How to Raise an Awesome Cat

WOW. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

I feel so incredibly lucky and blessed. This week has been full of a couple of hard posts (here and here) and the feedback I’ve gotten has been so amazing. I want to thank all of you for being so fantastic and continuing to come here and read what I have to say. It truly is the coolest thing ever!!

Because there were heavier posts than usual I thought we’d have a little fun today! This post started out as a total joke but I think it just ended up revealing my true crazy self.

Okay – the first part of this post is a little sad…Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of my cat Reeses Pieces passing away. Granted, I haven’t been through too much struggle in my life (thankfully) but this was hands down the hardest thing I’ve gone through. Ree Pee was my guy. He was the sweetest and most loving cat there was and I still think of him often.

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Shortly after Ree Pee passed (and I mean very shortly, we couldn’t handle the silence) we got two new little kitties with whom I’m sure you are all very familiar by now.

Not  to toot our own horn or anything, but my husband and I consider ourselves pretty good at raising cats. Our cats are fun, sociable, loving, and freaking adorable (or so we think). In case you’re in the market for a new furry friend, I’ve compiled what I believe to be the keys to raising an awesome cat.

1. Talk to them ALL OF THE TIME

I’m always having conversations with Sampson and Rockie and I swear to you they do listen. I’ve read that while cats can’t actually understand what you’re saying (of course) they do understand your tone…much like a baby can get a sense of what’s going on by your tone. They know when you’re yelling or mad and they know when you are trying to sooth them. And they love to listen to you talk, I swear this isn’t me just being crazy. I also saw on Cats 101 that cats don’t meow to other cats, it’s how they communicate with their owners so if you have a talkative cat (like both of ours) talk back!!

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“do tell me more about your upcoming blog post”

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“oh now I understand the benefits of planks over crunches”

2. When you talk to them, say their name a lot

Especially if you have multiple cats…this helps to individualize them and cement their identity. It also lets them know you are specifically talking to them (which makes them feel important and you know cats LOVE feeling important).

Plus, by using their names a lot they will answer when you call them!

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“you talkin’ to me??”

3. Don’t be afraid to give them nicknames and make fun of them too.

We had millions of nicknames for Reeses Pieces and these cats are no different. We collectively refer to them as “the toots” (you don’t want to know why) and they each have a slew of random names. Sampson even has a special Sampson voice that we talk to him in – his name comes out more like Sambin.

I’m pretty sure Rockie knows when we are making fun of him and it’s hilarious. He gets very indignant.

Ol’ Long legs Magoo over here:

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Also known as Goober

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4. Play with them…cats love a good game

Cats love to be active and playing with them really helps (especially if they are indoor kitties). It also helps get out some of that mischievous energy!

Rockie is really into playing peek-a-boo right now

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And Sampson loves his pony so much

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5. Let them do whatever they want

…because they’re gonna do it anyway. You can try to teach cats right from wrong but it ain’t easy. In fact, cats have smaller brains (at least the front part)than dogs (because of the shape of their skull), so they actually have less of a capacity to remember when things are wrong. Also, they are like teenagers in that their brain tells them to be risk takers and seek pleasure no matter the consequence. Like I say in #1 they know your tone and what you’re saying when you yell at them for being on the cabinets…they just don’t care.

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6. Snuggle with them

Affection is good for you and good for them.

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I swear Rockie is really enjoying this….

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Sampson’s favorite time to snuggle is when I’m trying to cool down after a workout

7. Take pictures of them ALL OF THE TIME

I’d like to think this makes them more sociable but it’s really because I think they are freaking adorable

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“paparazzi again?”

8. If you can, get two

These guys are so adorable to watch, they really are best friends who play, fight, snuggle, and love each other so much.

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10. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to embrace your inner crazy cat lady. It’s so worth it.

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Are you a crazy cat lady? A crazy dog lady? What is your #1 tip for raising a good pet??

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11 thoughts on “How to Raise an Awesome Cat

  1. Lovely post!!! I love all the cute kitty pictures too! I can never get enough of kitty pictures 🙂 I remember when your Reeses passed away 😦 I lost my Van Gogh two month before you lost Reeses and I too still miss my boy. Rockie and Sampson are beautiful and they are lucky to have such wonderful home!
    I agree with you on your tips, those are all very important points when raising happy, healthy cats. I would also add that important thing is a good nutrition (that is where the health starts) and visual stimulation (such as bird feeder outside the window) and having raised places for them to hang out and watch the world from top 🙂 And scratchers for their nails and stretching legs 🙂 And grooming (brushing and nail trimming) while giving treats or petting to make the experience a pleasure instead of something bad. Some cats like brushing, some don’t. My Bear loves brushing and even getting his nails trimmed 🙂 He is goofy 🙂 Abbey and Bear know their names too. Abbey is a talker and she and I have a conversation often 🙂 They both sit for treats like doggies LOL They groom each other and love on each other so having two cats is great! They play rough sometimes and chase each other so they are happy and active. Great post! I have to share it with other kitty lovers!

    • Oh those are all great points! Rockie loves to be brushed and Sampson attacks the brush…he isn’t a fan!
      I can only hope to give them the best home possible, they sure are spoiled little kitties

  2. Funny! I’m a crazy dog lady, well one dog, my little bailie, she is 70 pounds of wiggle worm…That is her nickname because when she sees someone she likes she smiles and then wiggles from her head to her tail….She is actually a yellow lab and the sweetest girl you will ever meet…People always used to tell me that animals cant really understand you but understand your tone and I think that is crap, she knows exactly what I’m saying when I’m saying it! when I’m upset or down, she comes and lays down beside me with her head on my shoulder…I agree with all your points you made, the most important thing you can do to be a good pet parent is spend a lot of time with them and love them!!!

    • We can’t wait to get a dog too but we are waiting until we have a yard. I don’t want to keep a big dog inside all of the time (we want a boxer again). Although I’m not sure how the cats will handle having to share the spotlight 😉

  3. I’m very glad you dedicated an entire blog post to cats. I just wrote one the other day, essentially Life Lessons I’ve Learned From my Cat. I thought I was being silly, but obviously someone else loves their kitties as much as I love mine.

    I’m also very glad I follow all your rules. Living by myself, well with my cat, I often find she is the only “person” I have to talk to. she doesn’t hesitate to respond either, although she fails to understand that just because I meow back at her, I don’t actually know what she said.

    Random fun-fact: my cat loves when I plank. She will wake up from a nap in the other room to come lay underneath my belly. She knows if I fail, I fall on her, and since I won’t do that, I end up planking a lot longer.

    I just told a friend I would foster her kitty for a few months while she deals with some things, and I’m worried my cat will have an identity crisis. I’ve had her about 3 months now, and although when I adopted her the shelter said she gets along with other cats (she literally lived in the shelter the duration of her 2 year life), I’m worried that she has finally embraced the thought of being my sole kitty, and will not adjust well. Then the fact that the new kitty is going to miss her mommy and need some lovings to adjust, I feel like I am going to have to spoil them both so they will be friends!

    • My cats are all over me when I workout, they think I’m down on the floor to give them attention!
      I’m sure in time the two cats will become good pals…it took a little bit for these two to warm up to each other and now they are gross with their affection!

  4. I have 3 dogs and one cat. They are the light of my life. The dogs offer such amazing unconditional love. “God, make me the person my dogs think I am!” Now the cat…that’s a whole ‘nother story. But I love her independence and I obey her every command. Thanks for this post – I always look forward to your cat pics and stories!

  5. Pingback: Two years of blogging: my favorites so far | Mile High Healthy

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