On March 28, we celebrate Respect Your Cat Day. While many felines typically demand our devotion and respect every day of the year, make it a point to cater to their unique needs on their noteworthy holiday. Follow these tips to show your cat that you respect their special nature.
#1: Give your cat opportunities to hide and perch
Cats are both a predator and a prey species, meaning they have distinctive traits for each side. Offer your cat opportunities to feel comfortable with both parts of their personality by giving them places to hide and to perch up high. A lookout tower that provides climbing surfaces and hiding spots is a great way to fulfill your cat’s needs. Their predatory nature can survey their territory for threats, or “prey,” from up high, while their prey nature can feel safe and secure in a small, dark enclosure.
#2: Determine your cat’s prey preference
Most cats prefer to hunt specific creatures, and by identifying their prey preference, you’ll be able to provide your pet with toys they’ll enjoy playing with. In general, cat toy categories include:
- Birds — Cat toys with feathers and those that chirp or flutter can entice your cat to play when they’re flown through the air.
- Mice — Plush toys, furry mice, and balls can mimic the movements of mice, encouraging your cat to stalk and pounce.
- Insects — A cat laser toy, a string with a knot at the end, or a robotic toy that skitters across the floor can resemble bugs, a common favorite prey of cats.
Play with each type of toy for a few minutes to see which your cat ignores and which they show interest in.
#3: Change up your cat’s feeding routine
Cats are designed to eat numerous small meals per day rather than one or two large meals. While some cats can control themselves when presented with a full food dish, many cannot, leading to various health issues. To avoid this, feed your cat several small meals each day, ideally in a food puzzle, as a way of mimicking how they would eat if they hunted for their food.