lead to infections of other body organs.
5. Your Cat is Seeking Affection From Your Laptop…
Or kitchen counter…or TV set…or nightstand.
Cats long to have their chins rubbed (it’s one spot they cannot satisfactorily reach on their own) as the ultimate sign of affection. If your welcome touch isn’t available, she’ll try to find a substitute, repeatedly rubbing the furniture, while hoping you’ll take the hint.
(For extra affection points, try and master the slow blink, as perfected by Jackson “Cat Daddy” Galaxy from My Cat From Hell, and watch your cat blink back at you in agreeable communication.)
6. A Trip to the Dish Results in Dripping Whiskers
Even if the bowl has her name thoughtfully spelled out on the side, this dish may not be for her. Some cats dislike getting their whiskers wet when they’re lapping H2O, but many water bowls are narrow and shallow, forcing Kitty to nose down deeply to quench her thirst. Imagine having to sip your cappuccino from a tiny or chipped cup, and you’ll appreciate the small annoyance. Some experience stress from an overload of sensory stimuli, according to Jackson Galaxy, who recommends reducing such stressors. “For instance, a large water bowl that does not touch the cat’s whiskers when it drinks can help.” That wide-mouth bowl, stainless steel (wiped clean daily, filled with fresh cool water) lets cats drink in tranquility, with precious whiskers purr-fectly dry.
7. Your Vet Has A New Office, But You Had No Idea
Your vet relocated from his longtime office to a bigger, brighter space a few miles distant. He moved almost a year ago, but you didn’t realize it, because your cat hasn’t been sick so why would you bring her in Remember: seeing the vet annually is crucial for all cats, to spot any health issues and update vaccinations. Dr. LeVora says a thorough yearly exam gives your vet a baseline profile of your cat’s system. “If something changes down the road, we have current information for comparison and can better see what’s happening with that cat.”
Feature image: Vivienstock via Shutterstock
Kathy Blumenstock is owned by cats, loved by dogs, writes about both, and still longs for a horse.