Working from home seems like the ideal setup on paper – a mini utopia that lets you choose your hours, chop and change your working patterns and balance your work and home life with the precision of a keyhole surgeon. Hmmm, we hope that they’re not working from home right now, mind; that wouldn’t be hygienic.
Anyway, we digress…
Lockdown has shown so many that the #wfh dream and its reality are very disparate beasts. Being stuck indoors all day is a bit of a drag, with constant distractions primed and ready to sap motivation faster than you can race down the stairs to pick up your next Amazon package.
One thing’s for certain; it’s never been easier to empathise with the plight of your house cat, who only ever experiences the sights and sounds of the rooms in your home and entertains themselves as best they can.
If that increased sense of empathy has led to you wanting to improve your feline friend’s quality of life, then check out these 5 bite-sized tips on how to look after your cat during lockdown.
Cats love nothing more than eating, but they can be fussy about what they consume. Some will stick strictly to their dry food (in which case leave plenty of fresh water out for them) while others will gobble up their wet food with the enthusiasm of a chilli lover at a Thai restaurant.
But when buying your cat treats to nibble on, do make sure that they’re healthy. Purchase dental treats for your cat, rather than instantly-gratifying but ultimately unhealthy and fattening sweet treats, to keep their gnashers strong. If you’re keen for a little more guidance, check out our tips on some important vitamins to give your pets.
KEEP YOUR CAT IN TIP-TOP CONDITION
Although the process of attending an appointment has changed due to various lockdowns and social distancing measures, veterinary surgeons have remained open during the lockdown – and there’s no better time to make an appointment if you’re concerned about your cat’s wellbeing.
Ideally, try to find a vet that partners with Avacta Animal Health and Royal Canin, and has a substantial Pet Health Club of its own, to make sure your cat’s receiving the best possible care.
Also keep vigilant of particularly hazardous items around the house; alcohol, coffee, chives, chocolate, garlic, grapes, onions and raisins, in particular, can be extremely harmful to your feline friend if ingested. Various human medication, such as ibuprofen, should also be kept well out of harm’s way to keep your cat from accidentally ingesting them.
LET THEM CLIMB
If you love someone, set them free.
Cats love nothing more than climbing to high places that only they can reach; the view from there is extraordinary, they assure us through purring. This is a trait descended from their wild cat ancestors, whose natural climbing ability made them skilful predators.
As such, your cat may well grow restless without a place to climb, so make sure they have plenty of shelves and steps to clamber on. Just make sure that the antique China isn’t in danger first!
A cat without prey will be bored and irritable – but there are plenty of ways to make them feel like a predator-extraordinaire without setting them on the birds in your garden or letting them accumulate mice in their little corner of the room.
Fortunately, you can purchase plenty of toys that will simulate the hunting experience for your cat, whether that means cat-nip covered balls, remote-controlled mice or even pieces of string. We’ve all seen the joyous sight of a cat leaping around playfully satisfying their instincts to hunt. Help facilitate it! Your local pet store will have plenty of toys in stock, and if you’re serious about keeping your cat happy during lockdown, then why not treat them to a few?
CONSIDER A CATIO
All this climbing on the shelves and chasing remote controlled mice is all well and good, but remember that just because you’re housebound, doesn’t mean your cat needs to be. Instead, during times like these, the PDSA recommends building a catio; a ‘’secure, fenced enclosure, usually attached to an owner’s house that your cat can freely come and go from’’.
This gives your pet the chance to get some fresh air and keep fit outside, whilst you can still keep an eye on them. And in this turbulent, troublesome times, that’s all you can ask for, right?