Cat Parent Guilt: How To Raise A Happy Cat While Working From Home
Have you ever heard the term happy wife happy life? Well, the same applies for cats! Discover how to raise a happy cat and get your work done without the cat parent guilt.
For those Moms who are working from home with cats, a happy cat will make your life so much easier than someone who isn’t content.
Whether you have just brought your kitten home or have had them for a while, you want them to feel relaxed and comfortable.
Your cat will naturally want to interact with you throughout the day, which may not be possible if you are in the middle of a work zoom call or you’re on a deadline.
In a similar way to working from home with children, there can be lots of teething issues, so it’s important to get some tools in place to ensure you raise a happy cat.
And if your kitten or cat is naturally a nervous cat, you can check out these tips to help your cat become a happy cat and boost their confidence.
Provide a Safe and Comfortable Environment for your Cat
The best way to raise a happy cat is to ensure their home environment is safe and comfortable. Think about it, when you have these things, your life is better, right? The same applies to cats!
Always keep a cat’s food and water in an area with little to no traffic. This will ensure they will have quiet and their privacy.
Do the same with their litter box. A happy cat needs their privacy when they poop.
Try to add in some toys, scratching posts, cat beds, cat trees or towers which will add to their comfort level.
You can also create a cat-friendly area in your home office space. A cat bed placed nearby to your own desk can be the perfect spot for your fluffy friend to chill out while you work.
Keep in mind that it could take a while for a new kitten to adjust to a new environment or new normal. But a safe and comfortable environment is a great way to start that journey cat happiness.
Socialization is Vital for A Happy Cat
The common stereotype of cats is that they are independent and don’t need to have much interaction with people. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
While cats do like their alone time, they also like spending time with their owners just like any other pet.
If they don’t get that attention and social interaction, it could affect their mood and you’ll have the opposite of a happy cat with the possibility of depression or cat anxiety.
Here’s some ways you can improve your cat’s socialization
Try to make some time during the workday to play with your cat. A great time for this is before you start work and after work. Dawn and dusk is when cats are naturally in action mode.
Play with your cat using toys that suit their nature.
Your cat may be more of the mouser type, and so any toy that you can drag along the floor will be great for them.
If your cat is more of a bird chaser, then get a toy that you can flick in the air, and they can expend all their energy chasing after it.
Or for the more relaxed cat, you can dangle a toy while your cat lies on their back and paws at it.
Quick bathroom breaks can be another chance for you to sneak a quick interaction with your pet. Have faith that it doesn’t have to be an hour of playing or snuggling for your cat to appreciate spending time with their owner.
A content and happy cat is one that has expended a certain amount of energy during the day (and night). Whatever you do it will help keep your cat content until you are ready to call it quits for the day.
Reinforce Good Behaviour of Your Happy Cat
Your cat might act out if they can’t always interact with you so try to reinforce some good behaviour whenever you see it.
If you do see any bad behaviour, talk to your cat in a firm, yet gentle voice. You don’t want to yell at them because it will scare them, which can lead to them feeling anything but happy.
We all want to be praised when we do something good, and our cats are no different. See your cat eating? Well praise them as much as you can! You can do this multiple times during the day.
Whenever you have some down time at work just glance over at your cat and praise them. Maybe add a few neck or ear scratches in there as well.
They will appreciate that you are giving them some attention and praise.
Interactive Enrichment For A Happy Cat
Cats need interaction but there will be times when you really need to concentrate on your work. And when you’re working, a cat weaving themselves around your workstation is exactly what you DON’T need.
Try placing a few interactive enrichment toys and puzzles around the house to keep your kitten entertained without needing any input from yourself.
Here’s some ideas for interactive enrichment:
- Treat toys, such as a ball filled with treats
- Snuffle mat covered in dry food or treats
- Wrapping treats in scrunched up newspaper in a box
- Placing treats in a poster tube they can roll around until the treat comes out
- Catnip toys – you can respray these with catnip when they need refreshing. Note that some kittens may be too young to enjoy catnip.
- Fish flipper toy
- Ping pong balls
- Treats hidden all over the house
And to ensure you have a happy cat at the end of the day, make sure you change the toys every now and again.
Try a couple to start with and then switch them out every few days to keep your cat interested and engaged.
Happy Cat, Happy Life
So, there you have it! Raising a happy cat takes a bit of forethought and some trial and error.
But by creating a safe and comfortable environment, socializing them, reinforcing good behaviour and providing some enrichment, you and your cat will be well on the way to forming a cat-tastic bond.
And remember, happy cat, happy life!
Desiree Delong is a freelance writer for leading cat anxiety website Cat Advice. She has a passion for all animals, but especially cats. She has owned cats since she was six years old and even though she is now in her thirties, her love for cats has never faded. She continues to adopt cats and give them a safe, loving home. Currently, Desiree spends most of her time writing. In her free time, she cares for her furbaby, a tabby cat named Halo who is nearing her seventh birthday.