11. A Little Grass
We have a small back garden built for them to be taken out into every morning and evening. They like to eat grass, (good for their digestion and help them throw up hair balls, which could be dangerous if they have to pass them thru the intestines). I’ve also planted a small tub with grass and bring it inside if they won’t be going out that day. It’s more difficult to maintain grass in a tub, but worth it. Rye grass grows quickly and is apparently tasty. Otherwise, bring in grass stems (they like the fresh end bits of Bermuda or even St. Augustine. They seem to smell it to determine if it’s fresh or whatever, before eating it. Hold out a piece at a time.
12. Use Storage Containers
Those same storage tubs around the house, covered with washable rugs and small quilts make excellent beds or sprawling places, or staircases for older kitties.
13. An Anole Habitat to Watch
These lizards take time to care for, but our screened cage is an ever-interesting place for the girls to hang out. We used PVC pipe to build a cage, and bought the screening online. It has a zipper around it to snug it over the PVC infrastructure. However, I think a screened birdcage (screen on the inside, so the anole can’t get caught between bars and screen), might be easier. Our PVC cage is very sturdy, and one of the cats likes to lay on top of it. It needs to be screened, not glass.
14. Make Do Toys
Make cats toys by using boxes with holes cut out, yard bags (either uncut, or with the bottom cut open and the sack supported by a small box to make a tunnel. Radio Shack has a fun “bug” that is quiet and walks until it bums something, and then turns around. $10, fun to watch. Long feathers. Baby floor environment things (those little quilts with a structure and soft toy hanging down), covered with a little sheet or something, to make a hiding place, and a place to pull feathers by. A string pulled under a rug.
15. Attention to Grooming
Grooming: time consuming, but important to them. We have a variety of brushes. Their hair feels to them a lot like our head hair feels to us. Hair gets dandruff, itchy, and tangled. They can lick themselves, but will really enjoy the same things we would. Massage, gentle scratching (if they start licking hard where you are scratching, you’re in the right place – try combing that spot with a flea comb. A comb hurt, to stop when she says so). Face brushing is a social thing also, and very bonding. About once a month a bath and ears rinsed with 10% vinegar in warm water. Annually, a shave at the vet.
16. Food and Treats
Food and treats: read up on natural cat foods (see halopets.com), and consider the oils and vegetables that help with the diet. Small food treats are nice, and the flavor and variety is fun. One of our cats likes cooked shrimp, cantaloupe, and small celery pieces. Another likes peanut butter, and the third (alas) loves dairy, so she gets very few of those treats.
17. Make a Ramp or Bench
A 6-foot x 10-inch x 1/ 2-inch board, covered with indoor/outdoor carpet. Be careful to either nail or glue the carpet to the board, as staples pull out. Then lay the board on a slant from couch to floor for sliding down (good for the anal glands), playing under (while you run the feather down the top sides), and running up & down.
Several of the same covered boards to build “benches” or even “bleachers”. Lay a board across a pair of ends (plastic storage tubs full of stored stuff, such as summer clothes, are great). Indoors or on a covered porch. By snuggling and stacking the storage boxes (make sure they’re all the same kind and not tippy), you can build bleachers against a solid wall, such as the patio. Away from the railing, of course.
18. A Chance to Go Out
Confining a cat indoors is like baring a kid from Anaheim the chance to see Disneyland. Yeah, I know. The vets all say your cat will live longer if he or she is confined to indoors. There is much more to life than living long . . . for you AND your cat. The quality of life ought to matter more, don’t you think? Remember “Born Free?” Let your kitty out to hunt and explore. Cats absolutely love it and it does wonders for their dispositions.
19. A Little Water Fountain
I have Maine Coons and they love water. I invested in a pet fountain and they absolutely love it. They use it to play with the water and to drink. Most cats prefer running water to drinking form a dish and the pet fountain fills this desire. I am certain it encourages them to drink more then they normally would and this can be helpful to their kidneys especially if you use RO water to minimize the mineral content. I am sure other breeds would drink more too and I think this is a healthy way to spoil your cats. I hope this tip was helpful.
20. Make them a Nest
We pamper our cats by making them ‘nests’ from our clothes. We put an item of clothing (like a warm top) on the chair and they nestle into it. Our cats know we are making them a ‘nest’ and wait patiently for us to make it nice before they hop in for a sleep.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia