How Are We Doing With Cat Care?

Assess Your Cat's Behavior

If you want to get a detailed picture of how your cat is doing, you can use the following checklist to “keep score” of how frequently your cat is exhibiting the following positive behaviors. You might want to regularly ask yourself, does your cat:

1. Leave household articles (furniture, drapes, etc.) alone?

2. Calmly eat small amounts of food at intervals throughout the day?

3. Calmly drink small amounts of water at intervals throughout the day?

4. Use the litterbox appropriately?

5. Get along with people in the home?

6. Get along with other pets in the home?

7. Remain calm when left alone?

8. Stay relaxed during normal, everyday handling (grooming, petting)?

9. Calm down quickly if startled or excited?

10. React calmly to everyday events?

11. Play well with people?

12. Play well with other family cats?

13. Show affection without acting clingy or annoying?

14. Tolerate confinement in a carrier (including travel)?

15. Groom entire body calmly?

16. Use scratching posts (instead of furniture)?

17. Play with toys?

Determine whether your cat exhibits these behaviors a) all of the time, b) most of the time, c) some of the time, d) a little bit of the time, or e) none of the time. If your assessment is that your cat is doing these things mostly a) all of the time, then you can feel pretty confident that your cat is happy and healthy and you are doing a good job of understanding the “catness” of your cat and making her home cat friendly. If your answers are a little further down the spectrum, then take another hard look at things. Review the article series we’ve put together for tips on how to keep your cat happy and your home cat friendly, and if necessary, consult your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health concerns.

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