1. Keep your kitty indoors

If you train a kitten to stay indoors from a young age, he or she should not want to go outside hunting. The main thing is to provide plenty of entertainment for your cat in the home. Scratching posts, toys, boxes and beds are a great source of entertainment, especially if you are out for the day. Keeping your kitty indoors is important to protect him or her from parasites and environmental dangers, cars, getting lost, stolen or hurt. Indoor cats are usually healthier, too, which saves on veterinary bills for treatment of contagious diseases, parasites, and abscesses from fights with other animals. While it is true that cats enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and exercise, they do not need to go outside to be satisfied. Some cats can be taught to wear a harness, so they can go on a lead and walk supervised in the garden. If you have tried introducing your cat to the harness and you have been met with overwhelming resistance you may wish to consider the use of an outdoor enclosure, with a roof to prevent escape or have the sides angled inward at the top to prevent climbing over. Another option, if your housing situation can accommodate this, is to have two cats growing up together so they keep one another company and can play together. There are also many techniques that make it quite easy to introduce a new cat into a home where your cat has been the only cat.

2. Spay and neuter your cats

Entire cats are driven by hormones to try to escape outside to find a mate. By speying and neautering, you eliminate this added stress on your cat while at the same time minimizing the allure of the outdoors and chance of contributing to the unwanted cat population. Some people think that allowing your female cat to have one litter of kittens will make her a better natured cat, this is not so. Early age desexing is not harmful and will not only help your kitten settle into a wonderful new life, but the health risks for allowing her to ‘come into season’, find a male cat outside that could possibly carry diseases and have to birth kittens, will be eliminated. The other important aspect to bear in mind is that unless you are an ‘experienced’ or ‘registered’ breeder (in a cat society) of cats and know what to do with birthing and raising kittens, you are more likely to have concerns and complications that are dangerous to the mother cat’s health and the health of her kittens. These issues may lead to terrible health or even death of mother or kittens. There are considerable costs involved in breeding kittens that many people are not aware of. If you find yourself with a mother cat that has gifted you with some kittens, by all means make her comfortable and secure in a warm place and seek advice of how to raise these babies and find them loving homes. Ideally the kittens will need to be vet checked, wormed, flea treated, vaccinated, microchipped and desexed. There are rescue groups and vets that can certainly assist with information of what to do and help find the kittens good and loving homes. Breeding cats is not for the feint hearted and best to be left to the ‘experts’.

3. Love your cat! Domesticated cats crave human attention

It sounds simple but spending time each day, playing with him/her, cuddling, belly rubs, patting, brushing, talking, sitting with them and talking to them will help make a happy cat! Indoor cats do need access to activity that will stimulate both their mind and their body and provide the exercise that they would naturally engage in if they were out and about as well as interaction with their owners. There is no doubt that cats know how to get our attention. They ‘speak’ to us, giving a ‘solicitation purr’ to get their owner’s attention and to receive food. Cats may also use other subtle ways of interacting with us and we can use these to build the bond between us. If you are a cat owner, you will know that a cat seems to know ‘how you are feeling’, if you need more cuddles and attention from them today. Cats are extremely observant creatures, which means they may be picking up on habits you didn’t even know you had—especially when your emotions are running high or low. Even something like crying or laughing can be linked to some sort of action that benefits the cat—petting or praise, for example—that they’ll pick up on! Your cat can be a great coping mechanism for getting you past your blue mood. If you’re down in the dumps, don’t be afraid to give your cat some love—chances are, they’ll find you the next time you need a little TLC, even if it is for their own selfish purpose!