Cracking the Code: Simple Tips to Improve Feline Mental Health

It’s been proven that cats enhance the quality of their owner’s lives. Just being near them lowers blood pressure, and petting or snuggling with them releases the “love hormone”, oxytocin, known to invigorate emotional well being. 

Since cats benefit us so much by simply being, it makes sense to repay the favor. Understanding and valuing the importance of feline mental health is an intrinsic part of a loving, compassionate, mutually beneficial human-cat relationship.

Love Works Both Ways

Cat lovers know very well the healing powers of feline ownership. Much has been said of the many ways they benefit human health, and perhaps it’s not surprising that human interaction boosts their mood in similar ways.

Human stress goes down when we cuddle with cats, and it happens to cats, too! Studies show dramatic increases of oxytocin after close time with the people they’re bonded with. Unsurprisingly, the strongest foundation for feline mental health may be building on these feelings of closeness and security. 

In other words, it truly is a two-way street when it comes to cat companionship. Contrary to some dubious feline body language, both parties are equally lucky to be in the presence of the other.

Look Good, Feel Good

Another facet of feline mental health actually starts with their physical state.

Like us, cats feel good when they look good. And how do they look good? By working out, of course! Exercising your cat at least 30 minutes every day is essential for a healthy mind and body.

Inherited Skills

Similarly, the installation of a cat tree, catio, window perch, or other vertical vantage point can help feline mental health enormously. They like to employ their predatory skills, so try to find games to play that encourage stalking, pouncing, or ambushing.

Is Scratching Good?

While scratching up furniture or curtains isn’t great, it’s a sign that cats need a proper outlet for scratching. The action gives them a great stretch, relieves stress, and helps shed dead claws.

What They Eat

On the same note, it’s important to watch what your cat eats. A balanced and complete diet that is rich in minerals and antioxidants is critical for optimal cognitive function.

We are happy to discuss whether your cat would benefit from omega-3 fatty acids or nutritional supplements to maintain feline mental health, especially as they age.

The Smart Test

Puzzle balls or food mazes incorporate your cat’s love of food with their ability to solve problems. Likewise, training your cat is extremely important to feline mental health – crate training, leash training, and agility training add significant value to your cat’s life. Plus, you can teach them commands, how to perform certain tricks, or even to use the toilet!

Feline Mental Health

The bottom line is that when your cat feels good, they are likely experiencing optimal health. Since we know that cats hide signs of illness or injury, it’s always a good idea to keep up their routine wellness checks.

If you have additional questions about how to help your cat look and feel their absolute best, our staff is always here for you at Cat Care of Vinings.

The Real Deal: What it Means when Cats Knead

Cat owners are lucky to be able to closely observe feline behavior every day. We’re in awe by their reflexes, impressed by their accuracy, and inspired by their cleverness. However, one of the cutest, sweetest things that cats do is knead.

Also called “making biscuits” or “working the dough,” this action consists of rhythmically pressing their front paws into a warm, squishy surface (like your lap!). Knowing why cats knead may help their owners understand – and appreciate – the wonders of this feline behavior.

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Kitty Confidential: Common Cat Myths Debunked

Since their domestication nearly 12,000 years ago, cats have long been considered creatures of myth and mystery. From being worshipped in ancient Egypt (a cat cemetery with more than 3,000 cat mummies was discovered!) to being viewed as a symbol of liberty during the Roman Empire, the housecat has had a wild ride through history.

Even in this age of modern technology, many cat myths still abound. Let the team at Cat Care of Vinings debunk some of today’s most common cat myths.

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A Quick Guide to Feline Behavior: What Does It Mean When Cats Hide?

When cats hide, they aren’t simply waiting for you to seek them out. Instead, cats sniff out quiet, dark, seemingly inaccessible places so they can go it alone – especially if they are in ill health. But why do they do this? How can cat owners help? Paying extra close attention to the subtle art of feline behavior is a good place to start.

February is National Cat Health Month; and while we focus on cat health every day, we wanted to take advantage of the spotlight to showcase this often-misunderstood feline behavior.

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