7 Reasons Why Cats Are the Best When Stuck at Home Cats are like couch potatoes

7 Reasons Why Cats Are the Best When Stuck at Home Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.com

How could someone describe a cat in one word?: Sweet and strong, instinctual and casual, simple and mysterious, loving and aloof, sophisticated and wild, calm and skittish, crazy, and lazy.

Define them as mercurial creatures. Cats can be the best companions when you are stuck at home, especially during this quarantine or ‘isolation era’. Here are 7 reasons why cats are the best during quarantine or disasters that keep you stuck at home:

1. Independent Players

Cats experience boredom as humans do, but they do not need human intervention to independently play. You can create a stimulating kitty playground with a few adjustments to your home.  Keep various toys in reach, clear high places in your home, section off a private cat hang out, and buy a cat house. By buying a cat house, they can jump between the structure’s levels, climb on the ladders, hide in the boxes, and play with the toy mouse or other attached toys. Clear window sills so that your cat will have hours of commercial-free entertainment.  Some people call this the cat version of Netflix.  You could place a bird feeder right outside the window to engage their hunting instincts.  These introverts often spend time on their own, because felines are more independent than other species in the animal kingdom.  Cats’ low-maintenance nature will be convenient for you, including their grooming and bathroom needs.

2. Relaxation

Besides other household pets, cats are small enough to fit on your lap, except for small breed dogs.  When a cat is feeling tired or lazy, they will calmly use you as a comfy cushion or bed.  Giving your pet cat a bit more naps is essential for their wellbeing as a domesticated pet.

3. Sweet and Easy Companions

Household pets are susceptible to human energy.  When you are feeling stressed, anxious, or hurt, they will pick up on that and will be there for you in your time of need.  A cat may stay on your lap, brush up against your leg, or meow to be picked up.  A meow can also mean to be fed, but this can be an easy process as well.  To avoid going outside or to public settings, you can order their food online.  Cats might appreciate feeding a delicious cat food that reminds them of the taste and flavor of their prey, such as Fancy Feast salmon cat food.  Food can be a great source of comfort for both cats and their human parents.  Buy a combination of canned cat food as well as dry cat food that is the best quality and a formula that is nutritious filled with optimal ingredients. This will keep things interesting for your cat.  Cats can have an easy routine, including the same time to eat, play, and nap throughout their day. 

4. Touch

Humans need touch for their mental health. A cat’s purring on your lap, brushing up against your leg, and all physical affection that you give them (e.g. pets, hugs, rubs, pats, or holds) will calm them and help your health as well.  Their tender and loving nature don’t ask for us to show constant attention, but touch can show that we love and appreciate them. 

5. Indoor Cats

On April 22, two cats in New York state were tested positive with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 virus. They are both expected to recover, but one of them received the virus from an unknown outside source and the other from their owner. Because of the recent news that humans are now toxic (i.e. can spread the COVID-19 virus) to household pets and animals in captivity, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that pet owners keep their pets inside so that outside infected humans or animals will not infect them.  This means that all of your outdoor cats must become indoor cats now.  Also, restrict pet interaction if you or someone in your house is sick with COVID-19, whether it is suspected or confirmed. There is still no evidence that animals can spread the virus to humans.  Indoor cats mean that you have a partner to constantly play with and learn about. 

6. Playful Energy

 A cat’s playful energy will prevent loneliness, which stems from a lack of physical interaction and mental stimulation. Anything from a simple household string, rugs, carpets, mats, and feathers will mimic their prey and make it easy to play with them.  Play with them more. Yes, you. Using trial and error, you will find the right stimulating and curious cat toys.

7. Sensual Creatures

Cats use all the five basic senses to engage themselves, with us, and with their environment.  Let’s start with hearing, or auditory, sense where cats will enjoy scratching, chirping, and meowing noises.  Sights that they might love can be found on ready-made YouTube channels of birds or other cats. In terms of smell, the herb nepeta cataria, also known as catnip, can be the most adored.  It will cause your cat to act as if they were “high”, hyperactive, and silly.  You might see them rubbing up against toys, drooling, rolling around, flipping over, and purring more than usual. The taste of the herb will only act as a sedative, so the most engaging tastes for cats are the foods that you give them.  As of cat’s need for touch, you might look at tactile or kinesthetic activities, such as playful games, toys, and their owner’s touch.  As cats become indoor creatures while they are stuck at home, you might try creative indoor exercises, such as your treadmill, running wheel (like a hamster), or a DIY hockey rink.  

In conclusion, the April 2017 issue of ScienceDirect found that most important to adult domesticated cats is human social interaction, followed by food.  In a cat’s life in quarantine, make these the best days (or months) and that you ensure that they are content and satisfied.  Their love and attention are the reasons that cats can be the best when you are stuck at home.

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