These are products I recommend constantly to clients! By purchasing these products from the amazon links below, you'll be providing me with a small commission from amazon with no extra cost to you.
Many cat behavior challenges are caused by stress. Even though your cat may seem to be leading a stress-free life, cats are stressed by different things than people are. The products below may help reduce stress levels in cats.
- Feliway Optimum: This diffuser helps "set the stage" for a calmer household. Paired with behavior modification and other environmental management/enrichment, this diffuser can be a big help for scared cats or cats struggling to get along.
- Feliway Multicat: Like Feliway Optimum, this diffuser can help "set the stage" for a calmer household.
- Zylkene: This is a calming supplement I recommend to almost EVERY client. In my experience, it seems particularly helpful for cats who are struggling to adapt to a new environment or who are feeling insecure in their current environment. I personally use this for my cats at home for any stressful events, including before vet appointments.
- Anxitane: This is a calming supplement that comes in a chewable tablet. While not all cats will eat this tablet, most of my personal cats will. It seems to have a more general calming effect and can be used with Zylkene for stressful events like vet appointments.
These are products I have personally used for urinary issues with my cats. The absolute first step in managing a cat with a urinary issue is a vet appointment to rule out/treat any medical factors. If medical treatment doesn't resolve urinary issues, please check out my Behavior Services page for more information about how I can help!
- Nature's Miracle Cat Urine Destroyer Foam: It's important to clean cat urine with cleaners formulated to remove cat urine enzymes. This is my current preferred cleaner.
- EZwhelp Reusable Washable Pee Pads: Whether the cause of your cat's urinary issues are medical, behavioral, or—as is often the case—a combination of both, it can be helpful to have washable pee pads while you work on resolving the issues. These make clean-up easier, especially if your cat is urinating on soft items like beds or blankets.
- Petfamily Cat Litter Box, Large Foldable Jumbo Hooded with Transparent Lid: This litter box is one of the largest I've found commercially available. It's incredibly versatile: since the lid is divided into 3 sections, it can either be used as an uncovered OR covered litter box.
Medicating cats does NOT have to be a battle! Try these tricks below if you're struggling to medicate your cat. (Note: if your cat is on a restricted diet, please check with your veterinarian before using the edible products below.)
- Churu Lickable Treats: These can be used to mix with medication or in an oral syringe to chase away bad taste from a liquid medication. They're also great for training rewards for cats who don't like hard treats! Additionally, they can be used to encourage cats who aren't eating well to start eating.
- Greenies Pill Pockets: Many cats will eagerly eat their pills when hidden in Pill Pockets! They can also be broken up into smaller pieces and used as training rewards.
- Fancy Feast LID Savory Cravings: These treat bars can be molded around pills. As an added benefit, the limited ingredients make these an option for cats on restricted diets or with sensitive GI systems. They also can be used as training rewards.
- Pill Masker: While I haven't personally had any luck having a cat eat a pill that's covered in this alone, this product works well for "Pill Treat Sandwiches": wrap the pill in this and then sandwich it between two pieces of the cat's absolute FAVORITE treat. The best treats to use for the "bread" are soft treats the cat can pick up and swallow without chewing (chewing increases the likelihood that the cat will bite into the pills).
- Pet Piller: If you can't get your cat to eat their medications, using a pet piller like this one can make the process of pilling your cat much faster--and safer, as you're less likely to accidentally get bit if you're using a piller instead of your fingers!
- Empty Gel Capsules: Putting pills into an empty gel capsule prior to pilling can make the process A LOT easier! The gel capsule will mask any bitterness from the pill; and if you need to give more than one pill at a time, fitting multiple pills into one gel capsule will reduce how many times you have to pill your cat. This was particularly been helpful for me with my cat Cinnamon, who was taking more than 5 medications 3 times a day. This method (gel capsule plus Pet Piller) meant we only had to pill her half as many times as we would have had to otherwise.
Food puzzles have so many functions for cats! They can help prevent "scarf & barf", they can give cats a sense of accomplishment in having to "hunt" or "forage" for their food, they sometimes can even encourage sick cats to eat.
- Lickimat (Felix): This Lickimat style, the Felix, could offer more than just enrichment for some cats. If you have a cat with trouble eating due to a dental or gum issue, placing kibble on this style Lickimat could help encourage your cat to lick and swallow instead of bite and chew. It was a literal life-saver for my cat Cinnamon, who had a large (fatal) mouth mass. Two notes: 1) I don't recommend using this model for routine canned food feeding, as the moisture can cause mold growth (in my experience); and 2) It's possible for cats to bite off and swallow pieces of this mat, use with EXTREME CAUTION with any cats known to chew on hard plastic or rubber!
- Lickimat Tuff: This Lickimat style is great for canned food, as it can go through a dishwasher to be disinfected. It's also less likely to move around than the other Lickimat styles--and isn't as easy for pica cats to eat.
- Catit Digger: This food puzzle is great for cats who love using their front paws to paw at things! It's also a pretty easy food puzzle for most cats to figure out.
- Food Tree: I first used this food puzzle in a large group room setting at a rescue. It was an attempt at preventing over-eating and also as an extra activity for the cats to do. It was very successful at both, though some large cats can "cheat" by knocking the tree over instead of reaching in and pawing out food. Some cats will need to be shown how this food puzzle works.
- Eggcersizer: This food puzzle is great for cats who need more opportunities to "hunt" and "chase". It can be adjusted in difficulty, making it a very versatile food puzzle.
Clicker training has many uses beyond just teaching cats nifty tricks! Clicker training can be helpful for inter-cat aggression issues, re-introduction situations, confidence building, and more.
- CAT SCHOOL Clicker Training Kit for Cats: This is my preferred clicker and target stick for cats. The clickers are made to be quieter than ones for dogs, plus the target stick length is adjustable.
Cats need the chance to practice their predatory skills! Without appropriate outlets for that instinct, cats will be more likely to play inappropriately with other pets or people in the home.
- Batting Practice: This is a hanging squeaky mouse toy that many high-energy cats love to play with!
- Cat Dancer: This toy is irresistible to most cats--and it's cheap!
- Chirping Catnip Balls: These fluffy balls have sounds that make them fun for cats! One sounds like a bird, one sounds like a cricket, and one sounds like a frog.
- 3 Tier Track Toy: This style is particularly fun for kittens or shelter cat enrichment.
- Squeaky Mice: These toys squeak like mice! Cats can really have a lot of fun "hunting" these.
- YEOWWw! Catnip Banana: A classic for a reason! The shape is fun for cats to bat around and wrestle with and the catnip smell is very strong.
- The Mouse Factory "Drag Rat": This is a FAVORITE of my former feral Inigo! It stands up to bunny-kicking and vigorous biting. The size can be intimidating for some cats, but for cats that are used to hunting live prey—this toy is a winner!
Cats need to scratch! Not only does it help keep their claws healthy and clean, it deposits their scent on items and helps them feel more secure in their environment! Plus, giving your cats places to scratch will reduce the likelihood of them scratching furniture.
- Ultimate Scratching Post: This post is tall enough for even large cats to be able to fully stretch for an ultimate scratching experience. It's a favorite in my house of 5!
- Angled Cat Scratcher: This scratcher is great for cats who want a little incline but not a full vertical stretch for their scratching. It can also double as a play item for smaller cats or kittens.
- Lean-It Scratcher: DO NOT lean this, it will fall. But it works great as a sturdy horizontal scratcher, especially for cats who like scratching on rugs.