Feline expert reveals five things you shouldn’t do if you want a happier cat

Child touches nose with cat
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As cat lovers, we adore our feline friends for their unique personalities, independent spirits, and delightful quirks. But being a responsible cat owner goes beyond simply providing food, the very best cat toys, and a cozy spot to nap. Cats, just like dogs, thrive in an environment where they feel safe, content, and mentally stimulated.

If you're worried you haven't seen signs of a happy cat in a while from your little feline friend then fear not. Amanda Campion, a clinical feline behaviorist also known as the Kittysitty Cat Behaviorist, has taken to TikTok to share five mistakes cat owners should avoid making in order to create a more fulfilling life for our beloved pets. 

So, if you want your cat to purr with delight and have its tail held high, you can watch the feline expert's video below or continue reading to find out five essential things to avoid as a cat owner. Remember, a happier cat means a happier you – it's a win-win!


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It's worth noting that while these tips come from a certified cat behaviorist, as a cat owner, you have the flexibility to tailor your approach based on your feline friend's unique needs and preferences. 

1. Neglecting Playtime

Campion emphasizes the significance of engaging in playtime with your feline companion. She notes, "Every cat needs to play, it’s part of their predatory behavior". Playtime, whether it be with some of the best interactive cat toys or with a piece of string, provides valuable mental and physical stimulation. 

To keep your cat content and healthy, aim to play with them at least twice a day, preferably before mealtime. Interactive toys and games that encourage your cat to pounce, chase, and stalk mimic their natural hunting instincts, will help keep your kitty satisfied.

2. Overlooking Neutering

Not neutering your cat can lead to a host of behavioral issues. Campion argues that many of the problems cat owners seek advice for can be resolved by simply neutering their feline friend. By taking this important step, cat owners can prevent certain unwanted behaviors and contribute to reducing the number of stray cats in their communities.

3. Becoming a Cat Hoarder

While the idea of having multiple cats may be appealing, it's essential to consider each cat's individual needs and personality. "Not all cats want to live together in a multi cat household so really really think about it first," says Campion.  

Assessing factors like financial resources, available time, and whether the existing cat is sociable can ensure a positive and harmonious environment for all feline inhabitants.

4. Letting Cats Roam at Night

Allowing cats to roam freely at night can put their safety at risk. Cats are more susceptible to accidents and injuries in the darkness, as the bright lights of passing cars can dazzle them. 

Additionally, cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dusk and dawn, rather than during the night. Keeping your cat indoors during nighttime hours can significantly reduce the chance of accidents.

5. Ignoring Potential Health Concerns

Cats are masters at masking pain and illnesses, making it challenging for owners to answer the question 'is my cat sick?'. Campion advises that any changes in behavior, such as not using the litter tray or appetite changes, should be taken seriously. Seeking veterinary assistance promptly is essential to ensure your cat receives the necessary care and treatment.

As cat owners, our feline friends rely on us to create a nurturing and safe environment that supports their physical and emotional needs. Don't forget, a little effort goes a long way in ensuring your cat's contentment and happiness!

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.