The world is shutting down, undergoing a massive and overwhelming transformation at breakneck speed. All is not calm. Our pets are also affected, with their senses picking up the anxiety we feel. Cats, for some reason, can remain rather aloof and, much to our chagrin, calm, cool, and collected.
Independent creatures, cats are more self-sufficient than dogs and slightly easier to manage indoors, but they still need care and feeding. A perfectly positioned pillow on which to snooze in, a ray of sunshine, breakfast and dinner, their own private loo, and if they give you permission, a little scratch behind the ears or under the chin—it’s all just lovely thank you. Bonus: they don’t require walking at 5 am when you’re still half asleep!
There’s a meme floating around Facebook: “Stay inside, practice social distancing, clean yourself constantly . . . OMG, I’ve become a house cat!” 😂However, cats, especially kittens, like to play and do need some exercise. Although they don’t require a lead or fence post visitations, some activities are necessary. Here are some tips to keep Fluffy happy, healthy, and occupied. Again, much of it is common sense and following some simple steps.
- If someone in your home has contracted COVID-19, keep Fluffy away from them as best you can. Although the cat itself can’t contract the virus, it can remain on their fur for an extended (reports vary) length of time, thereby becoming a carrier. Anyone who touches the cat and then touches their face could potentially end up sick. Regularly wash your hands and, if necessary, Fluffy as well (if you can hold her down long enough).
- Make sure you have enough of the proper food on hand for the two of you. As with dogs, no sharing, although that scenario is unlikely with a cat.
- Cats, especially kittens, love to play. They are actually pretty adept at amusing themselves just by chasing their own tails, or if you have two, each other. Big reminder, don’t put grandma’s antique vase too close to the edge of anything.
- ball of yarn or string, some bags and boxes to crawl into, dangling cat toys they can bat or jump at, or a catnip toy to chase around are usually enough to keep them entertained. If your cat likes to climb, find some bits and pieces of scrap wood and old carpeting that can be fixed together to create a climbing pole.
- Cats are independent by nature, but they do love a good lap. When one becomes available, they will happily curl up for a snooze. However, cats are constantly preening and cleaning. Don’t allow that to transfer to your hands and/or face. (See point 1)
- If Fluffy is a part-time (or full-time) outdoor cat, lock up the cat flap and hide the key. Time to stay indoors until we’re given the all-clear. Entertainment suggestions? (See point 3)
- Keep the litter tray clean and have an extra bag of litter on hand.
- If you do become ill and you live alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help if required. For both of you, wash, wash, and wash again.
- If you do have concerns. Call, DON’T VISIT, your local vet or animal shelter. They will be happy to answer any questions and allay any concerns that you may have.