15 Tips To Help Keep You And Your Cats Happy

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It’s all about having a good cat-titude.

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1.

When it comes to finding the right toys for your cat, look for products with variation. Diverse toys will keep your cat engaged and break up the monotony of the great indoors.


Mal Mower / BuzzFeed, amazon.com

My cats use the puzzle in the video above every single day. It’s a super simple design but I can toss different things into it (balls, catnip, my house keys) and they’ll spend tons of time figuring out how to grab, drag, and remove the different objects.

You can grab things like a Ripple Rug ($39.99), catnip bubbles ($19.96), or that brain-teasing puzzle ($24.99) and find your cat’s favorite way to play!

2.

But don’t feel like you have to spend money on the latest and greatest to make sure Fluffy’s having fun. Cats are terrifically trashy – leave an old box on the ground for a bit and they’ll be stoked!


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Pictured above (in order of who was the most annoying) is Chuck at #1, sitting on an empty Amazon box instead of the literal cat bed beside him and Blair, a close second, who found a piece of trash a week ago that she loves far more than she loves me.

3.

Avoid having their food, water, or litter box near each other.


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Cats’ instincts tell them it’s not safe to drink water that’s near a food source – in the wild, that food would be contaminated. Same goes with the litter box. If *you* wouldn’t want to dig into a picnic beside an outhouse, your cat doesn’t either.

4.

Invest in a drinking fountain to keep your cat healthy and hydrated, because cats prefer running water.


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If you’ve ever noticed your cat wanting to grab a drink straight from the faucet, you’re seeing another ode to cats’ strong natural instincts. Out in nature, running water is clean and safe to sip from but still water could be contaminated. Keep the flow going and your cat hydrated!

You can get the fountain featured on Amazon for $20.99+ (it’s available in two colors). It includes a filter, but you can also get refills when the water starts to seem less than fresh.

5.

Have one litter box per cat and one extra. This keeps your cats from «dominating» a litter box. Your upholstery and floors will thank you later.


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I know this rule sounds brutal, because I avoided doing it for literal years. But I now have a grand total of *three* litter boxes in my apartment and I could never go back to the old days. The litter boxes are never too full, they’re much easier to clean, and I no longer deal with my cats peeing outside of their box to claim it as their own.

6.

To make your litter box life a little easier, use hidden litter boxes (and plz enjoy this photo of my coworker, Yi, not realizing she is sitting on that cat’s toilet).


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I’ve used this Amazon ottoman ($42.61) as a litter box for years. It has the space to fit my unused litter bags/scoop *and* I’m able to place the litter box far enough back to avoid litter tracking onto my floor. I cover the bottom with a tracking mat ($18.99) to further avoid that mess.

7.

Keep your tabletops clear, because apparently cats take «the floor is lava» as seriously as Snapchat did in 2017. They like being up high and they’ll shove everything out of their way to get a better view of a room.


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I am a maximalist, but finally gave in and made sure there was plenty of space on my bookshelves for my cats to stroll around without touching anything.

8.

Try to avoid citrus scents in your home as much as possible.


Martin Poole / Getty Images

Cats hate the scent of citrus so, while it’s a great option when trying to keep your kitto off a certain piece of furniture, it can cause them anxiety if they are stuck smelling something they hate in their home 24/7.

9.

Actively play with your cats for at least 20 minutes a day. This gives them the exercise they need to stay healthy when, unlike dogs, they aren’t being taken on walks every day.


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10.

*BUT!* if you have an indoor cat who likes to explore, you can totally take them out on a leash or in a stroller. This isn’t for every cat, but some really love it! It’s a great way to shake up their days and give them the exercise they need.


Mal Mower / BuzzFeed

My apartment is great for birdwatching, napping, and some cat-friendly laser tag but one of my cats enjoys the chance to roam around a bit more. My husband and I take her on walks whenever the weather is nice and warm. Our scaredy cat prefers to birdwatch from the stroller ($48.99).

If you do decide to start taking your kitto on walks, just be sure to use a harness and leash ($10.99) specifically designed for cats (because they’re so darn flexible).

11.

Create plenty of places for your cat to hide in the house, especially if you have guests over. And always make sure guests know your cat’s preferences.


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It is the *cat’s* house; your friends are just visiting.

12.

Although your kitto is likely sleeping most of the day away, modern technology is easing our pet parent anxieties with interactive cameras so you can check in on your pet and even play with them to break up their (and your) day.


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My commute on the subway got infinitely better when my cats figured out how to play with this. The sound is great, the laser is easy to use, and the picture is clear!

You can get this snazzy camera from Amazon for $199.

13.

Cats practically brag about being allergic to almost everything, so keep some cat grass handy and keep the rest of your plant babies out of their reach (and more specifically, out of their mouths).


Margarita Khamidulina / Getty Images

The ASPCA has a really clear list on toxic and non-toxic plants that’s a great reference if you’re trying to find out what’s safe in your place.

And fresh cat grass is easier to come by than you might think! You can grab this full cat grass kit on Amazon for $14.99.

14.

Fill your place with plenty of scratch-able surfaces, and make sure there are some set high enough for your kitto to reach up for a good stretch!


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This wall-mounted scratcher ($20.99) is one of my favorite pet purchases. It takes up no space, looks surprisingly nice in my apartment, and my cats love it! Plus I’ve had mine for more than seven months and it’s still going strong!

15.

And finally, don’t leave dry food out in a bowl during the day – cats will overeat if they are bored. Instead, have a feeding system that uses their hunting instincts while also helping them space out mealtimes.


Mal Mower / BuzzFeed

My cat Chuck was overweight because he would sit and eat the dry food left out when he was bored, so I got Doc & Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder ($18.99). With these he’ll «hunt», eat one, and not eat again until he’s hungry. I’ve written a full review on this clever feeding system before because I refuse to stop recommending it (#1)!

Now go give your persnickety critter some well-deserved scritches!


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