Why Does My Cat Lick My Face? What Does It Mean?- VyWhy
Last updated on 2021-12-18 13:50:50
Now, there are quite a lot of cats in my life who lick and essentially “groom” me. There’s my second cat Bjorn, who will do this on occasion while I’m petting or grooming him, as well as a couple of…
Now, there are quite a lot of cats in my life who lick and essentially “groom” me. There’s my second cat Bjorn, who will do this on occasion while I’m petting or grooming him, as well as a couple of cats who frequent our garden who will also do the same.
These cats will typically only lick my hand or maybe my leg if they’re sitting next to my lap – basically what’s that’s near them while I pet them.
I don’t particularly encourage the licking, but I know if I did, they’d do a heck of a lot more of it.
When it comes to licking body parts besides my hands, it’s really infrequent to begin with, but I can imagine they’d take to licking my face if they happened to be sitting or sleeping near my face while I snuggled up with them.
It’s funny because I have another cat, Avery – my first furchild – who scents my glasses and sometimes also scents my nose.
He does this pretty religiously, but I would never expect he’d take to licking my face.
The why comes down to the fact that he’s not the type of cat who licks humans at all, and I feel like this quirky cat behaviour of licking human faces is one cats who lick and groom their humans in general would be much more likely to do than cats who aren’t prone to licking their owners.
There are so many behaviours I feel are related in part to this one.
There are cats who bite then lick or lick then bite, as well as cats who nibble on their humans.
Some cats give affectionate love bites in general, while others bite specific body parts, like feet or even fingers.
Loads of these seem to overlap based on my experience, and I suspect you’re likely to find at least two or three other behaviours that go along with your cat licking your face that seem co-related.
Maybe it’s that some cats really like to groom other cats and other people besides themselves while others don’t?
Not quite sure, but if you have a cat who licks your face, I’d love to know if he or she does anything else, like licking fingers or biting feet, so maybe we can figure out if there’s a pattern.
Either way, there are a slew of theories out there on why cats lick faces, and while the majority have something to do with the idea that they’re probably grooming you, there are a lot of angles this could be coming from.
There are no scientific studies out there that investigate anything related to cats licking human faces, to my knowledge, but that’s okay!
It just means we’ll have to theorize on our own, and if one day there is an answer, maybe it will be from one of the hypotheses we’ve postulated with our experiences living with our pets. Would be pretty cool!
Without further ado, a slew of reasons that might explain why cats lick faces, and what this quirky cat behaviour might actually mean.
12 Theories That Could Explain Why Cats Lick Human Faces
1. When your cat licks your face, it’s likely a form of socializing & showing affection, like when we pet cats.
If you have a cat who licks your face, the fact that he or she is likely doing it as a form of socialization and affection most likely crossed your mind first as the likely explanation behind why.
I absolutely think there’s an enormous case to be made for this explanation. Many cats do like to be pet and cuddled, and it would make sense if they reciprocated this type of positive physical attention with equivalents of their own.
2. Your cat is likely grooming your face – cleaning you as though you were a feline family member.
Mother cats groom their kittens, and kittens groom their mothers back. Felines who make up a clowder (a group of cats) tend to groom each other, though not always.
It would make sense to me if a cat licks your face in part because it thinks of you as it thinks of the other close-knit felines in the clowder he or she is a part of.
Although it really would be interesting to find out if a cat who grooms other cats is more likely to lick the humans in the household on their faces. What do you think? Is there a co-relation in your household?
3. Your cat may lick your face because it’s the closest body part of yours to groom when cuddling.
I have noticed that my cat Bjorn will really only lick my leg or a body part besides my hand if it’s right next to him as he’s grooming and cuddling with me. If my arm is near him, he’ll lick that, whatever’s closest.
I do think that in some cases, the only reason a cat licks your face might be because he or she was closest to your face when he or she went to groom you.
Like if your cat sleeps next to you, right by your head, and wakes you up in the morning licking your face, that may in part be because he or she was closest to your cheek when he or she decided to groom you.
4. Your cat licking you so close to your mouth likely means he or she trusts you considerably.
I definitely think cats realize we can eat them with our mouths.
Go up to a cat who’s not used to it and pretend to “eat” his or her head by making “om nom” noises and eating sounds – he or she’s likely to squirm, scream out of fear, or run out of dodge completely.
If you do this over and over, a cat will realize you’re only playing, but the reason it’s so terrifying is likely because cats know what being eaten sounds like, and obviously, they don’t want to be eaten themselves.
If your cat is licking you or cuddling in any way next to your mouth, it’s likely a sign that he or she is comfortable enough around you to get close to your mouth in the first place.
There’s no way a cat would be happy to do this to a person he or she doesn’t trust.
5. Your cat may lick your face to try to get your attention.
To be honest, I think a lot of times quirky cat behaviours can be explained away in large part by the fact that cats want attention, and they sometimes do cute and weird things to get it.
If you have a cat who licks your face when you’re not paying much attention to him or her, say when you’re distracted lying on the couch watching TV, or have been sleeping in bed peacefully for a few hours, chances are pretty high your cat’s licking your face to get your attention.
Cuddle your cat straight after? Talk to him or her?
Wake up and start the day with a different interaction with your cat (heck, even yelling qualifies as attention, though not the positive kind)?
You’re likely playing right into a cat’s successful trick of getting the attention he or she wants.
6. Cats who lick faces may also be trying to get their humans to do something in particular – like feed them.
If the first thing you do in the morning is feed your cat, and your kitty wakes you up with “kisses” on your face, there’s no question in my mind that your cat is almost certainly licking you on your face because you’ll wake up and refill the bowl of cat food.
And who could blame them? I’m sure if I was a cat, I’d use this trick myself.
7. Cats who lick humans may do so because they enjoy the act of licking.
A lot of cats seem to enjoy the act of licking, and it seems to me that those particular cats are the type most likely to lick human faces.
As I said in the intro, while I’ve never had a cat lick my face before, I’m sure all the cats in my life who like to lick are most likely to do this.
Even though I have a cat who scents my glasses, nose, chin, and face regularly, I doubt he will ever lick my face, because he’s not the type to lick my hands while I’m petting him or anything along those lines.
The cats who like licking my hands even when there’s no food on them? I’m pretty sure would take to licking my face in the right circumstances.
Let me know what you think of this theory, and if you feel it lines up with your particular cats’ behaviours.
8. Cats who lick their humans may also be doing so because they like the taste and texture of skin.
Cats enjoy a lot of peculiar tastes and textures. A lot of cats like the taste and texture of thin plastic, like the type garbage bags are made of.
My cats fit into this category, both liking to lick plastic and chew plastic at times.
Bjorn once took to licking bars of soap, however, a habit that reminds everyone who’s heard of Jenna Marbles of her dog Kermit’s obsession with soap.
It feels like quite an odd thing to like the texture and taste of, but cats do like animal fat, so on another level it makes sense.
There might be something about the taste and texture of skin that attracts cats who like licking it.
9. Your cat might enjoy the taste of the soaps, lotions, or other facial products you use.
There are plenty of things you’re likely using on your face – from soaps to lotions and other facial products – that might be attracting kitty to your face in the same way Bjorn was attracted to the hand soap we were using in the bathrooms.
Plenty of times the way lip gloss and chap sticks taste and smell make even us as humans want to eat them – make up and other beauty products smell & taste quite nice at times!
As a result, it wouldn’t be surprising to learn this is sometimes a factor in why cats lick our faces.
10. Your cat may lick your face to mark you as his or her territory.
When cats lick objects, they leave a scent that let’s other cats know they’ve been there.
Scenting frequently used amongst cats to mark an object as their territory, so it may be that part of the reason your cat licks your face is to “claim” you as his or her own!
This may be a little odd, but I think it’s also pretty cute that your cats might want to show other cats that you’re theirs; that you belong to them.
11. Cats may lick human faces may be showing dominance over these humans.
When cats allogroom – or groom one another when they stick together in a sort of pack – the dominant cats are typically the ones who start the grooming sessions, and so there’s definitely a dominance element to the act.
A subservient cat will sometimes groom back, but will really infrequently start off the grooming or participate in it as much as a dominant cat.
So who knows – maybe your cat’s showing dominance over you when he or she grooms your face as well!
12. Kittens groom their mothers, licking them on their faces; doing this to you could be a behaviour from kitten-hood.
There are quite a lot of kitty behaviours that seem to be leftovers from kitten-hood, like kneading, for instance, which kittens do to get milk out of their mothers as they suckle.
Kittens also grow up grooming and licking their mothers clean, including on their faces, so maybe doing this to you is a behaviour your cat never grew out of, even well into adulthood.
They could also be grooming you as though you were a surrogate mother; you never know!
Your Thoughts on Cats Licking Human Faces?
Why do you think cats sometimes lick their humans on their faces?
Do you have a cat or multiple cats who do this? How often do your cats lick your face?
Do these cats have similar behaviours that seem connected (like licking hands, for instance)?
Do your cats lick your face at a particular time of day (like in the morning while you’re still asleep) or during something else (like while you’re snuggling on the couch?).
Would love to hear any and all thoughts you have on the topic in the comments down below!
18-10-2019 · The Best Raccoon-Proof Cat Doors Right Now. 1. SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door. Yes, it’s a microchip cat door. Which means that you can use it only if the cat you’re letting into and out of a cat shelter or your house has a microchip or an RFID collar on (sorry for those who are trying to do this for un-chipped, un-collared feral ...
Since raccoons are so incredibly dexterous with their paws, a lot of times, when we humans try to make arrangements to keep them out of places they shouldn’t be getting into – they outsmart us, and find a way in nonetheless.
This is pretty well near true most times you try to raccoon-proof things, from garbage bins to sheds. Even attics and basements raccoons seem to quite easily manage to get into.
It should come as no surprise, then, that a lot of cat products on the market that should work (theoretically) at keeping raccoons out, don’t actually do the trick. A regular cat door or a regular cat feeder – even one that’s darn good at preventing other animals like dogs from breaking in – is typically not anywhere near good enough to handle the prying hands of a raccoon on a mission.
Now, if you’re just trying to keep outdoor or feral cats fed, and you’re essentially on the market for a pet feeder that will do the trick of keeping prying raccoon hands away from these cats’ grub while they’re away from their food bowls – you have number of viable options. I’ve written an article on raccoon-proof pet feeders already so if you’re interested in having a peek at those options, hop on over there.
That being said, if you’re trying to keep a raccoon out of a cat shelter, a cat house, or even the front or back door to your own house – it’s pretty slim pickings. And by slim, in this case, I mean two – there are really only two viable options, one of which is distinctly more likely to work out.
Picture from post The Tale of the Much-Too-Curious Raccoon
The Best Raccoon-Proof Cat Doors Right Now
1. SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door
Yes, it’s a microchip cat door. Which means that you can use it only if the cat you’re letting into and out of a cat shelter or your house has a microchip or an RFID collar on (sorry for those who are trying to do this for un-chipped, un-collared feral/stray cats).
Yes, there are other options out there in the microchip pet door department (you can check out a bunch here), and while they may work out in your case, they sadly don’t seem to work anywhere near as reliably at keeping raccoons out as the SureFlap DualScan. Option #2 on this list is also viable, there are a few folks who’ve described it as raccoon-proof. That being said, the sheer number of people who have tried and tested option #2 in terms of keeping raccoons out of places is nothing compared to the masses of reviewers that tout the SureFlap DualScan is a great option for keeping out raccoons. You can browse through a slew of mixed reviews – both positive & negative – on the SureFlap DualScan right here, specifically written by reviewers looking to keep raccoons out.
Please note the word “DualScan” here is very important. There’s another model of microchip cat doors made by SureFlap, essentially the regular/standard one that’s simply called the “SureFlap Microchip Cat Door.” That one isn’t altogether raccoon proof. The DualScan one is much more raccoon-proof – thanks to the DualScan technology.
As I mentioned in my article about raccoon-proof pet feeders, the DualScan option is actually more expensive, but it’s a lot less likely to allow sticky-fingered intruders in. So while you may be tempted to buy the original SureFlap without the DualScan technology due to the original’s lower price, if you even for a moment think your raccoons are part of the upper echelon of sneak-thieving, you should almost certainly go with the DualScan straight off the bat instead, and save having to buy and refit a second product in case the first one doesn’t pan out.
What is DualScan techology? SureFlap describes it as: “a 4-way manual lock to enable locking to any combination of in/out and a central magnet on the door prevents it from flapping in the wind.”
What’s so special about the DualScan technology and what does it have to do with raccoons? This reviewer puts it quite nicely: “We didn’t need dual sided scanning, but the single sided one cannot keep other animals from entering. Animals can use their claws to pull the flap towards them and lift it. There are videos that demonstrate this. We needed to keep out the neighbour’s cats and also Raccoons. SureFlap isn’t very clear about this.” (Bold added by me).
It’s a shame this reviewer didn’t know the DualScan technology was important to keeping raccoons out, leading him to buy the original instead when what he needed was the DualScan version; but it’s also really nice of him to point out the importance of the feature for others in the same boat as him, so they don’t end up buying the wrong product for their needs as well.
Since the DualScan technology’s four way lock mechanism is what’s important to keep other animals out, it’s what makes the next option a viable one, even if it is far less tried and tested as the SureFlap DualScan at keeping raccoons out….
2. PetSafe Microchip Cat Door, Exclusive Entry with Convenient 4 Way Locking
Now, I meant it when I said this product isn’t as frequently bought and reviewed as the last. In terms of reviewers who have mentioned the PetSafe 4 Way Locking Microchip Cat Door within the context of keeping out raccoons, there are much, much fewer. That said, the reviews that mention keeping out raccoons are positive, so it does seem a viable option that’s typically easier to find at a less expensive price.
In terms of this option versus the original SureFlap without the Dual Scan option, I’d go with this PetSafe Microchip Cat Door, as it has the 4 way locking that’s important for keeping prying raccoon hands unable to break through.
It’s still not my top choice, however, especially since it’s got dramatically less reviews overall, and one reviewer even said her cat needed a tail amputation because of a really bad accident with this thing: “UPDATE: As I mentioned our cat can flip the flap up and escape when it is set to “in only” but her tail then got pinned inside it and she damaged it so terribly we nearly needed to amputate it. Vet bill: 200$ and sad, painful times for kitty.” – eek!
This only seemed to happen because her cat was clever enough to figure out a way to get out when this microchip door was set to the “in only” setting. This likely wouldn’t apply to you at all if you weren’t planning on using it to keep your cat in at night – and even so, it’s probably still incredibly unlikely to happen to your pet. That being said, that story alone is personally enough to convince me to go for the SureFlap DualScan if I would even entertain keeping outdoor cats in at night (which I would if I had outdoor cats).
Picture from post Our New Cat Knew: Stick Around Long Enough, They’ll Let You In
One (Big) Potential Issue ( Fix) with Using Raccoon-Proof Cat Doors on Your House
I will point out that there’s one particularly bad outcome to using 4 way locking technology microchip cat doors to keep raccoons out. I found it in a response to this question about the SureFlap DualScan by a reviewer named “Mountain Man”:
I no longer use this dual scan model b/c my cat would hear raccoons trying to get in at night, and get real close to the door to find out what all the noises on the other side were about, and start hissing to protect his territory, and inadvertently, b/c the microchip that releases the door latch is in his neck, the dual scan door would become unlocked which would then allow the racoon to come inside the house. And here’s the critical piece: The racoon would then be trapped inside the house, unable to get out b/c the door will only open with the microchip’s presence from my cat. Serious danger here. My dual scan cat door is in my bedroom door, so I hear and see all this going on in middle of the night. And, it’s damn scary to imagine a racoon trapped inside my house. So, I decided this dual scan door is dangerous given how my cat behaves and goes up close to the door when he hears raccoons trying to enter. I eventually took the batteries out of the dual scan and taped down the small plastic pieces (at the base of the flap door) that allow the door to stay open or locked in each direction. Aside from this issue, the door works real well. If raccoons were not in my neighborhood, I’d keep using it. Personally, I’d buy the single scan pet door, b/c if a racoon did manage to cleverly unlock the latch with his paw nail, at least I’d know he could get back out. If you google on you tube, you will be able to find someone who posted a video of footage of a racoon coming thru this pet door (the single scan model).
That being said, this reviewer also formed a clever fix for this complex problem:
After doing lots and lots of research online about other pet owner’s experiences with pet doors and raccoons breaking in, I noticed that people said that raccoons are excellent climbers, but raccoons don’t seem to be able to jump or leap very well. So, I constructed an entrance to my cat door (using some 13 gallon size plastic trash cans, carefully cut and bolted together) and made it so that the ONLY way my cat could get in, was if he leaped up into the tunnel, about 18″ in the air. I’ll attach photos when I get a chance. The idea is that this setup and design has to be such that only leaping or jumping will allow the pet entry entry, not climbing (which the raccoons do very well). I tested my design for a year, and in fact it works very well. No more raccoons attempting to enter my house.
If you or your husband, or hire a skilled handyman, create a platform or tunnel that is at least 18-24″ in the air, which leads to entry to the pet door (using wood, plastic, metal, or whatever works well in your situation) you will then have a solution. After this is done, the single or dual scan pet door will serve the a primary function to keep cats in or out, or allow some of your cats in and out, and not others. Example, if you have one cat that is indoor only, and one cat that is indoor/outdoor. It would be easy to construct the design I’m speaking of if the cat door is placed higher up in a window, or in the house door you are installing it into. Once you understand the basic requirements of the design I’m using here, a clever handy person can build what you need. The key criteria is that it must be a design that cannot be climbed into by those crafty raccoons. Whoever builds your solution should personally read and clearly understand what I’ve written here. I’ll post pix of my design soon. Hope this helps.
One pet parent pointed out: “the dual scan works better b/c some raccoons can eventually learn to slip their paw nail under the pet door (the single scan model) and lift the door open. Whereas they cannot do that with this dual scan model.”
There is a case where the DualScan pet door would do more harm than good, however. The same pet parent went on to say in her response to whether this would prevent raccoons from entering, that in particular cases, it did not and actually created a really frightening situation: “I no longer use this dual scan model b/c my cat would hear raccoons trying to get in at night, and get real close to the door to find out what all the noises on the other side were about, and start hissing to protect his territory, and inadvertently, b/c the microchip that releases the door latch is in his neck, the dual scan door would become unlocked which would then allow the raccoon to come inside the house. And here’s the critical piece: The raccoon would then be trapped inside the house, unable to get out b/c the door will only open with the microchip’s presence from my cat. Serious danger here.” This situation certainly doesn’t appear to be common, but be aware it has happened before.
Very cool fix! And maybe this whole raccoons-can’t-jump-high technique to solving the problem could be useful information for creating a DIY raccoon-proof cat shelter & cat house in the right hands.
Options for Stray/Feral Cats Who Are Not Chipped or Collared
In terms of protecting a stray/feral cat shelter outside from raccoons if you can’t chip or collar those cats, unless you can invent a raccoon-proof cat house idea that somehow integrates jumping with no ability to climb into the entrance, I’d say your best bet is to invest in a raccoon-proof pet feeder, then have the shelter completely free of food. That way it’s much less likely to have any non-feline intruders in, as the yummy grub won’t be present to generate interest.
If you can successfully trap and microchip the cats you’re trying to look after, all the more power to you, as that’s solved the problem as well, enabling you to use a microchip cat door quite easily on the front of cat shelters/cat homes to keep raccoons out. This would work especially well if you have ferals/strays you look after who are pretty well near outdoor cats to you, that come by incredibly frequently and treat you as their main food source.
Your Thoughts on Raccoon-Proof Cat Doors?
Have you ever had problems with raccoons getting into cat shelters, cat homes – even your own home? Did you fix this problem? If so, how?
Ever tried a cat door to prevent raccoons from entry? Which did you try? How did you like it?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, experiences, and stories about raccoons & cats in the comments down below!
21-06-2018 · Perak (Indonesian & Malay) Silfur (Icelandic) Zilarra (Basque) Fitting Names for Grey Cats Gender Neutral Names for Male or Female Grey Cats Anchovy Ash Dusk Dusty Earl Grey Eclipse Flint Fog Graphite Iron Mackerel Nickle Pebble Pewter Rain Shade Shadow Silver Slate Smokey Sterling Stormy Tinsel Twilight Names for Grey Boy Cats Ashton Greyson
I didn’t realize until I started digging how many wonderful pet names you can find even if you base your search solely on the fact that the cat you’re trying to name is gray.
It’s honestly taken me effort to reel myself in and quit listing more and more options on this page so as not to overwhelm you with too many.
Picture from Post Avery’s Baby Pictures
Hopefully, the fact that I’ve split names up into different sections will help make browsing easy.
First section up: the unique names for grey cats section, where I’ve listed a few of my favourite translations of the words “grey” and “silver” into other languages.
I think you’d be hard pressed to find many cats with names like these around, and I’ve added links to exactly where you can find more translations of these words in case digging for a better name using this idea is up your alley.
Next cat-egory: the fitting section. Here I’ve split names into the sub-categories – gender neutral, male, female, striped/tabby, and grey and white cats.
If there are any other sub-categories you want added to this section, do let me know! Would happily add more to the list if you’d find it helpful.
Finally, we have the funny grey cat names, under which I’ve included: ironic cat names, names after famous gray felines, names after grey cartoon characters, and popular fictional characters with the word “grey” in their names.
Would love to know which names you like best – and if there are any more gray cat names you think belong on this list.
Who knows, your idea might even end up the helpful suggestion that named someone else’s new kitten!
(Psst – looking to name something else, besides a new cat? Check out my blog Name Noodle!).
Unique Grey Cat Names
“Grey” in Other Languages
Need more ideas than I list below? Visit here to see more translations of “grey” in other languages.
- Abu-abu (Indonesian)
- Boz (Azerbaijani)
- Cawl (Somali)
- Grau (German)
- Gris (French & Spanish)
- Kelabu (Malay)
- Liath (Irish)
- Siva (Slovenian & Croatian)
- Szary (Polish)
“Silver” in Other Languages
Love the following translations, but want to make sure you’ve got the perfect one? Visit here for more translations of “silver” to other languages”
- Argent (French)
- Prata (Galician & Portugese)
- Argento (Esperanto)
- Argentum (Latin)
- Arian (Welsh)
- Fidda (Maltese)
- Hiriwa (Maori)
- Perak (Indonesian & Malay)
- Silfur (Icelandic)
- Zilarra (Basque)
Fitting Names for Grey Cats
Gender Neutral Names for Male or Female Grey Cats
- Earl Grey
Names for Grey Boy Cats
Names for Grey Girl Cats
Names for Grey, Striped Tabby Cats
Names for Grey and White Cats
Funny Grey Cat Names
Ironic Names for Grey Cats
Stolen from my ironic cat names article.
If you’re into ironic cat names, but none of the following strike your fancy, try popping over to have a look at the article for some more ideas.
- Mouse (shared by Eiona)
Cool Cats: Names After Famous Grey Felines
- Berlioz (from The Aristocats)
- Diana (from Sailor Moon)
- Nermal (from Garfield)
- Scat Cat (from The Aristocats)
- Tom (from Tom and Jerry)
Names After Grey Cartoon & Anime Characters
- Baloo (from The Jungle Book)
- Bugs (Bugs Bunny)
- Donkey (from Shrek)
- Dumbo (from Dumbo)
- Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh)
- Kakashi (from Naruto)
- Meeko (from Pocahontas)
- Onyx (from Pokemon)
- Rhyhorn (from Pokemon)
- Rocky (from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends)
- Roger (from American Dad)
- Scratchy (from The Simpsons)
- Snowball (from The Simpsons)
- Thumper (from Bambi)
- Totoro (from My Neighbor Totoro)
- Tramp (from Lady and the Tramp)
Names of Fictional Characters with the Word “Grey” In Them
- Anastasia Grey (from Fifty Shades of Grey)
- Dorian Gray (from The Picture of Dorian Gray)
- Fenrir Grayback (from Harry Potter)
- Gandalf The Grey (from The Lord of the Rings)
- Grey Worm (from Game of Thrones – more GoT cat names?)
- Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy)
Your Favourites & Other Grey Cat Name Ideas?
Now it’s your turn! Which are your favourite grey cat names? Are there any you love that I missed putting up here?
Have you ever named a grey cat before? If yes, what name did you end up choosing?
My striped grey and white tabby cat – the one in all the pictures above – I named Avery, after the Jackson Avery character from Grey’s Anatomy.
Why? They’ve both got piercingly gorgeous green eyes!
15-02-2018 · Maybe he’s more into hockey than soccer. He is, after all, Canadian. 8. Fuzzy and Furry Balls. Fuzzy, furry toy balls open up a different kind of engagement with balls, as these, unlike most other options where cats can only really hit them, are possible for a cat to engage with by grabbing and kicking.
The only cat I know who absolutely does not care for toy balls is my own. My mother’s, my brother’s, even my friend’s cat whom I house sat for over a month all love at least one form of ball toy or another. Not my Avery!
I’ve always found this to be an absolute shame. Balls are probably the best toys ever to leave out for cats home alone while you’re out. They’re cheap, ubiquitous, and come in so many varieties, it’s impossible for a cat to become bored of them altogether.
Unless he or she is completely indifferent to balls in the first place – like mine happens to be. I’ve tried 4-5 different types of ball toys on this list, and Avery hasn’t properly engaged with any one. There are still a few more varieties I think I should try (#3 & #9 for instance), but I’m not holding my breath, as my fella’s not only the laziest cat I know, he’s also incredibly fickle when it comes to what he plays with. Doesn’t even play with “ordinary objects” (pens, hair elastics, etc.) like most cats do, and I can’t count the number of toys I’ve given away after trying desperately to get him to play with them. Obviously, the other cats were appreciative, but from my perspective, it’s still a shame.
All this to say, if you have a cat who enjoys playing with ball toys: do not ever take it for granted. Capitalize by grabbing or scavenging your house for as many varieties as you can of this ubiquitous, cheap toy. And if your cat is the sort who, like my mum’s, basically plays fetch with you as though he or she’s some sort of dog – I’m ridiculously jealous. You have no idea how lucky you are that playtime is that simple for you!
Without further ado, let’s get into some of the varieties that are excellent toys for cats who love balls to play with! Some are actually toys created for cats, others are crafting supplies, some are toys made for kids, or even sports balls that would actually double very well as cat toys. Let me know below in the comments if your cat likes to play with balls and which types he or she prefers over others.
Grumpy Cat Hairball Fluffy Cat Toy – Amazon / eBay
11 Types of Toy Balls Your Cat May Enjoy Playing With
1. Sparkle Balls
Sparkle balls are essentially bright, colourful pom pom toys with little bits that stick out of them that are made out of tinsel. They grab a cat’s eye quite well because of the way the tinsel sparkles in the light, they’re very lightweight, especially when compared to something like a bouncy ball, and they’re silent when being played with, which is a huge plus if you’re not a fan of the sound of rolling on the floor and need something for kitty to play with while you work.
These things are apparently unbelievably addictive to play with for some cats. They’re so cheap, it doesn’t matter if they’re lost under furniture, and are one of the only cat toys out there that don’t hurt your feet if you accidentally step on them without socks on. Not much not to like, really. Worth a shot if your cat likes any type of ball toy.
2. Sponge Balls
I first bought sponge balls for Avery when he was a kitten. I loved the idea of them for many of the reasons I mentioned sparkle balls are great: they’re easy on the feet if stepped on, are silent when cats play with them (which was important to me back then because Avery used to become very hyper and want to play only in the middle of the night), they’re cheap, and thus no big deal if they get lost under furniture, and they’re lightweight.
Unlike sparkle balls, which are way too light to throw, sponge balls are also good in case your cat is a fan of fetch or catch – which I desperately wished Avery would like. Alas, while he’ll stare at a ball if I throw it, and maybe go after it once, that’s about as far as his interest in catch with a ball goes. Go after the ball repeatedly? Pick it up and bring it back? Forget it.
3. Balls With Feather Tails
This is the first type of ball toy on this list I still need to try. Avery’s got a thing for feathers, and little pieces of string-like objects made to look like tails, which is why I have a feeling if I’m going to have any luck with any balls, it’ll be this category that does the trick.
There are a lot of these types of balls floating around for you to try, but some of the most interesting are the ones that are battery operated and move by themselves; basically being alternatives to remote control mouse cat toys. One version of an interactive ball with a tail (though not a feather tail) is this Weasel Ball cat toy. Another that seems to be very popular is the SmartyKat Feather Whirl, again automated, but having a wand feather that sticks out of it instead of a stuffed Weasel with a tail on top. Easy to see why any cat might love these toys.
4. Toy Balls on Circular Track Rings
Ball track toys are immensely popular cat toys, and for very good reason – they’re usually incredibly well built, affordable, and they make it impossible for a cat to lose the ball(s) he or she’s playing with. The only downside? Some cats just aren’t into them (ehhem – my own!).
If your cat likes to play with balls, it’s likely you’ve already tried one of these out already. But in case you haven’t, they’re certainly worth a shot. Besides the one by Petsages, there’s also the Bergan Turbo that’s incredibly popular, and that’s got a built-in cardboard scratcher your cat might love as well.
If you find your cat loves track toys and you feel he or she might be into an adjustable track rather than a set, round/circle one, there’s the Catit Play Circuit, which you can reshape as many times as you want. You can even buy multiples of it and make a crazy large track that your kitty will hopefully get a kick out of. I’ve actually owned this one and can’t recommend it based on personal experience, since – as I’m sure you already guessed – my cat full on ignored it after engaging with it a couple times. If track toys are the type of thing you know your cat would actually go for, however, I’d imagine it’d be a great toy to have.
5. Feeder Balls
This is the only type of ball toy Avery will actually engage with, though saying that feels like an incredibly big cheat as he doesn’t like the toy because it’s a ball – he likes it because it involves eating.
I have had a feeder ball for ages. It doesn’t get much use because I prefer to use the Catit Senses Food Maze (reviewed here) over the Petsafe Slimcat I’ve got. Still, they’re handy to have, and quite good at getting food-motivated cats moving. I have to give them two thumbs up, although I feel better alternatives in the feeding toy department exist.
Catit Design Senses Play Circuit Light Up Ball Track Cat Toy – Amazon / Chewy
6. Mylar Crinkle Balls
I can’t remember if I’ve actually given these a try before. I keep going back and forth about whether I bought any crinkle balls for Avery when he was a kitten. Either way, they’re fantastic alternatives to sparkle balls – not being very good for throwing and playing fetch with your cat, but being great toys for cats at home alone for any length of time who might want to entertain themselves playing a form of cat soccer in your absence. They’re shiny and move in interesting enough ways to keep most cats who like balls engaged, which is awesome. Not much else to say besides the fact that they’re good options to have around, though you could also quickly DIY some..
7. Foil Balls
…instead if you wanted to. Obviously, aluminum foil balls are quick and easy to make yourself: just grab some aluminum foil, press it into a ball, and throw it over to your cat. Basically free considering nearly everyone has aluminum foil at home, they’re 100% something you should give a shot.
As a heads up, while Avery hates aluminum foil balls, he will sometimes play with “pancakes” I make out of them by firmly stepping on aluminum foil balls to flatten. I don’t know why he prefers flatter shapes. Maybe he’s more into hockey than soccer. He is, after all, Canadian.
8. Fuzzy and Furry Balls
Fuzzy, furry toy balls open up a different kind of engagement with balls, as these, unlike most other options where cats can only really hit them, are possible for a cat to engage with by grabbing and kicking.
Avery happens to be a fan of toys he can hold with his front claws and kick with his hind legs. While he won’t play like this for long, it’s at least some sort of engagement, so I make the most of it. Being a big fan of the Jeepers Creepers Toy Rat (reviewed here) for kicking, we bought a Grumpy Cat Hairball Toy that is a fuzzy/furry cat toy ball to give a try. Though Avery attempted to kick it a few times, he quickly gave up on it when it started rolling away, so we defaulted back to the Jeepers Creepers Rat in the end.
If you’re specifically looking for a cat kick toy, check out this round up for some good options. If you’re looking for another variety of ball because your cat likes balls anyway, I’d give these types of ball toys a shot.
9. Bell Balls
I honestly cannot stand bell ball cat toys because they can be really annoying when your cat starts playing with them in the same room you working or sleeping in… oh and they hurt like hell when you step on them. At the same time, I know a lot of cats love the fact that they make noise, and any added appeal is great when you just need your cat to be entertained.
If your cat loves these, but like me, you can’t stand the noise, only take them out when you’re not around. They’re perfect for keeping a cat busy while you’re out at work.
10. Bouncy Balls
Bouncy balls weren’t made for cats, but they really can make great cat toys. If your cat is a huge fan of balls, like my mum’s cat Walker happens to be, you need to try throwing one of these your cat’s way. Walker will jump ever so high trying to catch bouncy balls being thrown down the hallway, and I’d say they’re probably his favourite type of ball ever. Already have one stashed away in storage at home? Don’t delay giving the humble bouncy ball a shot; your cat will probably love it.
Of course, you can try other balls that are probably lying around your home as well. Ping pong balls are raved about so often by cat parents – they’re apparently incredibly good at keeping a cat’s attention because of their erratic bounce. I know some cats who also go after tennis balls, even though they’re quite big! Do some digging in your garage and see what you have at home to try – you never know what may strike your cat’s fancy!
11. Laser Balls
Just like feeder balls (#5 on this list) these kinds of toy balls aren’t really about the ball, but are more or less just about the other component; in this case, the lasers. Laser toy balls are just what you’d expect, battery operated balls that roll around shooting out light to keep a cat’s attention. Are they good at engaging cats? They sure seem to be.
There probably need a lot more battery replacing than automatic laser toy alternatives like the Petsafe Bolt (reviewed here), but they do appear to be good toys based on reviews and reputation. Not too pricey either, for an electronic cat toy.
Picture from post Aluminum Foil Balls: Ever Made One? Does Your Cat Play With Them?
What Do Your Cats Think of Toy Balls?
Do your cats play with toy balls? What types are they into? Which do they ignore?
Can you think of any types of balls that do actually make great cat toys, but that I’ve forgotten to include on this list?
Finally, are there any cats you know who, like my Avery, just don’t do ball toys at all?
Let me know down below!
17-09-2018 · Portable Outdoor Cat Tunnels & Tents for Taking Indoor Cats Outside 1. Aussie Naturals Cat Enclosures Indoor Cats Tent & Tunnel Compound Playhouse . This is by far the most popular option for cat tunnels and tents ideal for taking your indoor cat outside.
I’ve been wishing for a catio since I first took in my cat Avery years ago. Alas, catios aren’t wise to put up in homes you’re likely to move out of soon – as was the case back when we lived in Canada; nor are they possible to have up in apartments without balconies – which we were in for a couple years before moving to the house we’re in today.
Now that our little family of three (my husband, my cat, and I) are finally in a house we can see ourselves living in for decades, with a lovely, quiet little backyard, I’m hoping to eventually get one up, but in the meantime have wondered if more temporary options exist. The sort of thing I was looking for? A cozy little spot I could move from the inside of my house to my garden, that didn’t cost a lot, or take a lot of time or skill to put up. My preference was toward something that could easily be taken down in the blink of an eye, and boy did I find what I was looking for.
Sherpa Original Deluxe Pet Travel Carrier Medium – Amazon / eBay
Where did my search lead me? To outdoor cat tents and tunnels – collapsible and portable ones that are fully enclosed and yet have mesh outer layers so they’re breathable and my lovely little house cat can enjoy the fresh air and smells of the outdoors while being outside – all while remaining safe and not escaping. I didn’t really think about looking into this kind of thing before, but now that I have, I feel it really would’ve been nice to have something like that back in Canada, when we were living in houses with lovely gardens but knew we weren’t bound to stay very long. Either way, I may take advantage and try to grab one of these now, unless I can get a catio up more quickly and easily than I’m expecting to be able to.
I’ll be honest, once I found out what I was looking for was available to buy online, I expected to see a lot more options than I found. There are a number of similar products to the ones I’ve listed below, but not a lot of them are popular enough to have a slew of reviews – and that’s important to me since my cat Avery tends to run when he’s scared, and is a pretty strong fella, so I worry about him escaping if the mesh is too thin or flimsy on one of these. Tried and tested is the way to go for me.
I have no idea how durable all of these are, but I know the highest reviewed ones have been used by enough cat owners that I’d feel comfortable venturing to try them out. I’d worry about using one of these in my front yard, or someplace that gets quite a lot of commotion, but in a quiet environment like my backyard, I might give it a go.
Anyway – if you’ve ever tried something like this out, or if you’ve ever considered giving it a go, let me know your thoughts in the comments! Maybe if more of us started trying them, more durable and higher quality ones would begin popping up because of the demand, and we could all have what are essentially temporary, portable catios for taking our indoor cats outside to enjoy the fresh air and sun regularly.
Portable Outdoor Cat Tunnels & Tents for Taking Indoor Cats Outside
1. Aussie Naturals Cat Enclosures Indoor Cats Tent & Tunnel Compound Playhouse
This is by far the most popular option for cat tunnels and tents ideal for taking your indoor cat outside. Some people have complained about design flaws relating to the product not being the most durable over time, as it’s poles can break and crack easily, the zippers are not adequately reinforced, as well as a number of other things, but my guess is if you have a cat or two who are not big on being rough and ready, this is likely going to suit you just fine. Actually, one genius reviewer took the time and a bit of cardboard to turn this into a temporary catio that came out of his window. I can’t imagine a more genius set up.
As a heads up, you can also buy their Fun Run Cat Tunnel and their Happy Habitat Cat Tent separately if you prefer just one part of this outdoor playhouse.
2. Parkland Pet Portable Foldable Playpen Exercise Kennel Dogs Cats Indoor/Outdoor
I would think if you’re looking primarily for durability like I would be, these portable indoor/outdoor playpen/exercise kennels would do the trick. Many of them are made to handle dogs, and while a lot of them cannot live through truly hyperactive canines, even the most hyper cat is nothing compared to a slightly hyperactive dog, so I think they’d probably do the trick just right for felines. This particular one comes in small, medium, and large. But there are a slew of alternatives available in case you’re looking for the perfect one.
Noteworthy alternatives include:
3. Nala and Company Portable Pop Up Playhouse Tent
In terms of popup playhouse tents specifically with cats in mind, this is one of the most highly rated. Of those that complain about this product, it seems the top complaints are that the actual tent is smaller than it looks in the pictures and that some cats don’t particularly like to be in it. In terms of the first complaint, I’d recommend checking out the pictures from this review for a good visual on sizing, and in terms of the second, I’d recommend checking out my article on training your cat to stop hating his/her carrier (it’s super easy to do!) so if you do want to buy it, but your cat ends up bot being the biggest fan, you can train him or her to become used to the playhouse tent with only a little time and effort.
Alternative popup outdoor play tents you may want to check out include: the Petall Pet Camping Tent Playpen Cage for Dogs Cats & the Kenley Cat Outdoor Playpen Tent.
4. FrontPet Cat Tent – Portable Pet Tent
Looking for an outdoor play tent so big you can physically get into it with your cat? The FrontPet Cat Tent is definitely where it’s at. Want a visual? Here’s one for you. A word of advice if you opt to grab this product, as this reviewer recommends – don’t try to put it up by yourself, and “make sure the little fabric sleeves don’t get caught up on the plastic “knuckles” on the poles.” That seems to be the trick to make sure it doesn’t get destroyed while you’re attempting to get it set up.
5. Kittywalk Outdoor Net Cat Enclosure for Decks, Patios, Balconies
But enough of the tents – time for an outdoor cat tunnel! This one by Kittywalk appears to be higher quality than a lot of the tents I’ve showcased. It seems people use it as a standalone playpen, and as catios that connect to the house paired up with a simple dog door. Looks a bit easier, slightly more permanent, and definitely more durable than the Aussie Naturals Cat Enclosure Tent Tunnel combo from #1. I think if I were to grab something for Avery, this may just be it. Especially since it can be paired with Kittywalk’s other products, like their gazebo play tent. Here’s a visual of what that would look like.
6. Premium Airline Approved Expandable Pet Carrier by Pet Peppy- TWO SIDE Expansion
If the most important thing to you is durability, and making sure your indoor cat won’t escape from whatever you put him or her in outside, this expandable pet carrier that folds out on both sides as well as offers the option of adding a long cat tube with a mesh window out the front is probably your best option. I have a feeling my husband may veto the other options on this list since Avery is known to be so flighty when he’s scared, and since he’s such a strong cat as I mentioned. The other options may not be able to hold him if a loud noise he’s not expecting occurs, but this almost certainly would, so I’d definitely look into grabbing one of these to take Avery out in.
7. RORAIMA Outdoor Use Instant Portable Cat Tunnel Habitat
Yet another portable outdoor use cat tunnel that can be paired with a very nice tent. You can also pair up one cat tunnel with a second cat tunnel for increased space and a better view of a larger garden. Hasn’t got many reviews as of yet, but the reviews it’s gotten have been quite good, and a number of people have posted reviews with images, which I find really helpful. As with a lot of the products featured on this list, be careful putting them up and taking them down, as otherwise they seem to be able to be damaged fairly easily.
8. DAPU 5 in 1 Compound 4 Tent Pet Play House with Square, Hexagon, Triangle & Oval Tents Tunnels
Not many reviews on this one, so I’m not quite sure how durable it is or how it would stand up over time, but if you’ve got a gentle little fella, or feel it’s worth the risk, I do feel this 4 tent connecting tunnels combo is plenty worth the value.
9. Strong Camel Pet Fun House Cat Dog Playpen
The last solid option I’m going to be featuring is this Strong Camel playpen. It seems to be well-loved by quite a number of cats. Perfect for balcony use, for patio use, for garden use, it seems! Not much to say – seems like a great cat tent for indoor cat use outdoors.
Thoughts on Outdoor Tents & Tunnels for Indoor Cats?
Do you like the idea of having an outdoor cat tent and/or tunnel to take an indoor cat outside in? Would you ever try one of these? Why or why not?
Which of these options look best to you? Would you prioritize size, ability to add more to extend the initial product you bought, the ability to connect the tunnel or tent to the house? Would you prioritize long-term durability? The likelihood that a flighty cat would not be able to break free (I’m sure this will not be an issue for most indoor cats who are very chill personalities – but that’s definitely not my scaredy cat’s way!).
I also entertained the thought of trying a mesh tent created for humans as a re-purposed version of one of these – but do you think those would be better or worse for cats?
Do let me know your thoughts down below in the comments!
18-07-2018 · I’ve split the list in two – section one for cool male cat names and section two for cool female cat names – but ever so many of the names I chose to feature actually work for either gender. ... Oh this is absolutely adorable! I need to add this when I write up my unique cat names article – that is too genius not to share! Reply ...
Some cats have such enormously boisterous and charming personalities, it’s hard to deny their charisma. They’re confident, suave, social and command the attention of everyone in the room the second they walk in. I’ve met a number of purrsonalties over the years, yet there’s something unmistakably endearing about the presence of a cool cat.
While all cats typically grow into their personality more as they age, it’s usually pretty obvious who the cool cat in the room is even when he or she is a kitten. If you manage to snag one of these gems – adopting a Chatty Cathy, a Talkative Tom, a Suave Selena, or a Boisterous Bill into your home, let me tell you – you’re headed for years and years of entertainment, a lot of laughs, and likely, a sprinkle of mischief/trouble as well.
It’s hard to pick a name that’ll match the enormity of a big personality cool cat, but I’ve certainly tried my best to find a few you might like in this article.
I’ve split the list in two – section one for cool male cat names and section two for cool female cat names – but ever so many of the names I chose to feature actually work for either gender.
If you haven’t yet adopted your cat, but are looking for a cool name for either a boy or a girl cat/kitten depending on which feline you end up bonding with, you may want to consider selecting a single unisex name instead of selecting one for each gender. Or you could always have a shortlist of a few different names to choose from in case the single name you picked out doesn’t fit the cat you fond perfectly. Lots of ways to go about planning names for a new cat!
Good luck with your search! And do leave me a comment with any more cool cat name recommendations in the comments down below.
Cool Male Cat Names
- Ashton (Ash)
- Carlos (Carlo)
- Jacob (Jake)
- Maximilian (Max)
- Robert (Rob)
- Ronald (Ron)
- Theodore (Theo)
- Zachery (Zac)
Cool Female Cat Names
- Alexis (Lexi)
- Beatrix (Trixie)
- Charlie (Charlotte)
- Cleo (Cleopatra)
- Kimberly (Kim)
- Lorelai (Rory)
- Mackenzie (Mac, Kenzie)
- Raine (Raina)
- Veronica (Ronnie)
Your Favourite Cool Cat Names?
What are your personal favourite cool cat names?
Are there any names I didn’t list here that really should be up on this list?
Ever had a cool cat yourself? What was his/her personality like? Was your cat a boy or a girl and what did you end up naming him or her?
Looking forward to reading your suggestions down below!
31-01-2017 · Feeding Your Cat Twice a Day Benefits If you’re not comfortable feeding your cat a meal just once a day, or if your cat has the same vomiting-on-an-empty-stomach problem that Avery developed, consider feeding kitty twice a day. The benefits of feeding your cat twice a day are much the same as the benefits for feeding your cat once: 1.
If you were looking this up in Google, or happened to stumble on this article somewhere on social media, chances are you clicked through looking to find a definitive answer to the question of what number of times a day you should be feeding your cat.
Is there a right or wrong way to go about the quantity of mealtimes you have for your feline friend in a day? Is there one magic number that should be used under all circumstances?
The answer is almost certainly: no. You may not like the sound of this, but quite honestly, there doesn’t seem to be a right answer, only advantages and disadvantages for feeding your cat specific numbers of times that you may or may not personally care to take advantage of.
It’s completely up to you how many times a day you feed your cat: so long as you and your cat are both happy, and your cat is perfectly healthy. If these two conditions are met, it doesn’t matter if you’re feeding your cat once a day or five times a day.
But I said there were advantages and disadvantages to feeding your cat specific numbers of times a day.
Let’s get into those advantages and disadvantages so that you can weigh out you’re options. We’ll start at the beginning: feeding kitty just once a day.
Feeding Your Cat Once a Day
I used to feed Avery his meals once a day for years. He thrived. Was always extremely happy, extremely healthy. I’d feed him treats and snacks throughout the day (using kibble as snacks since I didn’t want him to be eating unhealthy cat treats), every so often some of my own food (some cooked pork or cooked chicken when we had it for dinners for instance), and he’d be fine and dandy holding out until his dinner time rolled around at 10:00 PM. This once-a-day feeding worked out extremely well for us for a number of reasons:
1. Reduced whining.
Avery’s been a particularly vocal cat when he’s expecting mealtime, and so this reduced the amount of time he’d spend beggin’ for a feedin’ to just once a day instead of multiple times a day or all day long (depending on how many times I’d feed him – he really was the kind of cat who’d beg and whine for food all day long).
2. Won’t wake you up in the mornings.
Avery used to wake me up when I fed him in the mornings, so feeding him once in the evening and stopping feeding him mealtimes in the morning fixed this issue for me immediately. I did try other methods to make him not wake me up in the morning, but this is the only one that stuck. You may find other ways to make your kitty not waking you up stick, but with Avery, this had to be done.
3. Easy to keep a schedule.
Back when I used to feed Avery once a day, I could make sure to absolutely always be home by 10 PM; wasn’t true about many other times in the evening. I wasn’t happy feeding Avery at a different time each day, as I know cats are creatures of habit and like consistency in their lives (can’t blame them there; so am I!) so I picked one time of day that I would for sure be able make it for every evening and stuck to it. The stable schedule really helped keep Avery happy.
4. Easy to keep track of how much kitty is eating (which helps prevent overeating).
Avery never overate. If you’re feeding your cat multiple times per day, it can become really easy to overfeed him or her: especially if you dole out snacks (who can resist?) on top of multiple mealtimes. Why? It’s seriously not the easiest task to make sure portions are right when you’re feeding your cat large numbers of times in any given day. On the other hand, keeping consistent quantities for one major meal a day is very easy to do.
5. Can still give snacks and treats without throwing portions out of whack.
I could give Avery small snacks and treats whenever I wanted and never feel guilty about him overeating, as while I didn’t keep much track of snack time, his evening meals were so consistently sized that he didn’t gain weight. He would not be expecting snacks (though would of course always be delighted to receive them – as he still is on his now on his two-times-a-day schedule), so he wouldn’t whine for snacks like he would for mealtime.
6. Training becomes easier.
It was easiest to train Avery when I was feeding him once a day. I taught him to do a number of things thanks to the use of treats. Things like being comfortable in a walking harness or vest, sitting quietly on a chair next to us while we had dinner, and to be quite a bit more snuggly. Not complicated things, but simple ones that made both our lives better. Training him would have been a lot harder if he wasn’t so excited about getting treats during the day, which would’ve been true if he’d just eaten a meal prior. Even now when we’re feeding him twice a day, he won’t co-operate with training much after his meals, so I have to wait until before the next meal to train him.
The only downside to feeding Avery meals one a day came about a few months ago. I don’t know if it’s because of the new food we’ve been feeding him this past year, or if it’s for some other reason, but Avery has developed a problem where he’ll throw up if his stomach is empty for too long. So I’ve knocked up his feeding times to twice a day and presto! Problem gone. He doesn’t throw up anymore.
If Avery didn’t develop a vomiting problem, I would never have changed his feeding schedule. If your cat vomits on an empty stomach like mine when you feed him or her once a day – increase feeding times for sure so that it doesn’t happen anymore (and go to a vet if increasing feeding time does not make him or her get better!). Vomiting on a regular basis (even once every week or two) is no good, as it means that there’s likely something there that needs to be fixed so that the vomiting can be prevented. Don’t ignore regular vomiting, and do talk to your vet about options to see if it could be something worse than simply the problem Avery had.
If your cat, however, doesn’t have any problem eating meals just once a day, like Avery used to; if there’s no vomiting or sign that your pet is unhealthy or unhappy, go right ahead and feed your cat once a day if you like that option. Do it if it works best for you & kitty.
Cats are used to eating big meals – after all, if they’re in the wild, they’ll often catch a mouse or a bird and that’s their feast for the day. Maybe snack on bugs in between mealtime. As long as your pet is happy and healthy (if you have doubts about your pet’s health, take him or her to a vet for a check up), and as long as it’s working for you, keep it up.
Catit Design Senses Food Maze – Amazon / Chewy
Feeding Your Cat Twice a Day
If you’re not comfortable feeding your cat a meal just once a day, or if your cat has the same vomiting-on-an-empty-stomach problem that Avery developed, consider feeding kitty twice a day.
The benefits of feeding your cat twice a day are much the same as the benefits for feeding your cat once:
1. Reduced whining.
Begging and whining for meals only happen twice a day in this case. Doesn’t take up your whole day, which can be the case if you feed too many times. Cats may not even understand that they have meals if you feed them way too often, and may end up begging for food all day long thinking they can get it whenever they want. Of course cats are not all the same, and so many can be fed many more meals than two a day without any such whining taking place, but in my experience, if you want the whining to go down, the frequency of feeding also has to be taken down as well.
2. Easy to keep a schedule.
It’s not very difficult to make sure you can be home at a specific time every morning and evening, so keeping two consistent feeding times for your cat’s happiness and love of routine is possible.
3. Easy to keep track of how much kitty is eating (which helps prevent overeating).
It’s not the hardest job to keep your cat from becoming overweight since portions are not the most difficult to keep track of when you’re feeding twice daily. An overweight cat is at risk for so many health problems, so this is important.
4. Can still give snacks and treats without throwing portions out of whack.
You can still give treats without worrying too much about it. Though I’d be more careful about delving out a great number of snacks throughout the day than if I was simply feeding my cat one big meal daily. I’ve had some issues with giving Avery too many snacks when feeding him twice a day before, but if I’m careful and make sure to pay attention to how many snacks I’m delving out, it’s fine.
I honestly don’t really see any downsides to this method, unless again, your cat has a vomiting-on-an-empty-stomach problem, but unlike with mine, feeding twice daily isn’t enough to keep him or her from vomiting. Otherwise, twice daily is a perfectly good feeding schedule to keep.
A great option if you can’t or don’t like the idea of only feeding your cat once a day, and yet want to reap the benefits of feeding your cat a low number of times daily. Probably the number of times I’d most strongly recommend feeding your cat.
Feeding Your Cat Three or More Times a Day
1. You don’t feel like you’re holding out on your cat.
Sometimes, we just love to spoil our kitties, and that includes feeding them many times per day, since it’s usually (let’s be honest) exactly what they want. It’s fine to spoil your kitties so long as there are no downsides – I see no point in refraining from giving them what they want as long as it’s being done in a healthy way!
2. Some believe tiny meals throughout the day is healthier for kitties than a few big ones.
I don’t know that has been proven to be true or false, but if it’s what you feel is right, feeding your cat many small meals throughout the day is certainly a benefit.
It can be really tricky to make sure you’re giving the right portions each and every time when you’re giving out three or more meals a day. The higher the number of feeding times the more difficult it will be to give out the right portions, the more difficult it will be to always be home at the right time to maintain a schedule your cat can depend on, and the less likely your cat will understand that there are specific mealtimes at all (instead assuming that food time is all the time and potentially whining constantly to make that happen sooner).f
The best way to combat these downsides: a timed pet feeder. If whining happens, with one of these, meowing is more likely to take place at the machine than it is at you (since the pet feeder is what “gives away” the food). If you regularly go out at different points of the day, it will help your cat stick to an eating schedule even when your own schedule is unpredictable, and if you prefer to feed your cat while you’re away at work – using a pet feeder is effortless. Timed pet feeders may also help your cat stop eating so quickly, since feeding multiple times per day means your cat is likely to be less hungry between meals, though if you have that problem you can also easily solve it with a slow feeder pet bowl instead.
A free method to help combat most of the downsides of 3 feedings per day? This technique that will help combat over-feeding. It won’t help in the begging for food department, but when it comes to health and maintaining the perfect weight, it works like a charm.
For the sake of your cat maintaining a healthy weight, I would recommend against using this method unless you need to, or unless you have a system in place (like the use of a timed feeder or this free and simple technique) to make sure weight gain by over-eating isn’t likely.
However, again, if your cat is happy and healthy and feeding this many times a day is working out great for you, don’t change a thing about what you’re doing.
Picture from post Feeding the Neighbourhood Cats I: Martha
How Many Times a Day Do You Feed Your Cat?
Let me know how many times a day you feed your cat in the comments section! How long have you been feeding your cat that many times, and have you noticed any benefits/downsides to feeding your cat that number of times that I haven’t included in the pros/cons lists above?
Have you ever switched the number of times a day you’ve fed your cat? Why did you make the change? How did it work out for you and kitty?
Leave a comment down below to help other pet owners make the most informed decision they can!
14-02-2017 · 3. Use furniture protectors, like couch covers, scratch shields, & sofa scratchers to save your couch. There are a slew of different cat scratch furniture protectors out there to help you save your sofa. Couch protector covers can not only keep your sofa safe from scratches, but can guard against accidnetal spills as well.
Have a cat who claws up your crib? Really wish you could keep those claws of mass destruction off (at the very least) the couch? I’m going to start this article off with a wee bit of bad news: if you’re looking for a surefire bet – a 100% guaranteed way to train a cat not to scratch your furniture – you’re meowing up the wrong tree. There’s no such thing, though there do exist quite a large number of techniques you can try to reduce the chances your cat will claw up your crib, a combination of which may just do the trick purrfectly for your feline friend.
Since you’ve probably already got a sofa you’re trying to defend, I’m going to mention this tip here instead of the body of this training guide: while there isn’t a cat proof couch out there – there are sofa materials that are better than others for cat owners; they’re listed here. Will these couch materials prevent your cat from scratching? Maybe, maybe not. Some tricky little furballs go so far as to scratch wood and drywall, so you’re never really in the clear unless you buy a concrete slab or a bench made wholly out of metal to sit on. Comfy, I know.
Still, there’s a lot you can do to encourage your cat to avoid your completely innocent furniture. These techniques I’ve split into two sections: 1. Training methods that discourage your kitty from scratching furniture, and 2. Training techniques that encourage your kitty to scratch elsewhere instead (i.e. someplace you’re happy to have your cat scratch up – like a cat tree or a scratch post!).
For best results, and to train your cat to not scratch furniture in a way that sticks, I’d encourage you to use both methods. Otherwise you’re likely in for a round of the ol’ “I’m-gonna-scratch-where-I-want-when-you’re-not-home.” And no one wants that.
Scratching is a biologically driven, incredibly beneficial behaviour for cats. Our feline friends reap quite a lot of amazing benefits from scratching (like stress reduction & muscle relaxation, to name a couple). As a result, a cat’s need to scratch shouldn’t be scolded or repressed. Instead, what needs to be scolded is kitty scratching up the wrong items, which is why it’s so important to encourage your cat to scratch elsewhere in order to guarantee success in training fluffy not to scratch your poor mattress.
Kitty needs to work on his or her nails every once in a while, and if there’s no claw-approved place to scratch, or if you have a little minx on your hands and she just doesn’t want to scratch the post you got her, it’s high time you start testing to see if there’s a scratch-able place you can both live with. What’s this mean in practicality? You may have to sacrifice the carpets so the main chunk of your furniture can finally have some well-needed peace.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here, because you may not need to sacrifice anything if some of the following tips work. Let’s get on to it, so you can start saving your sofa!
Scratch Training Part I: Discourage Kitty from Scratching on Furniture
Again – this is only Part I. I don’t recommend doing any of these without also doing things in section II, but let’s get into the ways you can use to discourage your cat from scratching up the furniture you’ve got.
1. Shoo kitty off the furniture when the claws come out.
Yeah, it may seem obvious, but if you catch kitty in the act and just let it happen – kitty’s going to think his or her behaviour is perfectly okay. So don’t let the bad behaviour train turn up just because you didn’t say no.
Edit 10/11/18: I recently got an email from a concerned reader whose cat didn’t seem to understand he wasn’t supposed to be on specific places at all. She helpfully mentioned the words she was using to discourage him from climbing up to places she didn’t want him: “Get down!” and “That’s a bad kitty, that’s a bad boy!”
Based on personal experience, I find cats do a lot better at understanding when we stick to a sharp, unambiguous, “No!” for absolutely any and all behaviours we want to discourage. It can be pretty difficult for a cat to understand a variety of commands, so sticking to the one short, sweet, easily identifiable, “No!” helps a lot in this regard.
Once your cat hears the “No,” he or she will understand that something about his or her behaviour is displeasing to you. With a little repetition, especially if you manage to catch them with a “No!” in the middle of the act, they’ll understand exactly what the bad action is and thus know not to do it. But what’s important is to get your cat to understand something is displeasing you. Giving directions to your cat like, “Get down” is unnecessarily confusing to a feline who can’t understand language quite as well as we can!
2. Pick kitty up and place him/her elsewhere when the claws come out.
If you said “No!” and your cat stopped scratching dead in his tracks, you’re good to go. If not? Physically pick up your cat and move him or her (preferably to an approved scratch location – but that’s #2 from Part 2 of this article.)
Repeating these two steps over and over will really help your cat understand, the “No!” means displeasure, and the moving off the sofa is because he’s just not supposed to be up on there scratching.
3. Use furniture protectors, like couch covers, scratch shields, & sofa scratchers to save your couch.
There are a slew of different cat scratch furniture protectors out there to help you save your sofa. Couch protector covers can not only keep your sofa safe from scratches, but can guard against accidnetal spills as well. Some, like the MTR Pet Repeller Furniture Pad mat, work to deter cats from wanting to scratch up furniture, while scratch protector guards like Furniture Defender’s Cat Scratch Sofa Guard prevent cats from being able to get their claws into their favourite parts of the couch: that front portion that’s oh-so-irresistible. There are also sofa scratchers in the form of scratching posts and scratch pads that work to protect your sofa even if your cat scratches on them.
These may make it unnecessary to train your cat to stop scratching in specific places, as your furniture is protected. But even if you are going to try to continue on training your cat to stop scratching, they act as a physical guard to save your furniture from cat scratches in case kitty takes some time to understand that scratching up the couch is not a behaviour you approve of. Eventually, if you are planning on training your cat to stop scratching up furniture, you should be able to take these off your sofa without attracting cat claws back, but in the meantime, these are great, and no harm to your cat or your furniture.
4. Leave sticky tape on your sofas.
A commenter from Twitter recommended using Sticky Paws tape on furniture you want to keep safe from menacing claws, noting that Sticky Paws in particular leaves nothing on your couch once it’s finally removed.
I’ve never tried using sticky substances like this before to keep cats away from counters or furniture, but I’ve heard many people swear by them. The idea behind using them is solid: cats won’t want their paws to stick to anything, so if you can put down some sticky tape where you don’t want your cat standing or scratching, your cat should stay well away.
Of course, you won’t want really sticky tape to do this with, or your cat’s fluffy hair will get stuck onto the tape and it’ll be painful to get it off! But if you have somewhat sticky tape, like with Sticky Paws tape in particular, this trick should work painlessly for you and your feline friend.
Like I said, I haven’t used this trick myself – have never needed to. But if you’ve already tried everything else and you’re desperate, or if you want to attack the problem on as many fronts as possible at once for the optimal success rate, tapes like these may be a good option to try.
4. Want your cat off the sofa completely? Try a pet training mat to train your cat to stay off.
PetSafe makes a ScatMat Indoor Training Mat for both dogs and cats that delivers an annoying, yet completely safe little shock to any furries that happen to try climbing up onto the sofa when this is on. It’d also be a useful tool for training cats to keep off counters; something to keep in mind in case you’re hoping to teach your cat to do that as well.
5. Hesitantly Recommended: Using nail caps to prevent kitty from damaging furniture.
Listen, I know many have bought nail caps, have found they work successfully, and are happy to use them as a replacement for declawing. I know some vets even go so far as to recommend them, but something about them still rubs me the wrong way.
See, cats don’t scratch for fun. They don’t do it to screw with you and they definitely don’t do it for no reason at all. They do it because its biologically ingrained in them to do so. Why would something like scratching be biologically ingrained? Scratching helps cats keep their claws sharp – which is vital if they’re going to be able to climb and hunt with their nails, helps them remove the outer nail sheaths, the equivalent of humans cutting their nails back but cats can’t use scissors so that’s not an option, and the physical act of scratching is physically beneficial, as it helps a cat stretch, get a bit of exercise, and also get a little stress relief.
If your cat doesn’t need his or her nails to hunt or climb, technically this aspect to scratching is not necessary. And certainly if you cut your cat’s nails for him or her, the second aspect isn’t needed either. With nail caps, supposedly your cat also continues to “faux scratch” and knead into things, acting as though the caps are not there at all, which makes sense since scratching is a biologically ingrained behaviour.
But what happens if an indoor cat has nail caps on and then accidentally escapes and gets lost outside? He or she’s not going to be able to hunt or climb. Chances of him or her surviving if not found or helped by humans in the first few days is probably abysmal.. especially since it takes around 1-3 weeks for nail caps to fall off and cats can’t pull them off (which is the point – they’re glued) on their own.
I don’t like the sound of this. But if you’re willing to take the risk because your house is a fortress, I mean I’m definitely not going to convince you out of trying it. It’s definitely better than declawing if that was at all on the table for you. Still I feel it’s better to take the time to train your cat to stay away from furniture you care about, and only scratch up things that are kitty-scratch approved. Let me know your thoughts on nail caps in the comments, especially if you have firsthand experience with using them on your cat and what his or her behaviour is like with them on.
6. Not Recommended: Using keep off sprays to discourage cats from getting on specific furniture.
Really, I don’t even know if scratch deterrent sprays like these work, but even if they did, there’s plenty of other (better) tricks to try. Again, just check out the second section of this article.
7. Not Recommended: Use a spray bottle to squirt water at kitty whenever he/she goes on the furniture.
It’s not that I’m against spraying a cat with water to discourage specific behaviours in theory – I mean it doesn’t hurt a kitty, so if it worked, I’d likely be fine with it; it’s just that in my opinion, spraying with water is almost completely ineffective.
Why? Well either it outright doesn’t work because your cat doesn’t care about water sprayed at him/her (mine became like this after the first spray or two), or it works while you’re present/in the room, but really doesn’t get rid of the scratching on furniture problem when you leave the room or are away from the house.
Kitty knows you’re the one doing the spraying, and if you’re not on the premises, there’s no reason not to do the unapproved action anymore. Unless you get your hands on a motion-detector pet sprayer, which possibly could work, but you’d have to angle it in the perfect way, or else your clever cat will no doubt learn to avoid it.
Last plug – look at the second section to get kitty’s good behaviour (avoiding scratching up the furniture!) to stick a lot better.
Scratch Training Part II: Encourage Kitty to Scratch Elsewhere
Yes, it’s important to do at least a few of these in combination with the tips you’re trying from Part I. I promise, it’ll be worth the energy and effort, and your couch will thank me personally later.
1. Make sure you have a scratching post kitty’s actually happy to use in your house.
Have a scratching post already? Great! Have you seen your cat use it before? If the answer is no, you do not have a scratching post kitty likes – or kitty needs to be trained to like it.
Trying to train kitty to like a scratching post? Use these tips:
- Rub catnip on the scratching post
- Put kitty’s paws on the post over and over
- Make scratching motions on the scratch post yourself
- Use a cat toy on the scratching post to encourage kitty to engage with it
Scratching should ensue.
But if it’s a no go and kitty just won’t do it about a month in – it’s time for a better post; one that kitty will actually take to.
I’d advise getting an angled scratching post if you have one of those regular upright cylinder ones. I’ve found cats really prefer the angled ones because they can stretch out easily while doing it. I have a tall cat and so he particularly hates those cylindrical ones.
If you’ve got a lightweight scratching post made of cardboard, you’re likely going to have to weigh that thing down, otherwise chances are your cat is never going to use it.
Cats want to be able to scratch without the object they’re scratching moving – so therein lies your issue. Either throw some heavy exercise weights onto the sucker to keep it firmly in place, or get a new, heavy scratching post like one of the many made out of real wood.
2. When your cat starts scratching something you don’t want scratched, say “No!” loudly. Then, pick kitty up and place him/her to a scratch approved object.
This is an important one. Kitty needs to know you’re not disapproving of the scratching, you just want the scratching to take place elsewhere. So every time scratching occurs where it’s not supposed to, pick that feline up and move him/her to a scratch approved location.
3. Did kitty scratch on the approved object after being moved? Reinforce this behaviour! Say things like, “Good girl!”
Cats don’t just have it in for you and want to make your life miserable (contrary to what a “dog person” may tell you). If your cat knows you want him/her to do something and they’re cool with that behaviour themselves, chances are, they’re going to do it just the way you want them to. Let your cat know you’re happy with him or her scratching on the scratching post by encouraging kitty with positive words when he/she is using the post.
4. Did kitty scratch on the approved object after being moved? Give him/her a treat.
Your cat’s favourite form of positive reinforcement: treats, snacks, yummy food, & catnip!! If you’re in the giving mood, do yourself and your cat a favour for being good, and dole out a treat or two. Kitty will be ever so thankful and may end up scratching on the post instead of the couch the next time around, especially if he/she’s come to associate the post with yummy treats.
5. Move scratch approved objects near where kitty seems to like to scratch.
Cats really seem to like scratching in and around spaces they spend a lot of time snoozing and lounging around in. So make their lives a little easier by having scratch-approved objects right nearby these places. Stick that scratch post right next to the couch, or the scratch board right next to the carpet or bed kitty can’t resist. Location really can go a long way.
6. Make sure you have at least one scratch approved object in every room.
Okay yes, if your house is a studio like ours, or a one bedroom, chances are you’ll only need one or two scratch approved objects in total – but if you have multiple rooms that kitty freely goes in, you can’t very well expect kitty to go back to the other room to get his/her scratching needs out of the way every time. Have a scratch approved object in every single room you’re in.
Love the idea of doing this, but would prefer to keep the cost low? You can easily do that by grabbing a number of cardboard cat scratchers, or if you’re looking for something more permanent, an inexpensive cat tree or a small cat tree that packs a lot of punch for its size. Small cat trees are typically substantially more affordable than larger ones.
If you’re not fond of having a scratch pad or scratching post or cat tree in every single room of the house, check out this article on scratching post alternatives. Essentially, use things like a scratch approved rug in every room in order to keep kitty scratching where it’s okay, and not scratching where it’s not okay.
Obviously, you need to also make sure kitty knows that these objects are scratch approved – but that’s where #2 from this section comes in. If your cat starts scratching something you don’t want him or her scratching on in the room, simply move him/her to the scratch approved object in the room. Either your cat will then immediately start scratching the scratch approved object, or he/she won’t and you’ll need to get a different approved object for scratching in – one that kitty likes better.
Over time, after being moved enough, kitty will get that this is the approved scratching area, and by him/herself, start to go there instead of the furniture.
Training Your Cat to Do More
If you’re interested in training your cat to do (or if we’re honest, not do!) more than just keep off human furniture, you can take a quick browse through all my articles on training cats here in one place to see if there are a few more things you’d like to try your hand at.
Some of my personal favourites:
Whilst most pet owners probably don’t think it’s important to train a cat, I think it makes for a happier, less anxious life for both pets and their pet parents; so in my opinion, there’s no two ways about it – training our feline friends to do some very basic things is pivotal for enhancing quality of life of cat-human cohabitation.
Any Tips for Pet Owners Whose Cats Scratch Up Furniture?
Please let us all know about your experiences with cats scratching up furniture.
Have you had this problem yourself before? Was it ever solved or does your cat still freely roam the house taking claws to whatever he or she pleases?
If you managed to get your cat to not scratch up anything you don’t want scratched up, how did you manage to do it? If you still have this problem, do you think you’ll try any of the methods mentioned above? Is there a good method I’ve forgotten to mention?
Let me know in the comments!