By Kit Marsters
When facing the choice between adding either a feline or a canine friend to our household, many of us take into the equation the amount of time we need to spend with our new friends. Of course, we all know that a dog needs to be walked several times a day, and that some dogs do not deal well with being left on their own for the amount of time we spend at work. Cats tend to be more independent.
Some people think that cats merely tolerate our presence and so long as we feed them, they are happy. However, whilst food, of course, tends to be met with great enthusiasm, it takes a bit more than that to guarantee feline contentment.
Cats need to be intellectually stimulated. They do need us to spend time with them, not only to receive the occasional petting or being curled up on our laps, but quality playtime. To just buy the occasional catnip mouse and leave it on the floor for their convenience is not enough.
If you have a kitten in your house, you will no doubt notice their naturally playful behaviour. Playing strengthens a cat’s muscles, keeps them fit and helps control their weight. There are reports that playing helps to develop a kitten’s brain, with regards to their hunting and social behaviour.
Older cats, too, need the stimulation that play offers, and when shopping for toys it is recommended to look for those that offer visual, auditory and tactual stimulation. Also important is to check that the toy is safe – not all of them are. Some have sharp edges, some have small parts that can be swallowed. It is best to go for those toys that cannot be swallowed and are made of non-toxic materials. And, especially with any new toy, supervise your cat’s playtime.
Apart from playtime, please keep in mind that the myth that cats do not get attached to their humans is indeed just that – a myth. Many felines will develop a special bond with their human house mate, and they will notice your absence. Remember how insulted a cat can be when you dare to stay away overnight! And how, when you come home from work, you will often be greeted by a highly enthusiastic cat, his/her tail high in the air to say hello. Some cats will even position themselves to keep an eye out for your return, waiting for you.
Spend some special time with your cat each day, even if for half an hour. It doesn’t just benefit your furry friend, it also benefits you. Playing with a cat is relaxing, good fun and can help you wind down after a hectic day.
If your lifestyle involves, for example, regular business trips away from home, for days at a time, please assure there is someone around to look after your cat, and not just to put some food in a bowl. If you have to be away almost all the time, though, a cat might not be the best pet for you. You will be missed, and if you have to have a pet but can’t really fit them into your busy lifestyle, it might be worth looking for those who need less attention and affection.
This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.PetLovers.Com/ which is a site for Pet Forums.
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