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Whether it's going back to school, starting a new job, or experiencing shifts in our daily routines, schedule changes can have a significant impact on our cats. Let's shed some light on why these changes can be challenging for our feline friends.
Cats thrive on consistency. They form strong attachments to their environment and the routines they've grown accustomed to. When those routines are disrupted, it can create stress and anxiety for them.
Imagine you're a cat settling into your daily routine, knowing exactly when you'll be fed, when playtime happens, and when you get to snuggle up with your favorite human. Suddenly, your human's schedule shifts, and those comforting routines are thrown into disarray. It's like having the script of your life rewritten overnight – a bit disorienting, right?
Check out these purrfect tips to ensure your cat stays happy and entertained as your schedule gets busier. We all know how much our cats mean to us, and with a little planning, we can make sure they continue to enjoy their days to the fullest, even when we're busy buzzing around.
Tips for Surviving Schedule Changes with Your Cat
Engage their hunting drives:
Cats are natural hunters, so keep their minds active with interactive toys that mimic prey. When you are home, try out toys that get your kitty moving and chasing, like a flirt pole.
Create a cat haven:
Invest in a cat tower or tree to give them vertical space to climb, scratch, and perch. Cats feel safer observe their kingdom from high vantage points. Multi-level structures for climbing, perching, and scratching will help keep your cats entertained... and will likely lessen their urge to scratch your furniture! Look for a tower with changeable toy attachments so you can rotate toys to keep your cat extra entertained.
Make mealtime fun and challenging with slow feeders that stimulate their minds and engage their natural drives while they enjoy their meals. Slow feeders stretch out meal time, so if you place them out as you leave you can keep your cat entertained long after you walk out the door.
Provide scratching posts or pads to satisfy their scratching urges and keep their claws healthy. Try out different types of scratchers like sisal and cardboard. You'll protect your furniture too!
It's no secret that cats love cozy places! Make sure to leave out their crate (and maybe even hide a few treats inside it!) to both provide your kitty with a safe place and get them comfortable with their carrier before you need it during a trip to the vet or a big move. Your cat should view their crate as the relaxation room in a 5 star luxury resort! While you might want to get adorable small cat beds, I recommend also getting some larger beds that your cat can stretch out on!
Scent (especially their own scent) is very important to cats, so try not to wash all of the cat beds at once to help your kitty stay less stressed... maybe even skip a round of your regular bed washing right when your schedule changes to help those comforting scents stick around.
Since cats love scent so much, new or different scents can be a great form of enrichment. Catnip toys can be a great way to keep your cat entertained while you are away!
Do your best to carve out 5-15 minutes at least 5 days a week to spend some time training and bonding with your cat. Working out their brain and body will help them to stay calm while you're away!
Prepare for Safe Exploration:
If you'd like to train your cat to be an adventure cat, help them get comfortable in (and get their scent on) their backpack! Make the backpack accessible to your kitty and sprinkle treats and/or catnip inside it to encourage your cat to spend some time in it!
Keep things interesting by rotating their toys. Sort their toys into at least two or three batches and then rotate the available batch weekly to keep things interesting!
Keep your cat entertained with things outside your window! Add a window bird feeder or move your existing feeders near a window so they have new and exciting things to observe from the safety of your home.
Music and Sounds
Create a calming environment with cat-friendly music or nature sounds, which can help keep them relaxed and content or take advantage of your time away to do some noise desensitization! Play thunder, fireworks, or other sounds on a low volume. Once you're certain your cat it doing well with the schedule change and not stressed by the sounds, slowly increase the volume each week until your cat is calm and confident around any noises!
Remember to cater to your cat's unique purrsonality and preferences! Every cat is an individual with distinct needs and interests. By offering a variety of toys, spaces, and activities, you'll be ensuring that your kitty stays content, happy, and mentally stimulated even when you're caught up in your busy schedule.
Did you try out any of these tips with your cat during a schedule change? Let me know how it went in the comments!
If you're looking for more personalized advice or want to explore training options to keep your cat engaged, head to kingscreatures.com/book-now to request a one-on-one training consultation for you and your cat! Together, we can create a purrfect plan to make sure your feline friend continues to thrive as the seasons change.