With the onset of COVID-19, many people have started to follow social distancing rules to protect themselves from the pandemic. As many pet owners are now working from home and stressing about the safety of their families, an important question has been raised: How can cat owners keep their furry friends safe during this trying time? Well, you cannot really make your cat wear a mask or use hand sanitizer, and you do not need to!
By following the next simple steps, you can make sure that your pet stays healthy day in, day out.
Stock Up on Supplies
No, we do not mean that you should think it is the “toilet paper apocalypse” and buy all the supplies you can find. However, it is always wise to stay on top of everything by having enough food for your pet. Because you do not have the luxury to go for multiple supply runs every week anymore, the lifelong animal lovers at Feline Living recommend that you stock a 1-3-week supply of food. As mentioned by these experts, you should go for canned food because it offers your cat some extra hydration. Plus, canned food usually can last up to two years if not opened.
On the other hand, dry food lasts only one year if left unopened. In any case, store your cat’s food in a dry, cool place like your pantry to make sure it does not go bad before its expiration date comes. Also, if your cat needs any special supplements or medicine, you should keep those within reach as well. Something a lot of pet owners forget is grooming tools; if you use any particular shampoo for your cat, make sure you have 3-4 bottles. Nonetheless, keep in mind that you should not overbuy and put other pet owners in a sticky situation. Instead, you should only get supplies that will last for a few weeks.
Limit Your Cat’s Outdoor Activity
Luckily, most cats hate the outdoors anyway, but if yours likes to go out every once in a while to relieve itself, then you should offer some incentives to make it use the litter. You can get one of those litter boxes that have closed lids, as they offer some privacy, which is something cats like. If your cat is used to interacting with other pets in the neighborhood, try to limit such contact because you can never be too sure about how healthy other pets are. It might be difficult for your kitty to adjust to the new situation at first, but by using positive reinforcement and treats, your cat will love staying inside.
Keep Your Cat Physically Stimulated
Active cats are healthy cats. Physical stimulation is essential if you want to prevent your cat from developing health issues like obesity. So, instead of leaving your cat indoors with no means of entertainment, you should dedicate at least 15 minutes a day for playtime. You can play with laser beams or even use catnip spray to make an old toy more enticing. Contrary to popular belief, cats still like to play with their owners even if they seem aloof. So, do yourself and your cat a favor and make playtime a chance for both of you to de-stress.
Take Care of Yourself
Your psychological well-being is also important if you want your furry buddy to stay healthy. Cats can pick up on your bad mood, so try to do things that make you happy like playing with your cat or watching your favorite tv show. Moreover, cats are neither nocturnal nor diurnal; they actually adapt to their owners’ schedules. So, if yours is wacky right now, your cat’s health might be affected. To combat this, you must stick to a schedule. For example, wake up at the same time every day to feed your kitty and finish your work. This way, your cat will feel that everything is normal and will not be stressed. Also, make sure that you follow the rules of social distancing by avoiding crowded spaces. While there is no proof that cats can contract COVID-19, we know that humans can and if you do, your cat will not have anyone to look after it. Therefore, having an emergency contact that can take care of your cat if anything goes south is crucial.
While this is definitely a scary time for everyone, you can still keep your cat safe until everything goes back to normal. By stocking up on supplies, keeping your cat indoors, and making sure it is entertained, it will feel like nothing has changed. Do not forget to take good care of yourself as well. Your cat depends on you, so stay safe and healthy!