October 28 is National Cat Day. While we celebrate our kitties every day of the year, it’s the perfect time to share our best suggestions for how to keep cats occupied and happy, create a stronger bond with your cats and get some great feline gear while doing so. We’ve even got suggestions from the nation’s foremost cat authorities.
By Jennifer McKee
Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell,” made Jackson Galaxy a household name, but he’s been a passionate cat advocate since he first met a down-and-out cat named Benny at an animal shelter, and now concentrates his efforts on helping to reduce the feral cat population. From his books to successful line of cat toys, supplies and treatments—look for the return of Holiday Stress Stopper on Nov. 21— Galaxy helps people strengthen their bonds with animals.
“Learn the species, whether we’re talking about cat, dog or hedgehog. You’ve got a relationship with an animal or you’re striving for a relationship with an animal, you’ve got to hit the books a little bit,” says Galaxy. “It’s as if you’re getting into a new relationship with somebody and you want this relationship to go somewhere. You want to learn about them, about where they’re from, what are the experiences that shaped them.”
That concept of relationships is key, adds Galaxy.
“This is not ownership, this is a relationship. You’re demanding something emotionally of another,” he says. “It doesn’t matter who it is. If you want love, you have to give it. I think it is relatively simple. Sometimes, people just overlook it.”
A paradise for animal lovers, the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, is home to more than 1,600 displaced animals; in addition, there are lifesaving centers in Los Angeles, New York City and Atlanta. Its goal is to make all shelters, everywhere, no-kill by 2025.
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only wreaked havoc on people’s work schedules, but it’s also disrupted feline schedules, says Samantha Bell, a cat behavior specialist at Best Friends.
“Despite stereotypes that say otherwise, many cats form very close bonds with their humans and can become quite stressed when apart,” says Bell.
According to Bell, cats that suffer from separation anxiety can become excessively vocal, over groom their fur, or even eliminate on their owner’s items in an attempt to mingle their scents together.
Bell’s top tips for keep cats engaged and happy is to engage your cat with a wand toy once a day, make sure the adjustments you’ve made to their routines are sustainable (i.e. the number of times you feed them each day) and to keep a happy, light tone when you leave the house. She also suggests using puzzle feeders so they can forage for their food; learn more about cat enrichment with this article from Best Friends.
We adore Catit for fun puzzle feeders that include food trees, treat spinners and treat puzzles. They’ll keep cats stimulated and engaged for hours, and you’ll quickly learn how resourceful you kitty is. There are great scratchers as well, and you connect all these items with a ball circuit to create the ultimate in smart play, the Senses 2.0 Playground.
Does your cat want to get up and above it all? Or perhaps just hang out by the fireplace in his or her very own rocker? Local CSRA resident Ron Vaz can help. Look to Vaz for one-of-a-kind, handmade cat furniture you won’t find anywhere else. His custom-designed pieces fit into any aesthetic. Email him at [email protected] to get yours started.
As mentioned above, cats suffer anxiety and stress just like their human counterparts. Help them reach their calm in an all-natural way with CBD Living Pet’s Calming Cat Tincture. The supplement, which comes in a seafood flavor, also contains Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat and Algae oil to support cognitive, nervous and immune system functions. A water booster, nose and paw salve and gel capsules—all specifically for cats—are also available.
Christmas will come early to your feline household with a little help from Fancy Feast. The brand just released a first-of-its-kind Advent calendar, with 24 cans of wet food to welcome in the festive season. Also new this year is a limited-edition ornament; 100 percent of the proceeds to to RedRover through Purina’s Purple Leash Project, whose goal is to create more pet-friendly domestic violence shelters throughout the nation.
Demeter’s limited-edition Grumpy Cat products. (©Demeter)
A Cat Day Deal Must
Demeter is known for its iconic fragrance library filled with luscious feel-good scents. This National Cat Day, get 25 percent off all its Kitten Fur fragrance products, which really smell as sweet as a kitten! Choose from cologne spray, body lotion, shower gel, roll-on perfume oil and atmosphere diffuser oil. You can also homage to the incomparable Grumpy Cat, who boasts her own limited-edition version.
More Gifts We Love
Honor a beloved pet with the help of Grandin Road’s personalized cat sketches, available in long- or short-haired cat varieties—you can add a name or special sentiment. Sketches are printed on canvas and come in a black floater frame.
Show off your artistic side with a do-it-yourself pottery kit from Crockd. The O.G. set has enough clay for two items—perhaps a cat food dish and water bowl? The kit comes with everything you need to get started—the clay, carving tools and a list of instructions. Crockd’s high-quality clay has natural iron fleck—once glazed and fired, the natural speckling comes through.
Are you a proud cat lady? Show it off with Happy Planner’s Cat Lady Classic 12-Month Planner, and stay organized at the same time—you know, when to feed your cat, when to play with your cat … Should you need more cuteness, a pack of 333 Feline Good stickers is also available.